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Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

The adrenaline rush that automatically comes along with reading this book left me wide awake last night.

Stare intently at the book cover and you'll have an idea of what to expect when you read Burn Bright. It's unique, and unusual, if I may say so. The story is beautiful from cover to finish!

Title: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
Pages: 303
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Published by: Random House Australia
Source: Publisher (thanks Random House AU!)
Buy: Book Depository | Random House Australia

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?
Unsure as I was, even skeptical you can probably say, but like the powerful allure that the island of Ixion possesses, I was drawn to this book solely by its strange premise and uniqueness.

Retra is different. She's a seal and parties and having fun are the last thing on her mind. She's as closed off as her community was, ignorant and naive of a lot of things. All she wanted was to find her older brother, Joel, and she'll do whatever it takes to see him again. Even going to Ixion, where pleasure is life. How will she fit in?

I will admit that I was as lost as Retra was during the first few pages of the book. I struggled taking in all of Ixion, but I find it strangely alluring and fascinating. From the re-birth, dancing naked and drinking Lava, the kar, the glaring lights and thumping music, the clubs, the well lit paths, the lesser known dark streets, the churches, the revelry in all things pleasurable, even the Ripers. Ixion is a place of freedom, no restrictions, no rules. It's a whole new world that terrified Retra, such a stark contrast compared the life she'd lived. Despite her struggles and reluctance to let go of her closed off, sheltered, prude self, Retra had made friends, and whether she liked it or not, she was playing a big part in Ixion's future.

But what really makes Ixion a place teenagers want to live in? You get to live the way you want, party all you like, but what happens afterwards? When you Burn Bright, when you have too much fun, when you become too old to stay, can you say that those few short years were worth it? Where will you go?

Retra and her friends began to question the things that are happening in Ixion. Are the Ripers really their protectors or are they the enemy? And what really happens to those going through withdrawal? The presence of these mysterious night creatures creates a dreadful environment that sets the whole stage for the adrenaline rush the readers will feel once they are fully immersed into the world of Ixion.

Where there is beauty, there will always be something vile. Where there is good there will always be evil. What Retra and her friends found out is that Ixion isn't all glittery and pretty, that there is a presence of something vile and horrible that will lead them to question if they really did found freedom from the worlds they left behind.

Retra's journey into self-discovery, her breaking free of the restrictions that chained her, the countless rules imposed to her that made her such a boring person was an enchanting read. The shy girl from the Seal community, slowly but surely, transformed into the person she really wants to be. One who will do anything to protect those she loves. If I may use the title of the book, Naif (her new name) Burned brightly more than anyone else in Ixion.

But Burn Bright is not just about Naif. It's a story composed with diverse strong characters that supports Retra in her journey to become Naif. Suki is a charming girl who speaks her mind. Rollo is an uncanny ally, and both characters alongside a few others like Kero and Krista Belle helped Retra shaped her character, helped her to be brave and bring out that something inside of her waiting to break free.

It's a bit unusual how Lenoir seem to not have as much exposure as the rest of the characters are, even compared to Markes who Retra seems to be always chasing after, but what little information has been revealed of the Leader of the Ripers still made him such an integral part of the story. He does not need to be described and written about using too many words but his character is there, solid and established. Learning more about Lenoir is terrifying. Of all of the characters, Lenoir is the only one I can't really figure out. Is he a foe or a friend? What are really his intentions? Despite all the questions still unanswered, Lenoir is the character I am most looking forward to discovering more. I'm sure we can see more of him in Angel Arias.

Marianne de Pierres, I now learned, is a master of world building and a brilliant writer, for she created such a seductive world, crafting something so attractive yet so very frightening. The idea that pleasure comes with such a hefty and deadly price is what made my skin crawl throughout the book. There's danger lurking at every wrong turn, literally. Burn Bright explores the deepest fears and desires of human beings, turning it into a dark, haunting unforgettable read that will stay with you for a while.

One thing is for sure though. I am terribly afraid of the dark right now.

Highly imaginative, heart stopping and a suspense filled read! Definitely 5 star worthy! I can't wait to read Angel Arias!

Add this in your reading list, dear readers, because Burn Bright gets my vote for the best 2011 read so far. If this releases worldwide, it's going to be a big hit!

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
Simply stunning! Where can you find a cover as unique, as vibrant and colorful as this? The cover just speaks to you.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. This sounds amazing! I wonder if/when it is going to be published in the U.S. Maybe I will just have to order it from the book depository :)

    Thanks for the review

    That Bookish Girl

  2. Apparently, I need this one... and I need it now! I love rich world-building and the plot sounds so intriguing. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Fantastic review, Kai!! I LOVED this, you nailed everything about it, it's such a unique, enthralling ride. Marianne has definitely bought something new to the YA scene. I'm so happy we don't have to wait long for Angel Arias!

  4. Awesome review Kai!! I'm loving how you poured out your heart in this review. :) I'm really looking forward to reading this. See you soon next month!

  5. Great review, Kai! This looks absolutely amazing! :D And the cover is gorgeous. The story seems so intriguing and captivating, I do hope that I get to read this soon.


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