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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

Title: Burn Bright
Author: Marianne de Pierres

Release Date: 1st March 2011

My Rating: 4/5

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 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.

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

In A Nutshell:
While searching for her brother in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place, Retra discovers there is more to the party island of Ixion, than meets the eye. A unique sci-fi/dystopian world for ages 15+ due to mature content.

My Review:
When I first heard of
Burn Bright, I hadn’t planned on reading it, thinking it didn’t really sound like my kind of book. But, I read a raving review of it over at inkcrush so I thought maybe I would give it a go. I still wasn't 100% sure it was my thing by the time I was about a third of the way in (mainly due to certain scenes) but it was an intriguing world and I was interested in finding out how the story would continue to unfold, so I continued and soon after became completely hooked. I'm so glad I decided to read outside my comfort zone and I mean really, has Nomes ever been wrong about a book before?!

Ixion is a unique place, made for those who make the journey there and want to experience pleasure, decadence, indulgence and gratification, a far cry from the strict places Retra and others have come from. It is a place where your waking hours are spent in nightclubs and having a good time while unseen ‘Uthers’ cook, clean and provide you with clothes at the churches where you go to sleep before you burn out. But underneath the fun image it portrays, there is a darker, creepier underbelly to the fun-filled island, where dangerous creatures lurk beyond the light of the paths.

Imagine a place where there are no Elders. No rules. No punishment. Only music and laughter and freedom. That's Ixion, Ret. That's me.

Retra is an interesting character and one I grew to like. She is mistaken for a weakling but she has actually already battled the odds before she has even made it to Ixion. She faces incredible pain and shows tremendous courage. After arriving on Ixion, she tries to hide the fact that she is different, that she doesn’t come to Ixion seeking fun and good times. What we discover throughout the book is that yes, she may be different in her reason for being on Ixion, but she is also different in other ways; she stands up for others, her courage and bravery outweigh the restrictions she still carries from her upbringing, and she begins to sticks to her own morels, not those of the Elder’s on Grave (Retra’s home), and not those of the Ripers who guard Ixion. Because of this, she sees what has been hiding beneath the surface of Ixion; the Ripers are keeping secrets too, and all is not fun and games.

I had mixed opinions on the other characters of Burn Bright. I instantly liked Retra’s new friend Suki, and Rollo and Krista-belle quickly grew on me. They stick by each other and care what happens to one another while still having fun. On the other side of things, I really didn’t feel a connection with Markes or Joel. I didn’t find them particularly endearing which is unfortunate because I am pretty sure I am supposed to like them. And I am still undecided about Lenoir, the Riper in charge. I found him a bit creepy and I’m not sure what to make of the connection he has with Retra. Let’s hope more will be revealed about him in Angel Arias.

I think the main problem I had with the story was that I was uncomfortable reading the parts where the abuse at the hands of Brand, a Riper, appeared. It irked me. While not overly descriptive, it was implied all the same. However, even though I didn’t like it, it was relevant to the storyline, and the actions and motivations of Retra. Brand really gets off on the pain she inflicts and I find it interesting that a villain with such a persona is female, it’s uncommon. Her character is very well written and somewhat unsettling.

In reference to Marianne de Pierres’s writing style, I think Nomes said it best in her review:

She doesn't patronise her readers with an overabundance of explanations or bore us with oodles of backstory: she just throws us into the story along with Retra. Not everything instantly makes sense or is explained away and I think this is a strength ~ it truly made me feel as if I was submerged 100% into the story along with Retra.

Excerpt from Nomes’ review of Burn Bright. Read more of her fantastic review at her blog inkcrush.

I’m really looking forward to
Angel Arias which will be released in Australia in November. And how awesome do the covers look next to each other?! I’m interested to see where the story will go and to find out why Modai reacted the way he did when he heard of Leyste’s death. Burn Bright is intriguing to say the least. Recommended for ages 15+

Check out the Burn Bright website for some very cool extras such as info on the clubs, churches, gangs and creatures. Plus, you can download the song used in the book trailer and find bookmarks and wallpapers.

Find Burn Bright on Goodreads

Second Opinions

The Midnight Garden
Cotton Candy Reviews


  1. Awesome review Jess. I am having so much trouble trying to write mine for this because I absolutely loved it with all it's uniqueness.

    I agree about Markes. I don't know what to think of him yet. I feel there wasn't enough of him to leave any impression on us if you know what I mean. Hopefully he will be in it more next book. And Lenior I really liked. He is interesting...

  2. Thanks Nic! I really struggled with it. I'm still not really happy with it but I've been trying to write it for almost a week now so I just decided to leave it.

    I'm still undecided on Lenoir. It all rests on what happens in book 2 :)

  3. It definitely was an interesting book. great review. I like how you linked it up to other peoples reviews so I can see what they think too.

  4. jess ~ this review really does rock <3

    i didnt really give much of a synopsis in mine b/c the whole thing felt to overwhelming to describe, you kind of have to experience it for yourself

    and SO GLAD (phew) that you liked it in the end :) we will have to read #2 together when it comes out :)

  5. You're right. It is uncommon to read about a female villain who seems so evil! That has me intrigued though I have no doubt it'd also be quite disturbing, as you mentioned.

    Excellent review, Jess. I have to admit to having the same reservations about the book but since reading a few glowing reviews, I'm now looking for to it.

  6. Gosh, I so want to read this!! My friend says its awesome, hoping that I'll be able to see for myself soon, and the cover is just beautiful :)


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