Celia Powell's Reviews > Burn Bright

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
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Jun 14, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011-books, youngadult, fantasy, sci-fi, australian-author
Read in June, 2011

Retra follows in the footsteps of her brother Joel, and runs away from her repressive town to Ixion, an island which revolves around the pursuit of pleasure. Ixion is kind of a goth nightclub fantasy - it's always night, you don't need to sleep all that often, there's free drugs of all varieties to take before you go and dance in one of the multiple clubs, and when you do need to rest (your 'petit nuit'), you do so in a church. That has a locker that refills itself with gorgeous clothes for you to wear. It's very much a goth teenager's wish fulfilment. I think that in future books (is this a duology? a trilogy? I'm not sure) there will be some reasonable explanation as to why all this effort is gone into to creating an island for drugged out teenagers to have a good time. I hope so, anyway.

Anyway, Retra heads off to the isle of eternal pleasure, finds it all terribly shocking (because she has been raised in a particularly restrictive society, unlike many of the other teenagers flocking to Ixion), and struggles to adjust while searching for her brother.

While this starts off as an apparent fantasy, it becomes clear that the reason for the perpetual night on Ixion is a planatery phenomenon, and I expect that many of the other fantastical elements in the story may be revealed to be science fictional. Which would make the story more interesting, I think. There's just too little revealed in Burn Bright to make it successful, I think - while I'm happy to have unanswered questions to be revealed in the next book, the unanswered question for me in Burn Bright was, "Well, what is the point of all this?" And that's too broad a question for the book to be satisfying.
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