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Obscura Burning

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  40 reviews
2nd Edition

Finalist in the teen/YA category of the 2017 Bisexual Book Awards

The fate of Kyle Wolfe’s friends—and the world—rests in his hands.

Kyle Wolfe’s world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks before graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny wi
Kindle Edition, 233 pages
Published November 10th 2016 by Harmony Ink Press (first published December 7th 2012)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
5 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*

This book. Was. FANTASTIC. I didn't mean to read it all in one night, but that's what ended up happening, exhaustion be damned. It was one those books that, from the very first page, I loved and just knew was going to blow me away. It had such an interesting premise, the mood was bleak and dark, the writing was not fanciful yet somehow still beautiful, the characters were imperfect and sufferin
Justin Lamb
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really? There is seriously no word in existence that can describe this book! It was just... wow! Fantastic! Seriously though, it was a extremely well written book! Page after page after page... Beauty!

It started off a little rough, for me that is. Things were just a little too abstract for my mind to grasp, but part of me liked that. However, it took me some time to realize that I did like it, and when I did, I swear to God my life changed. This book does the perfect job of balancing love, frie
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science fiction has never been my thing and I'm far too long in the tooth to be reading Young Adult novels, but there is something about Suzanne Van Rooyen.

The review system at Amazon is so flawed that if you're searching for good writing, to find some, you have to be lucky and by interviewing Suzanne back in June last year on The Wizard's Cauldron, I felt as if I had landed the forecast in the Derby.

An MA in Music, a member of YAtopia, a thinker, an innov
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This and more reviews at:

Obscura Burning is both moving and intellectually stimulating. A fantastic, thought-provoking and mind-boggling story, executed with skill and honesty! Suzanne Van Rooyen swiftly guides the reader through the fractured narrative of her book, gradually building up tension and suspense to a dizzying crescendo ending. An unforgettable ending that will leave you breathless and thinking about it - examining all the possible explanations and trying to understand wh
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2018
This was one hell of a mindfuck. Compelling, unique, with realistically flawed characters, intriguing imagery, and beautifully evocative writing. While I did kind of see the big twist coming, that didn't lessen it's WTF impact. Weird, awesome, and deliciously twisted. ...more
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
I was asked by the author to read and review this book. My rating falls somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars.

Obscura Burning by Suzanna van Rooyen follows Kyle as he tries to get over his best friend's death. Question is, which best friend? There's Daniel who may be more than just a friend. There is Shira, who also may be more than just a friend. There was a big fire where maybe one of them died, and this planet/astral body named Obscura that seems to be putting everything in whack, including the t
Jamie Deacon
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is without doubt one of the most original novels I’ve come across in a while. It’s a story about a mysterious planet that drifts into our solar system to play havoc with time itself, and one boy’s struggle to cope when he is plunged into a world of multiple realities. Admittedly, readers have their hands full with regard to remembering the details of each reality—who the hero’s friends are, whether his parents are together or divorcing etc… Yet, the author’s way of beginning each chapter wi ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri by: YA LGBT Books
Review of Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen
5 stars

“Obscura Burning” takes a rather unique approach to Apocalypse, and I think that a situation like this would actually be worse than living with the imminent threat of say, asteroid impact, Planet X, meteor crash, or nuclear holocaust. The “new” planet Obscura (newly arrived in our solar system between Earth and Mars, aligned with the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, interferer with satellite transmission and radio waves) is there for a reaso
Masquerade Crew
Reviewer: Walki

5.0 on the Masq Scale

Since the day the planet Obscura appeared in the sky, Kyle has been shifting between realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is in a wheelchair, their friend Shira is dead, and Mya is a bitch. In the other, Shira is alive and they're friends with benefits, while Danny is dead, and Mya is a friend. In this second reality, Kyle's body is decorated with scars he collected in the fire where Danny died. It is increasingly difficult for fire-loving Kyle to keep track
Joy D. Fanning
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*
As a huge science fiction fan I was eager to read this book. This book turned out to be more than just a mere science fiction novel. With Kyle going between realities you get caught up in why this is happening to him, a question he himself is trying to figure out. The ending of this book is just killer. I mean-amazing!! Didn't see it coming at all!

