This cover of Sophie Jordan’s Firelight is fantastic, partly because it just is, but also because that eye is something I’ve been struggling to try and create in photo-realistic form for years, without real success (my skills are amateur). Hrana, my vampire in Kings of Infinite Space, has eyes like that – you can see her eyes in the sketches my friend Sylke made for my novel.
Captivating enough that I took a closer look at the book. The blurb reads:
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. …
It goes on, but already I’ve lost the will to read on.
Now, this is not a review, and I am not commenting on the book itself – if the cover is anything to go by, it’s probably a great read.
But, dear gods, this is why I hate looking for books in bookshops. They’re full of this kind of stuff. ‘Marked as special at an early age…’ – why? Why is every other book about some girl or boy who is marked as special? Or, may the gods hang their collective heads in shame, The Chosen One, defined thus by TV Tropes:
The ultimate victim (or beneficiary) of Because Destiny Says So. The oldest and most common Super Hero Origin. The easiest way to turn an Ordinary High-School Student into the only thing preventing The End of the World as We Know It. Take it for granted that they are The Only One.
Lots of people are special. Perhaps they are made special by a trick of birth, or because of certain unique abilities, or through pure chance, but to create a character who is the one special person feels like horribly lazy storytelling to me.
Or pure fantasy wish-fulfillment. I wish I were special…