Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: Burn Bright by Marianne De Pierres

Burn Bright by Marianne De Pierres

Series: Night Creatures (#1) 
Pages: 316 
Publisher: Random House Australia 
Published: March 1st, 2011 
IBSN: 9781864719888

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?

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Burn Bright, contrary to its title, was extremely dark. In the dangerous world of Ixion, where everyone is solely in the pursuit of pleasure, Retra is trying to find her brother who ran away from their strict home. But Retra finds much more than her brother: friendship, danger, mystery.

Burn Bright is Marianne De Pierres' first book for teens, and the first book in the Night Creatures series. The book definitely had an almost adult vibe to it, the only thing convincing me that it's YA being the teenaged characters.

The world-building was extraordinary, Ixion completely intoxicating. I felt like I was in their world with the characters, on the edge of my seat as they traversed the eerie world.

Retra was definitely a memorable character who stood out from her backdrop. She was totally unlike anyone else in Ixion: innocent, modest, not in Ixion for pleasure but to find someone. Her personality juxtaposed those around her, helping to show us more of the subtle differences between Ixion and Retra's old home.

The writing style was vivid, every description giving me a clear image in my head of what was going on.

The plot was entirely unpredictable. I never could see what was coming next. But set in a place like Ixion, I wouldn't expect to have an inkling of what's around the corner. I was taken aback by the ending, if a little peeved at another cliff-hanger.

I give Burn Bright a 4 out of 5, and recommend it to anyone who's looking for something different.


I read this book for the Aussie YA Reading Challenge.