Series: The Night Creatures #1
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Source: Burn Bright Book Tour, hosted by Dani of Refracted Light Reviews
Tag Line: "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 the creatures of the dark."
Holy. Crap. This was seriously one of the trippiest books I have ever read! I'm not even sure what genre to classify this book in-- Paranormal, yes. Dystopian, kind of? And the story itself was... unreal. It was as though you are walking through some dark and really weird dream from beginning to end, where you aren't really sure what end is up or what could possibly happen next. The writing flowed together creating the oddity that is Ixion-- a world of nighttime pleasures and hedonistic revels. It was strange, it was bizarre, and it was thoroughly addicting.
So I received Burn Bright as an incredibly lucky participant in the Burn Bright book tour, being hosted by the lovely Dani from Refracted Light Reviews. Since this book is only published in Australia, I'm not sure I would have had much of a chance to get my hands on it otherwise, so I was super excited when it arrived for me in the mail!
Retra is the main character- a girl who comes from a very conservative society called the Seals. The Seals pride themselves on discipline and being quiet and reserved, but after Retra's older brother Joel does the unthinkable by running away to Ixion, world of pleasure and desire, Retra's father brings punishment down on Retra for her brother's disobedience. A warden comes to sew an obedience strip into Retra's leg, and her family is constantly watched. By some miracle, Retra finds a way to escape, and the story takes off just as Retra climbs onto the barge that will take her and other reckless youth to Ixion-- where Retra is determined to find Joel once again.
Ixion-- how to even explain this place? It was super creepy but also really... alluring. It had the strangest juxtaposition of churches and night clubs, and everything is weirdly perverted and turned upside down. You can only stay in Ixion if you're young, and no one really knows what happens to you when you pass a certain age. In this world, Retra has to somehow find her brother but also learn to fit into a new society governed by pleasure and pain. And then, of course, there are the Night Creatures that will carry you away if you step of the well-lit paths into the dark...
So this book... yeah. I'm going to be perfectly honest and say that I did have some issues with it. In fact, based on the points I usually use to rate a book, I'm surprised I liked this one as much as I did-- the main character wasn't terribly memorable, the other character development wasn't all there, the story line got to be rather wishy-washy and confusing for me, and the writing wasn't always as descriptive as I thought it could have been. BUT for whatever reason, I was so thoroughly wrapped up in this book that its less-than-perfect aspects just didn't really bother me. And by the end, I just couldn't help but love it, flaws and all.
Also-- was it just me, or was this book like, border-line kinky? (Yes, kinky lol-- pretty sure that's the first time I've used that word in a book review!) I mean it was pretty subtle since it's YA, but there were points in the book (Umm... Retra's "Enlightenment" anyone?!) where I was just like-- are they talking about what I think they're talking about? Hmm... maybe I just have a dirty mind haha ;) Not to mention, some of the descriptions, even when they weren't overtly sexual-- well, they were still pretty damn sexual. I think that this fit in with the whole hedonistic, crazy world of Ixion which exists solely for the pleasures of its citizens, but it definitely pushed the boundaries of what I'm used to reading in YA books...
All in all, I found Burn Bright to be completely intoxicating. And this was despite the fact that the writing could have been better and there were some major flaws to the story. Heck, a lot of it didn't even completely make sense to me, but gosh darn it, there was **something** about this book that just made it such a guilty pleasure! I guess you'll just have to read it for yourselves to see what it is about Burn Bright that has me DYING to get my hands on the next in this series!
This has got to be one of the most incredible and kick-ass book covers I have ever seen. I want a poster of it, no joke. Where to start? The artwork is insane. The image of the girl's face is stunning, and the details just make me want to stare at this cover for hours on end. Like the story, it has a dark appeal, and I think that the dripping paint and splatters that form the model's dress are totally gorgeous. Argh, I absolutely adore it! And it fits the story so well.
The cover for Burn Bright definitely earns a spot on my Top 10 YA Book Covers. Love, love, LOVE IT!!!
~Find it-- if you can!~