Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard is like sliced bread.
You know what they say about sliced bread.
XYZ is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Whatever you decide to put in the blank, it’s probably better than Ignite the Sun. But that’s not to say that Ignite the Sun is bad.
Quite the contrary.
Sliced bread is pretty great, isn’t it? After all, that’s where the phrase came from. It implies that sliced bread is a pretty great thing, there’s just something out there better.
That pretty much sums up my experience with Ignite the Sun.
Ignite the Sun Review
Ignite the Sun is a middle of the road comfort read for those looking for a solid YA Fantasy that follows all the familiar tropes.
There’s nothing earth-shattering about Ignite the Sun. It doesn’t rock the boat and buck societal norms. It’s just what you’d expect it to be.
A typical YA Fantasy that’s a good romp and a delightfully entertaining read.
It has its downsides, but they are easily ignored in light of the larger journey.
I can’t really even describe the book to you without spoiling things, but it’s about bringing the sun back to a land that’s been covered in darkness for fifteen years.
The darkness is magical, and a creation of the antagonist. I can’t really say more.
There’s so many tropes, I don’t really know where to start.
There’s the Chosen One, which means that only one person is capable of doing anything to stop the big bad. Oh, and it happens to be our oblivious main character, Siria.
Which is the second trope, and that’s (minor spoiler, but not really) that she has magic powers, but she doesn’t know it. Surprise!
Then there’s the cringeworthy awkward romance, which is better than a love triangle, I’ll give you that.
And of course there’s a lot more going on here, like an antagonist that does terrible things to acquire power and then pursues their own happiness at the expense of every other living person, but they’re never able to achieve said happiness because they’re evil.
That was a mouth full.
Tropes aren’t bad, though! There’s a reason I like YA Fantasy, and it’s the common tropes found within the genre.
What Ignite the Sun does well
I really like Siria and our supporting cast. I felt like Howard did a great job fleshing them out, giving them history, and making them live and breath.
I love the magic system within the world, and while parts of it felt a little odd, it was pretty neat.
It gave me serious Captain Planet vibes toward the end which was a blast from the past.
There were just enough action in the story so that I wasn’t getting bored and the pace was quick and energetic.
I hate slow books.
But Ignite the Sun is anything but slow. The chapters are nice and short, making me feel like I’m blowing through the book. I despise long chapters (I’m looking at you Brandon Sanderson!), but Howard did a great job.
What didn’t work for me
I really only had one major disappointment and a second minor niggle if you’ll humor me.
The minor annoyance was a point toward the end of the book where burning a pile of ashes is meant to be a significant blow in the story. But a pile of ashes is already the result of something being burned.
So how can burning it more be destructive? It’s already been burned so hot it turned to a pile of ash.
Yeah, sorry, that ruined a moment for me.
The bigger problem, though, is that there are no twists in Ignite the Sun.
Absolutely nothing was surprising, and I kept waiting for the moment where an action was prevented or diverted, or something clever occurred out of left field (with proper foreshadowing of course).
But it didn’t.
The story progresses exactly how you’d expect it to from start to finish.
Which is great if that’s the sort of thing you want. That’s why I called it a comfort read. It’s good for the reader who needs a pretty from mental Olympics and wants a fast-paced wholesome story.
Ignite the Sun is a solid 3.5/5 stars.
I don’t think there’s a sequel. The story is pretty well over after that. I could see room for another book, but there’s nothing on the news waves, so I’m calling this one a standalone.
I’d recommend it if you’re in a reading slump or not got anything else you’re dying to read first.
Looking for more great books?
Check out my review of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas.