Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

13 Aug 2011

Title: Burn Bright
Series: Night Creatures #1
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Source: Borrowed (love my school library!)
Goodreads Synopsis: 
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.

My Thoughts:

I’ll admit, I only picked up this book from my library because of the cover. It just looked so eerie yet attention- grabbing at the same time and I just couldn’t resist borrowing it and leaving it on my bookshelf to gawk at. I didn’t have high expectations, but after reading it, i must say that it was a nice and refreshing read for me.

Retra has lived her entire life in a secluded environment, away from the rest of the community. Her actions and everyday life are heavily monitored; she is not being allowed to talk to anyone without permission and gets punished for almost everything she does. Her brother ran away the previous year to Ixion, and she is determined to find him. She is unlike the other runaways whose sole reason for escaping to Ixion, is to live a free life of eternal pleasure and partying. Once she arrives, she realises that there is more to Ixion than what appears on the surface and, are the Ripers, the guardians on the island, really protecting it? As she uncovers the secrets of Ixion and the mysterious guardians, she’ll be fighting for the survival of both herself and her friends.

The setting and world-building were incredibly imaginative; I can’t even start to describe how creative everything was.  The setting was completely original and unique and I was lost in the imaginary world created by the author. Ixion was truly an intoxicating world with its endless parties and everlasting pleasure. Sometimes, I really wish I was a character in the book, having the privilege of never ending partying and living life in the present. Marianne de Pierres is no doubt a master of world-building!
I like a bit of romance in every book I read, and there sure was romance in this book albeit a little…different. But I still enjoyed it. Initially, I rooted for Markes to end up with Retra, but unfortunately his character just wasn’t as fully developed as I’d liked, and his lack of appearance in the second half of the book lead me to eliminate him as a potential suitor. As for Lenoir, the head guardian, I’m still confused over what I think of him. On one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him and Retra and found their connection really sweet, but on the other hand, I have no idea whether he’s seriously interested in Retra or not. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book to find out!

I especially loved how the atmosphere created was dark, creepy yet captivating at the same time. It really suited the imaginary world of Ixion. The action scenes were well-written and kept me on the edge of my seat and the layers upon layers of mystery kept me turning page after page, impatient to read more. I also liked how nothing was held back, especially with certain scenes which were described in detail and I was able to conjure those images in my mind.

I guess the only problem for me was the ending. It was one of those unsatisfying endings that didn’t feel rushed, but was certainly abrupt. It just didn’t feel finished, like it ended halfway through a scene. Nevertheless, the ending left me wanting more and I’m anticipating the next instalment which will hopefully provide answers to the questions raised in Burn Bright.

Rating: 4.5 stars

"Ixion exists as an antidote to the rules and conventions of other places. We believe that indulging in pleasure will make better people. Self-denial and discipline and virtue are all myths invented to control you."

1 comment:

  1. She Known As Jess7 September 2012 at 18:50

    I loved this novel!! Cannot wait for Angel Aria's!! Ace Review, Loving the updated blog look!!


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