It’s time for a superpowers origin story!
Ignite takes us on a classic sci-fi tale of corrupt superheroes, cities in peril, government experimental labs with dark secrets, and teens who are faced with the enormous weight of powers that shouldn’t be possible. It will give you all the X-men vibes and Steelheart vibes. Plus it tackles that question of: do powers make you a monster?
When the story starts off, Scarlett Marley lives a pretty normal life with her family who she’s super close to. She has siblings she adores (little Hannah and also Dylan, who’s around 14 I think) and her bestie is Ian, and they have dreams of being musicians. Scarlett’s summer is meant to be for relaxing after a gruelling year of highschool and listening to Ian’s compositions and playing her ukulele. Except one a fateful trip to an ice cream store ends up with her being attacked by a “super” with fire powers. Scarlett should be burned half to death — instead she’s burning from the inside out, with fire in her irises.
Why can’t these symptoms just go away? Why am I keeping all this a secret? I keep it a secret because I don’t want my life to change.
You’re not supposed to be able to “catch” powers, but Scarlett can’t explain what’s happening to her. She’s most definitely and suddenly a super. So now what?
We follow Scarlett as she voluntarily commits herself to the Superhumans Containment Facility where she ends up working with Dr. Bailey who promises a cure — if she helps infiltrate secret groups of supers who are avoiding capture. So like, Scarlett is all: SURE. Because she only sees her powers as evil and dangerous and she wants them gone. She ends up working with a bit of a chaos group of teen Supers. Ares, Nadia and Seth are all super interesting secondary-characters and the team is hiding a LOT of secrets. So that definitely keeps you turning pages, keen to find out more about their backstories.
My stomach twists, sickened, as my thoughts deadend at reality: my life is spiraling out of control, and I don’t know how to stop it.
Scarlett is a really sweet heroine, loyal with a good heart, but she makes some baaaad calls about who to trust. So it was really satisfying seeing her arc where she learned to think for herself and decide who was worth trusting. And who deserved betrayal. There are some pretty emotional, feels-stabbing scenes towards the end too 🥺 Scarlett grows so much and it’s powerful to see her start realising her powers aren’t something that needs to be cut out of her body and destroyed.
As a side note: I didn’t realise there would be some pretty heavy Christian messages towards the end. It’s definitely a Christian sci-fi adventure, for those who look for more in this genre.
A book full of empowering messages of self-love with some badass action scenes — Ignite me is sure to satisfy fans craving the next superhero adventure.
I’m just different…for a reason. I can do good with my gifts, and I can’t believe I’m just fully realizing that now.
Hi Jenna! Thanks so much for chatting with me today about Ignite! Can you tell us a bit about your publishing journey and how Ignite went from first idea to finished novel on our shelves?
Thank you so much for having me! Publishing Ignite was a whirlwind of both excitement and stress. Being a first-time author is hard enough, but going indie added another layer of difficulties. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. 😊 Ignite started as a tiny little idea very early in 2019. At this point, I had no idea that it was going to be my debut novel. I brainstormed the outline in time to write the first draft for NaNoWriMo that same year. Little did I know then how much this story would change. I spent all of 2020 and a good bit of 2021 working with beta readers and editors on polishing this story. That’s when I really saw it come to life. And when I got the cover for it, everything started to definitely feel real. Being an indie author means doing everything yourself (or hiring someone), so the launch process was a bit stressful and hectic at times. But on release day (the whole month really) so many people pitched in to help spread the word and share about the release on social media. They left reviews, posted about it, and sent me messages about what the story means to them. So yes, publishing is a tough road. But kind readers make all the struggles worthwhile.
Yay NaNoWriMo authors for the win!! So do you outline your books? Did you know how the Ignite duology would end before you started?
Yes, I am definitely a plotter! Once I feel like I’ve done enough random brainstorming, I take all my little notes and organize them. I usually work on characters first; figuring out their backstory, personality, internal conflict, etc. Then I move on to the plot. I knew how this book was going to end before I started writing the first draft, but how the characters actually reached that ending changed a lot during editing. 😉
Can you introduce us to some of the main characters and tell us about their powers!
Of course! First we have Scarlett, the protagonist, who goes on a big journey of discovering a lot about herself and deciding if she’s going to accept everything that makes her her. She has the ability to manipulate and generate fire from her hands. Then we have Ares (quite possibly the most popular character) who is just as cool as his ability to generate and manipulate ice. And then there’s sweet Nadia, who has the ability to create seismic vibrations through her hands into the ground.
Definitely an Ares fan too 😌 And I loved Scarlett’s journey of self-love! What’s your favourite thing about writing sci-fi/fantasy?
I love how free my imagination can be. There are literally no limits. I can create whatever worlds, languages, races, etc. that I want. I love being able to create that way, without boundaries, where anything is possible.
Honestly fantasy is just magical that way 😍 Limitless possibilities for sure. And lastly! What has been the best part of being an author so far?
I think the best part about being an author, beside crafting stories as my career, is the readers. It’s such a weird feeling to be giving the world this story that’s only been living in my head for so long. It can be a little scary. I hear authors talking about how encouraging their readers are, and now I understand! It truly makes my day whenever someone posts about my book on social media, leaves a review, or contacts me to tell me how much they loved the stories and characters. Knowing that people are being impacted by a book that I’ve worked so hard on makes this job so rewarding.
Thank you so much for this amazing interview, Jenna!! Wishing you all the best with book 2!
AD COLLAB | Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book for review.
Author: Jenna Terese
Date Published: July, 2021
Genre: YA SciFi Fantasy
Buy: Book Depository, Amazon
Author Links: instagram
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What if superhumans weren’t considered heroes?
When Scarlett Marley is attacked by an illegal super with fire powers, she doesn’t get burned, but now she has a fire-like glow flickering in her eyes.
With superpowers criminalized, she has no choice but to turn herself over to the Superhuman Containment Facility, or risk hurting everyone she loves.
Her normal life seems lost forever, until she is selected to be one of the first to receive the experimental cure to destroy her powers. In exchange, she must first complete one mission:
Infiltrate and capture one of the largest gangs of supers in the remains of once-great Rapid City. With the cure and all her future at stake, Scarlett is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring these criminals to justice so she can return to her family. But this gang and their leader, Rez, aren’t what everyone says, and Scarlett begins to question everything she was ever told about the SCF and the fire flowing in her veins. The cure is her only hope for returning her life to what it was before, but is that life worth returning to after all?