Ignite by Danielle Rogland: Review of a Character-centric Dystopian

April 12, 2017 Reviews 23 ★★★½

Ignite by Danielle Rogland: Review of a Character-centric DystopianIgnite by Danielle Rogland
Published by Inkitt on 4/12/17
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 327
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
My rating:
3.5 Stars

In the ruins of dystopian London, the Empire rules through fear and fire.

“Everyone knew about ‘The Flames’ and how much trouble they had caused the Empire. They were the only rebel group anyone knew of that had lasted longer than a few months without getting caught, leaving candles behind whenever they snatched somebody out of the Empire’s grasp. To get involved with people like them is stupid. So stupid.”

Ever since her parents were murdered by the empire’s agents, Jacks has been living on the street as a pickpocket trying to keep away from trouble. When she accidentally witnesses the rebel group ‘The Flames’ in the middle of an operation she is unwillingly swept up into their world, and has to decide if she’s going to go back to looking after herself or join the rebellion and help them fight for the people of London Ruins.

She knows that getting involved was stupid, but does she really have a choice?

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My Take copy3

Ignite is a fast-paced dystopian that doesn’t skimp on character. The story follows The Flames, a group of rebels who fights against the oppression of their brutal dictator and then leaves behind a burning candle to show that it’s members were there. Throughout the book, secrets are unraveled and the bonds of friendship (the kind that feels like family) are threatened—and possibly even broken.

What Fed My Addiction:

  • Strong characters. Without a doubt, the characters are what drew me into this book. The story is told from four POV’s and I connected to each and every one of them.
    • First we have Jacks, an orphaned girl who’s been surviving on her own as a pickpocket since her “gang” was captured (and presumably killed). She’s the type of person who’s used to standing on the sidelines and keeping herself safe whenever possible, so it’s difficult for her to come to terms with her role as a hero as part of The Flames.
    • Zira is the head of The Flames. She is incredibly strong and a true leader, but it’s obvious from the start that she has secrets, which helped her seem more vulnerable. (I’ll confess that I figured out some of those secrets very early on, but there were still some definite surprises, and I didn’t feel like the reveals were ruined because of it.)
    • Then there was Corry, the Flame who brings Jacks into the fold. He’s in love with Zira and has been for a very long time. He was probably my favorite character in the book, and my heart broke for him in a few scenes. He tends to bridge the gaps in the relationships between all of the other characters in the book, so he’s a bit of a peace-keeper.
    • The final POV belongs to Jeremy, who is another one of The Flames. His POV seems the least necessary, but I liked him so I didn’t mind. He’s street-savvy, so he understands Jacks best and he helps make her feel more comfortable in the group. He’s a sweet guy and I found it easy to root for him.
  • Truly dystopian. I like my dystopians bleak, and Ignite fits the bill! Conditions in the Empire are incredibly miserable, and no one is completely safe, even those who try to stay on the “right” side of the law. Rogland does a fantastic job of describing the world that these characters live in and showing us how desperate the people are.
  • High stakes. The book starts out with a literal bang, and the tension never goes away! I was never quite sure if all of the main characters were going to make it out unharmed (or even alive).

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • The why part of the worldbuilding. While I thought that Rogland did a fantastic job of describing the dystopian world that these characters live in, I never did fully understand how it all got that way. I got the impression that there was a war that somehow ended with a dictatorship over most of Europe (I think?) by a man named Donovan. And then Donovan created this regime that kills anyone who rebels. But that’s about all I can tell you. I didn’t quite understand what the war was all about, how Donovan ended up ruling, what he was trying to achieve or why he was so evil. He seemed to just kind of like killing people, which made him feel a bit two-dimensional (or maybe even one-dimensional, I suppose). Because of this, it felt like a piece of the worldbuilding was missing, and I was sort of questioning characters’ motives and intentions, which brought me out of the story a bit.
  • Few convenient moments. At the end of the book, there are a few convenient coincidences that struck me as a little odd, but this was a minor issue.

Overall, this was an immensely enjoyable dystopian, and Rogland did a fantastic job of making me truly care about her ragtag cast of characters. There were a few things that kept me from falling in love completely, but it still easily garners 3.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About the Author

Danielle Rogland began writing Ignite at the age of 17 and finished at age 21. She is now 25 and lives in Seattle, Washington, where she earned her English degree from Seattle Pacific University, and works in marketing and freelance writing while working on her second novel. She grew up near Portland, Oregon, and was always one of those kids who carried around giant books like The Lord of the Rings to read during recess.

She can currently be found frequenting comic conventions, pestering her three younger siblings, or hiding out in her home and posting on social media.

Author Links:
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23 Responses to “Ignite by Danielle Rogland: Review of a Character-centric Dystopian”

  1. Joy // Joyousreads

    I can see myself enjoying this book as well. However, I feel like I would look for reasons why the world became what it was in the book. Sounds exciting, regardless.

  2. Geybie's Book Blog

    Awesome review, Nicole. I haven’t read dystopian books but I’m curious about this genre. I’m planning to try different genre in the future. What are your favorites of dystopian books? 😁

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      My favorite series of all-time is definitely a dystopian called Unwind by Neal Shusterman—the concept is a little crazy, but Shusterman is one of those authors who makes you think about the world around us, which I love. And, of course, there’s The Hunger Games, but I’m going to assume you’ve heard of that one. 🙂

  3. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    You KNOW I am a sucker for dystopian! Is this a standalone? The worldbuilding stuff would probably bug me a bit too since I like to know ALL the things. But if there was a chance for more answers, I could probably live with it. I LOVE that the stakes were high too- I am adding this one to my TBR, great review!

  4. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read a good dystopian and this one piques my interest. It sounds like the world building is a little lacking but I love the sound of the bleak surroundings and the the characters. I might check the library for this one. Great review!

  5. Elena @ Book Lady's Reviews

    It’s been a while since I read a dystopian and I’m definitely adding this one to my list! It sounds very interesting and the fact that the characters were likable and easy to connect to just made me it even more intriguing for me! I love books with characters I can connect to and fall in love with. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Jessica @ Strung Out On Books

    Your descriptions of the characters appealed to me more than the book’s blurb. I think I’ll pass on this book, just because I like a world that is fully developed and explained. The premise sounds promising (dictators + all of Europe = potential to be terrifying), but I would go insane wondering about the how’s and why’s. Great review!

  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    It’s been a while since I read a decent dystopian and this does sound pretty decent. Sure, there are flaws in the world building but there are always a few convenient moments in books for me so I can overlook that. In the end, with strong characters and high stakes I reckon I’ll enjoy it. Great review.

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