Hope springs eternal?Firelight manages to avoid some cliches of the genre (paranormal ya) by trying its hand at ambiguous characters. The girl isn't a total Mary Sue and the guy doesn't completely conform to the "smouldering and safe" hero stereotype. They both have flaws and they both try to get over them. The characters we spend most of the time with are interesting and relatively complex, and Jordan spends time to actually create a story-worthy dilemma. The writing is good, follows the "show don't tell" rule to the T, and any defficiencies don't stick out like sore thumbs.However, in the end, it still doesn't manage to escape the trappings of the genre. Do we have chaste snuggling in the same bed? Yes. Do we have a guy that is terribly mature for his age, brooding and fierce? Yes. Does the author overuse phrases like "velvet voice", "smouldering eyes", "air hissing out" and any derivatives thereof? Yes.But what really ruined the experience for me was the fact that Jacinda never seems to decide what she wants. Yes, the unique female struggling to establish herself in a protective, conservative pride is wonderful. But is it original? No, definitely not. Kelly Armstrong's Bitten is another similar book, but the execution is so different that the comparison hurts. Jacinda's story worthy problem is something along the lines of: "Oh, I wish I could do that, but I'm forced to do that because my other option is bad for me, but I want it so bad, only without the badness, and I actually like the second way, if only I were allowed to have this, which is forbidden, and mom, can I already have my cake and eat it too?" It's just hard to get into a heroine that doesn't even know what she wants and who spends an entire book trying to decide her way out of the swamp. Why is it that YA novels have to be spread into several volumes, whether they like it or not?Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.