Friday, April 1, 2011

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:  Random House Australia
Publication Date: 1st March 2011
ISBN: 9781864719888
Stand alone or series: First in the Night Creatures Series
Pages: 316 pages
Book Received from: Random House Australia (Thanks Marianne)
First Lines: Retra pressed her fingers to her thigh.  The intense pain from her obedience strip had receded to a steady throb and nausea

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'd read one of Marianne de Pierres other books called Sharp Shooter and really enjoyed it so when I heard that she was publishing a Young Adult novel called Burn Bright, I was over the moon!  The cover is spectacular and I thought it was fantastic she was Aussie too.

Retra/Naif the main character, is a teenage girl living in a sealed community where affection is a sin, rules and punishments are harsh and the knowledge they are given is limited. When her brother Joel escapes to Ixion, island of evernight, music, laughter and freedom, Retra and her parents are left to suffer the consequences of Joel's actions. Two years later she follows in his footsteps, not for the partying but to find Joel.

Retra/Naif is quite a naive character and it is obvious to those who travel to Ixion as well as those inhabiting, which is dangerous.  Luckily for her she has a few on the inside to help her blend in.  I really warmed to Retra.  She's completely out of her comfort zone, and breaking every rule she has ever known and introduced to the life of drugs, sex and partying.  She has to grow up real quick.

I found the world building in Burn Bright brilliant. The world of Ixion is a mysterious, dark and beautiful place to be.  The mix of parties, well lit paths and colourful characters;  add in the dangers of straying from paths, the mysterious Ripers and the few but absolute rules is what breathes life into this story. 


Burn Bright is original, engaging and well written story.  If your looking for a YA story with a very different kind of world that is both exciting and disturbing this ones for you.

Burn bright, baby bats!

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