Author: Marianne de Pierres
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: March 1, 2011
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?
My Thoughts: In Burn Bright, seventeen-year-old Retra escapes from her strict and isolated life in Seal South, an area walled off from the already enclosed land called Grave, to Ixion. Ixion is an island with never-ending night known for it's pleasure. It's where young people go to run away from rules and to enjoy freedom. The freedom to have fun and party all the time. Retra isn't looking for pleasure though. Her sole purpose in going there is to find her older brother Joel, who left to Ixion two years ago. But before she starts her search, she quickly learns that the island is a much darker and dangerous place than she could have imagined. If Retra wants any hope in finding her brother, she has to survive Ixion first.
What I liked about Burn Bright was Retra's character. Even though Retra was timid and naive when she arrived in Ixion, she wasn't completely helpless. She had a determination that came out when it was really needed. It gave her the strength to survive Ixion and to eventually overcome some of the fears caused by the sheltered life she grew up in. I found her development believable, and I was glad there wasn't anything I disliked about her. Although I thought Retra was a good character, Rollo and Suki were my favorites. I felt like they, especially Rollo, stood out among the rest of the characters. Suki was a strong fighter, and Rollo knew a whole lot about the secrets in Grave and Ixion than he first let on. Both were pretty funny and made great friends, and I liked how they did what they could to try and help Retra.
Some of the relationships Retra had with other characters, though, took some time for me to accept. I didn't get why she was drawn to Markes, a guy she met on the barge to Ixion, other than the fact that he was nice and good-looking. Another was the connection she felt with Ixion's Guardian leader Lenoir. They both seemed drawn to each other, and I couldn't figure out why. Lenoir also tended to give Retra puzzling information about Ixion, and he was a complete mystery. I still don't know what he is exactly and what he's trying to accomplish in Ixion.
Which brings me to the world in Burn Bright. Retra was lost in Ixion in the beginning, and I have to say that I was just as lost as her. Probably even more. It was strange and confusing to understand at times, especially the way things were done and the certain words used in Ixion. There were a lot of times where Retra asked questions, and she either didn't get answers or the answers were too vague for me to wrap my head around. Like when Retra had Confession. The confession Retra went through was not anything like the confession I know. It took me awhile to understand the purpose, which might have been because one of the Guardians (or Ripers) messed up Retra's first confession experience. I wish I had just went with it like Retra seemed to do. Maybe then I wouldn't have felt like I was missing details. By the end, however, I felt like I understood things that I was left wondering about throughout the book. Not everything was entirely clear though. I think the reason might be because it's a planned trilogy. I'm sure the next books will have more answers.
Other than the confusion I felt, I liked Burn Bright overall. It was definitely a unique story, and I thought it was well-written. Hopefully I get the chance to read the rest of the trilogy because the ending left me wanting to know more about that world and what happens next with Retra and the rest of the characters.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Thanks to Missie @ The Unread Reader for Go Aussie Book Tours!