Sunday, December 25, 2011

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope everything is going well for you. May 2012 bring good tidings and even better books for all of us.

Title: Burn Bright
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Pages: 316 pages (paperback)

Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

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?

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.


After her brother's escape from their strict home to Ixion, the land of never-sleep and ever-night, Retra and her family are assigned a warden and watched 24/7. After so long without her brother, the one person who made her life in the Seal South bearable, she decides to follow him to Ixion and convince him to come with her--not back to their home, but somewhere else. The flashing lights, parties, and people she encounters on Ixion threaten to distract her. Who are the Ripers, and what is the secret behind Ixion that they're trying to keep hidden?

Two days was all it took me to finish Burn Bright after pining after it for close to a year. The mix of a great main character in quiet Retra, just enough details dropped in to keep the reader interested, just enough details left out to keep the reader going, and a dystopian world all its own kept me hooked and up later than I should have been just so I could finish reading. Maybe it helped a little bit to be thrown in and forced to pay attention so I wouldn't miss anything.

Yes, another dystopian. I know, I know, there are a million dystopian novels and series out there right now and while some are good, most aren't worth the paper they're printed on or their large advances. This novel right here is one of the good ones.  I'm not big on the dystopian trend and never have been, so I hope it means something when I say it. Ixion is a world to remember and while a smart reader may pick up the hints and figure out the big secret before it's revealed, it remains shocking nonetheless.

While I did love Burn Bright, it still had its issues. The explanation as to why minor antagonist character Cal was the way she was didn't work for me; I still felt she was a cardboard character that could have been written better. The cycles of Retra asking people something/other characters infodumping on her and someone asking Retra what happened to her/she tells them/the other character is shocked got old quickly. As beautiful as the world of Ixion sounded and as lush as the descriptions were, I had a lot of trouble coming up with a mental visual of Ixion and all its churches and clubs.

This may be the one time I wish I lived in Australia. Though the thought of living there makes me think OH MY GOD GIANT EFFING SPIDERS ARACHNOPHOBIA IN OVERDRIVE or something along those lines, it would mean I could have easier access to a copy of Angel Arias, the second book of this trilogy. If only I had the money to order it right now... Time to start saving, I think.

I really want to see this published around the world so more readers can enjoy it, so everyone who wants to see it brought to their country should:
4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Entwined by Heather Dixon