Besides having multiple realities, which is just plain awesome, this book challenges
Sara Hubbard
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
This book was unlike any other YA book I've read. The entire time I read it I was thinking about it as a film and how suited it would be as a cult/Indie classic. It was just so damn original. The main relationship was M/M which isn't my preference in a book, but I didn't mind it in the slightest and I was really rooting for them to make it. The writing was wonderful and engaging and the characters had depth and were very likeable, even Maya, who was blunt and awful at times. If I were to say one ...more
Silver Petticoat
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obscura Burning is not your typical YA Science Fiction novel. With themes of physical abuse, alcoholism, homosexuality, death, coming of age, bullying, etc…it is one heavy book. The science fiction aspect of the story becomes the backdrop in what really is a story about issues (all of which are challenges teenagers face today). What’s clever is that Suzanne Van Rooyen has provided an interesting, thought-provoking insight into teenage (even universal) problems with an unforgettable setting and p ...more
Eliot Baker
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The exquisitely written and deftly plotted Obscura Burning, by Suzanne Van Rooyen, delivers readers into that dreamlike state immediately proceeding shattering emotional trauma; the kind that forces you to pick up the event’s fragments and piece them together with a sense of shutter-eyed fascination over “What really happened?” tempered with “Do I really want to know?” I met the author at a book reading at FinnCon 2014 in Finland and I’m so glad I did, otherwise I’d have missed buying her exquis ...more
Tiffa (The Readers Lair)
Obscura Burning is a really fantastic and incredibly interesting novel that will have any sci-fi lover hooked from the first few chapters. Suzanne van Rooyen created a great, wonderful and unique story line that kept me constantly turning the pages – I just didn’t want to put it down! There are so many twists and turns throughout Obscura Burning, which were amazing – and I loved how real the whole thing seemed – even though it was sci-fi! The smallest of decisions could set off a completely diff ...more
T.L. Bodine
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new planet, Obscura, has appeared in the solar system, and its presence is messing with radio signals -- and possibly time itself. After cataclysmic fire, Kyle Wolfe becomes unstuck in time, drifting between two worlds. In both, Kyle's life is slowly beginning to pull apart, and in order to bring himself some peace, he needs to work out exactly what happened -- and maybe find a way to enter another reality, one where he can still save his friends (and himself).

One of the things that attracted
Eclipse Reviews
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kyle wakes up in two different worlds each time he falls asleep. In one world his boyfriend Danny died in a fire of which he can't remember the details. In this world Shira their best friend survived the fire. Kyle is burned and scarred in this world and struggles to continue on.   In the other world Shira died and Danny ended up in a wheel chair. This version of Kyle survived untouched, or so he thinks. Strange things happen between both worlds and Kyle soon figures out that he is dying because ...more
Leanne Crabtree
3.5 stars.

I love the cover of this. It's very sci-fi-y and drew my attention straight away before I even read the synopsis.

So I found this to be a bit confusing with the continuous switching between realities and it took me a while to get used to it, especially keeping up with how all the other characters interacted with Kyle between the two realities he was living. In one people are alive who should have been dead, in the other he was friends with a girl who treated him like crap in the former.
Shelly Schulz
Obscura Burning is the story of Kyle Wolf and how his world is slowly crumbling around him. Caught between two different realities, one where his boyfriend is alive and their friend Shira is dead, and the other where Shira lives, but Danny, Kyle’s boyfriend has died. The shifting reality, the appearance of Obscura, and the fight against time are tearing Kyle apart, and he ends up not only fighting for his life, but the salvation of Earth.

It took me a couple of chapters to get oriented with the w
I'm torn between "Hated the end" and "The journey was worthwhile"... There are some books that you just can't put down until it's finished. Well, this wasn't one of them. But it was a book that makes you keep returning to it until you get to the end.

