Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Burn Bright

Title: Burn Bright
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Series: Night Creatures #1
Publisher: Random House Australia
Published: March 1st 2011

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom. But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion? Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Retra is a well-behaved girl, trapped in her ways of obedience, passivity and powerlessness. She does not crave the attention of males like the other girls. She is not even allowed to speak to others. This is her life as a Seal, which is why she forces herself to escape to Ixion, a place which preaches pleasure without consequences. Though she doesn't seek the fun, she can't take her life any longer and is desperate to join her older brother - her other half. One night, she narrowly escapes onto a barge which only comes to the island twice a year. Unhappy children go to Ixion to be free from life's rules, but what happens when they're too old? Is it worth it after all?

Retra is immediately scrutinised when she lands on the barge. Too modest. Too serious. Stiffy is what the others call her. She knows she doesn't fit in and on Ixion, that's deadly. Retra quickly meets many people who later end up being quite important and/or close to her. I really liked the personalities of all of the characters. They are so out of this world and different from what you usually see! The brilliant thing about Burn Bright is that you are never certain about which side a character is on. Are they genuine? Are they an enemy? Marianne keeps us in suspense and uncertainty until the very end!

Slowly but surely, Retra becomes a fierce heroine - someone who is willing to stand up for what she believes in, a stark contrast to the person she was previously. Mature audiences are recommended, as there are descriptions of violent and sexual acts which may take some out of their comfort zones. I personally like the genuine "creep factor" the book has because it makes everything more powerful and frightening.

There is never a moment when you understand everything. Burn Bright is the most unique and jarringly confusing thing I have ever read, which is amplified by Retra's complete lack of knowledge too. Essentially this novel is about self-discovery, combined with some mystery and thriller. Romance is not a large element of this novel, but things are set in place for the sequel, Angel Arias, which I'm very excited to read since there are many unanswered questions. Who is her love interest? What will happen to her brother? What darkness is about to fall over Ixion? Marianne has set the bar high to continue the journey in this vivid and exciting new world. Everything is intriguing and begging to be explored further! Disturbing and chilling, this novel is not to be missed!


Find Marianne on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Burn Bright on Amazon, The Book DepositoryDymocks.

Angel Arias is released at the end of this year. Perhaps November? 
Another unique cover! :) Leave me your thoughts!

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