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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: Burn Bright

Author: Marianne de Pierres
Series: The Night Creatures #1
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Pages: 316
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."
Summary: 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?

LC's Take:

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!

~Cover Talk~

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!!!

LC's rating:
This book was completely addicting. Strange, bizarre, and not even logical-- but still 100% addicting. I can't even pinpoint what it was about it, but Burn Bright was freaking AWESOME. If you have a way of getting your hands on it, I highly recommend checking it out!

~Find it-- if you can!~




  1. I've been wanting to read this book for a while now, but haven't gotten the change since, like you said, it's not available where I am. I'm glad that this book is addicting. It's always nice when there is a book that is addicting and good despite the flaws in it. This book looks really unique and good!

  2. Fantastic review! I think you really summed up Burn Bright perfectly. So glad you liked it :)

  3. This is a phenomenal review and now, I cannot wait for this book.! Intoxicating you say??? And... I love strange and bisarre hehe!! :)

  4. I love, love, love this review of Burn Bright. You're right, it was flawed, but there's just SOMETHING about it that sucks you right in. So glad you enjoyed it!

    P.S. - good source for Aussie only books:

    1. Thank you again Dani, for sharing the book :) I am going to have to see if I can find it on that site, since I'd really love to have it permanently on my bookshelf! ;)

  5. Wow o.O The synopsis alone is trippy! It does sound really intriguing and I really want to read it now. Great review, Lea! :-)

    -Katie @ BlookGirl

  6. The cover is "strange" and "bizarre" to me but I can't take my eyes off it. It's interesting.

    I'll be looking for this on the shelves now. I love your review!

  7. Thanks for commenting on my blog, Lea! I'm glad you are back. Where were you? I was wondering and I missed your vlogs. As for this book, I really need to read it. Glad you liked it because that's a good sign for me. :)


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