Burn Bright is a colorful, creepy and intense Dystopian/Fantasy that slowly unravels its secrets to a pulsating finale that will leave you desperate f...moreBurn Bright is a colorful, creepy and intense Dystopian/Fantasy that slowly unravels its secrets to a pulsating finale that will leave you desperate for more.
Retra is a beautiful complex character who ends up being much more then she initially seems. Having come from such an isolated place, with a very narrow view of the outside world, Retra is very reserved and naive when she first reaches Ixion. Making friends and adapting to the chaotic lifestyle is extremely hard for her. Yet in spite of all that she carries with her a quiet strength, curious mind and fierce loyalty
I really enjoyed the strong friendship that sprang up between Retra, Suki and Rollo. They're all so vastly different from each other. Suki is from a female warrior tribe and thinks little of men. Rollo, being the son of a council member, is observant and deeply drawn to the how and why of everything going on in Ixion. It was nice to see how the trio used each others strengths to help them deal with their new surroundings. They also continually look out for, listen and learn from each other which really helped all of them navigate the different situations they're thrown into.
Retra finds herself drawn to two mysterious men while searching for her brother. First there's Markes, the quiet musician that all the woman in Ixion throw themselves at. He seems to harbor a secret but keeps most people including Retra at a distance. Lenoir is the powerful leader of the Ripers, who are charged with watching over the youths that come to Ixion. Lenoir is dangerous, intense but deeply compassionate toward the youths specifically Retra, even risking his position as leader in order to save her. I found Lenoir highly irresistible even though its never really clear if he can be trusted. I'm also deeply intrigued by Markes but since he pops in and out of the story at random, its hard to really form a solid opinion of him.
I love how dark and gray this novel is, not in color but in tone. Author Marianne de Pierres allows all of her characters to be more then just one dimensional archetypes. They all have their own agendas and believe that whatever they are doing is for the betterment of Ixion. There are also quite a few suggestive scenes throughout the book. Since Ixion is a place for young people to party, experiment and stay up all night, you can imagine that things can get a bit wild. The thing I want to make perfectly clear though, is that no scene in the book is used for shock value. All of the more intensely mature scenes serve a purpose and one in particular is very integral to the plot.
I usually can't stand cliffhanger endings and Burn Bright has a HUGE one, but the story and world of Ixion was just so imaginative that I'm just going to let it slide. Beside it made me absolutely desperate to find out what happens next and that's a good thing. I'm not sure how I'm going to get a copy of the next book Angel Arias since its only coming out in Australia but I'm going to have to figure it! I highly recommend Burn Bright to older teens and any fan of YA Dystopian or Fantasy.(less)
Cascade is a wonderful continuation to a historical adventure series filled with action, romance and a touch of danger. Starting right where Waterfall...moreCascade is a wonderful continuation to a historical adventure series filled with action, romance and a touch of danger. Starting right where Waterfall left off, I was once again sucked back into the story but this time we didn't just get Lia alongside Gabi, but their mother as well.
Though its been a month since they saw each other last, Marcello and Gabi's relationship hasn't missed a beat. I love how even in the middle of a full on war, nothing can keep these two apart. Talking about the war, the action and intensity in this novel is much darker then in Waterfall. You really feel that all the characters lives are in danger and that anything could happen.
Gabi is still willing to do anything to keep the people she loves safe, which eventually lands her in a terrible situation. I love how even in her bleakest moments Gabi never lets her bravery or hope die. She is such a wonderful believable character.
The inclusion of the mysterious Lord Greco had me dying to find out more about him and where his loyalties lie. The entire plot line including Lord Greco was wonderfully written, with loads of twist and turns. I can't wait to see how and when he pops back into the series. Lets just say, he has me very intrigued!
While I loved that we got to see more of Lia and Luca (I seriously love him), I was a bit bummed that the novel wasn't actually told from Lia's POV. I'm not sure why this bothered me since it wasn't clear that it was ever going to be, I just wanted to know more about her. I still feel like she's a bit of a mystery to me and out of all the main characters, she's the least developed.
I was pretty shocked by something that happens right at the very end and I'm curious to see what, if any consequences they'll be because of it. Lisa T. Bergren had definitely written an addictive series and I can't wait to read Torrent to find out how its all going to end. If you loved Watefall then you're sure to enjoy Cascade!(less)
Waterfall has everything one could possibly want out of a novel, it literally sweep me off my feet. With time travel, history, romance, action, strong...moreWaterfall has everything one could possibly want out of a novel, it literally sweep me off my feet. With time travel, history, romance, action, strong dashing men & brave young women, there isn't anything I didn't love about this novel.
Gabi is a confident and capable young heroine who after being thrown into fourteenth century Italy, uses her historical knowledge, smarts and quick thinking to adapts to her surroundings. She's also fearlessly determined to find her missing sister, who she believes might have travel back with her. Not one to seat back and wait for others to aid her, she's often the one helping people through difficult situations.
Gabi's attraction to Marcello, a young knight, really pulled me into the story since its development is very well paced and never felt to rushed or to intense. Marcello is of course handsome & charming but its his admiration and respect for Gabi that really melted my heart. Despite the fact that his instincts tell him that women shouldn't be doing or acting the way Gabi does he never discourages her from staying true to herself and is more then impressed with her toughness. Marcello's best friend Luca won me over for the same reasons, but also has spunk of his own. He's more easy going then his friend and has the luxury of being able to flirt openly with Gabi, something that she both hates & finds amusing.
Lisa Bergren clearly did her research when it comes to fourteenth century Italy, as every page made me feel as though I was right there living within the walls of the Forelli castle or being chased down by knights on horseback. The smallest details such as the way people bathed or ate their meals added so much realism to the story. Your never overwhelmed by to many historical facts as the blend effortlessly into the story, much like the description of the vast landscapes and cities.
I found the beginning to be a bit slow since the story doesn't really pick up until after Gabi is sent back in time, but once there it doesn't really let up. Something is always happening, whether its knights fighting to the death, women being chased on horseback or fancy banquets inside the castle's great hall, the novel steadily moves along making it impossible to put down.
There are a few scenes that stretch believability, like Gabi's ability to wield a giant, iron sword because she took fencing or how easily she switches off talking like a teen from the 21st century. However none of these things really bothered me since I was deeply engrossed in the incredible characters and story.
Although the ending of the novel might be easy to predict, I didn't feel that it took anything away from the story since getting to the end was filled with so many twists & turns. Also the constant push & pull that Gabi felt to either stay or go was really well balanced, I struggled right along with her on what she should do. Thankfully its also doesn't end on a cliffhanger, which is always nice in my book and yet sets the stage for what's to come.
Waterfall is classified as Christian young adult fiction but I highly recommended the novel to any fan of fantasy, romance or historical fiction as the novel easily blends all three genres. Gabi is a mature, confidant young woman who will appeal to adults as well as teens. Also besides for a few scenes where Gabi wonders if God is the one who sent her back to the past and praying amongst the knights, religion is never really discussed. Please don't let either label effect your decision to read Waterfall, as its a beautifully written historical adventure, with an intelligent and strong young heroine. (less)