I wouldn't define it as "different from other books" because it had normal activities people normally do. Yet, I liked it, which is, until the long-anticipated ending came. When I read the end, I knew that deep down I was expecting it. But I did want
Sala Bim
For me it fails on MOST of it's tags. It fails as MM, it fails as Romance, and it does a disservice to the GLBT aspect of it and the genre. Now granted, it doesn't HAVE to be any of these things to be great, but it is tagged/touted as all of them (which is why I picked it up in the first place) and it does not successfully execute them. The sci-fi aspect of it was ok, but I didn't care for the main character, his actions, his plight, or the plot line. And just because characters are YA doesn't m ...more
This is one of those book that I found difficult and confusing. I must state that I do like my sci-fi and such books.
It seemed to me that the author was trying to cram a bunch of different topics and such into one book. From the sci-fi elements, dystopia to GLBT in teens and so on...
Then add Kyle who is the main character, who is flopping back and forth between to different outcomes and inter-dimensional timeframes.

I also should note that if you are not interested in GLBT literary then this is
From the first paragraphs this book took me inside Kyle's head with such intensity that I wasn't sure I could finish the book. The feeling of despair, anxiety, burning heat and violence were so overwhelming. But then I thought that I will take it as a cathartic reading experience, maybe there would be some kind of healing closure.

I really liked the way parallel realities were played out in the book and when the science fiction started to creep more and more into book I almost resented it as it
Haylin T
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author has a gift for expressing complex human nature with a simple style of writing. As a non-native speaker I value novels where the world welcomes you quickly and you don't even notice diving in it before it's already finished.

The story is easy to relate to, as we have all been teenagers with different types of relationships. Modern themes in a traditional setting also bring a lively twist to the story, surely encouraging others who might be living in a similar type of life situation.

Tali Spencer
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, powerful writing made reading this book a true pleasure. The plot is complicated, and the characters are... complicated. They feel real and sometimes they clawed at my guts. But mostly the story grabbed me by the mind and twisted reality in that way only science fiction can. The ambiguous ending is just perfect.
Cam Kennedy
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a wonderfully written book, that was really more for the older ya set. I wouldn't let my 11-12 yr old read it because of mature topics. for my full review, you can visit my blog: ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings on this one. On one side, I thought it was incredibly well written and crafted, but on the other, I wasn't the biggest fan of the characters. However, still something I would recommend, especially to fans of sci-fi and/or thrillers.

Review coming soon...
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: highly-recommend
Realistic characters and an entertaining read. Liked how the book ended :)
Liz Fichera
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very dark and twisty. Parallel universes. Unexpected twists. A very unusual, original and compelling story. American Southwest setting. Beautiful writing.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
There doesn't seem to be a lot of science fiction novels that feature lgbt coming of age themes. It's easy to find science fiction with lgbt themes but it's usually in the form of an allegory.

I liked that this novel tackles the issues of growing up lgbt (specifically b in this case) while also dealing with alternate realities, new planets in the sky and the possible end of the world.

The concept of waking up in one of two different realities isn't new but I liked the bi take on in. In one realit
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-cis-authors
This was somewhere around 2 1/2 stars for me, so I'm rounding up. This was a great premise that sometimes disappointed, sometimes worked really well. Too much of it felt scattered, though, like the book was trying to be too many things. TWs all over the place for all kinds of stuff - it's not a cheery book. I wasn't happy with some of the non-#ownvoices rep, and kind of underwhelmed by the bi rep, but somehow it kept me reading and looking forward to the next page, especially toward the end. ...more
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I'm a genderqueer non-binary author with a penchant for the dark and strange. I primarily write SFF but enjoy literary writing as well. (Pronouns she or they)

When not writing, I teach music at an international school, climb, eat anything involving peanut butter, and serve the whims of my shiba inu.

Since I'm now publishing as Xan van Rooyen, you can find my latest stories and novels by following th

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