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Retra braves the intense pain of her obedience strip, and stows away to seek her brother Joel, gone two years for Ixion - island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community - no craving for parties or pleasure.

What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? What happens to those who grow too old for Ixion? Without Joel, is her eternal bond with a Riper guardian enough to save her?

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.

316 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2011

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About the author

Marianne de Pierres

33 books488 followers
Marianne de Pierres is the award winning author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis,Sentients of Orion and Peacemaker science fiction series. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia. Her Night Creatures series, Burn Bright, Angel Arias and Shine Light has been very popular among young adult fiction readers. Marianne is also the Davitt award-winning author of the Tara Sharp humourous crime series under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at http://www.mariannedepierres.com http://www.tarasharp.com.au http://www.burnbright.com.au and http://glitterrose.wordpress.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 406 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
August 18, 2018
AHA!!! i knew aussie YA couldn't all be the very pinnacle of perfection! i knew there had to be some clunkers cluttering up their shelves!

australia - they're just like us!

so, this one is about ixion - the island of ever-night. (read in a spooky voice, please) which is some sort of permanent goth spring break where it is always nighttime and the only rule is you gotta strive to experience pleasure all the time.it is an island of youth and raves and hallucinogenics, where there are "ripers" who oversee the whole operation, and they call everyone "baby bats" which gets annoying after, like, two times, and everyone just parties and parties and parties like it's 1999 until they burn themselves out or until they get too old, when they are taken away by the ripers to no one knows where.

this is appealing to some youths because some of the alternatives in this world are more austere, sheltered communities where women have no say in anything, and punishments are strict, or the opposite, where women live together in communities where they hunt and take care of business and only see men when they need to breed. and there are giant flying monsters.etc. so - also unappealing.

suffice it to say - somehow this island of youth where you will be guaranteed at least a few years of fun sounds good to some people. (and after watching the grotesque display of another bridge-and-tunnel st. patrick's day in nyfc, i know exactly what type of people would be populating this island and i would stay away)

but our heroine is not in it for the sex drugs and rock and roll, nope - she is there to find her brother,who escaped to ixion,and without whom her home life has become unbearable.after he left, she was implanted with a sort of tracking device that would shock her if she tried to escape, but she managed to inure herself to the pain by daily self-inflicted punishments, raising her threshold in order to eventually be able to escape and find him.she is from the strictest quarter, where modesty and self-denial are expected from women. suddenly, she is thrust into this party-hopping scenario, where cable "kars" are taken from one club to the next, and no one ever needs to sleep; instead they take "petit nuits," which are open-eyed and brief hypnotic states that occur only in the many churches scattered about the realm.

yeah. churches.

and seriously - why is french the default language here? all the "naif" and "fou" and "neglegere" etc...

there's a lot of this:

and a lot of this:

and a lady-pirate.and shadow monsters that will getcha if you stray from the (literal) path.

it's not terrible. it just feels insubstantial. flimsy.the premise never grabbed me, and i couldn't latch on to the main character - wide-eyed from being raised in such a sheltered and cloistered environment. suddenly thrust into this excess of decadence, lusted after by every male human, creature, "riper" - there is no real explanation for it, in this environment where every pleasure and every need can be satisfied by a number of aggressively available partners, unless it is her very innocence that is supposed to make her so irresistible.i love her pain-endurance, coming as she does from such a community of self-negation it is very fitting that she would be able to withstand pain and remove herself from the protests of the capital-b body and endure what many others could not.

this book incorporates shades of the vampiric without ever fully committing to it, but the mythology needs to be fleshed out more - i read the whole damn thing and i still have no idea what this place is.

"coyness is nice" but coyness can stop you from understanding what the hell is happening and that is just not cool.

what is frustrating is that i know the author knows where she is going with this and she is just being close with her explanations. it would be one thing if i sensed that she was still working out the details, but i think she has a clear sense where she is headed, but the frustrating thing is that it was such a fluke that i got my hands on a copy of this to begin with, and who knows if book two will ever come my way, so i will probably be left in the dark, like a baby bat... forever. or until i burn out from too much partying. so - yeah - forever.

it reminded me of that stupid movie greg made me watch, even though it is not at all like that, but i don't care. that's all i could think of. stupid zombie rave movie. so bad.

and another thing: character names. our heroine is named retra, and other names are rollo and kero, and charlonge and suki and lenoir, and her brother's name is...joel??i mean, it is traditional in this world to take on a new name once you hit ixion and everything, but even before that...joel?? joel is a fine name, but it just seems so...regular when compared to the other names in this book. sorry, joel.

not a terrible book, but just one i don't feel any particular attachment to. sorry for being a two-star charlie.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.1k followers
August 29, 2011
Okay, you know that guy, THAT guy. The one so insanely hot that any flaws, personality issues or intellectual deficiencies pale in comparison to his smoldering sex appeal.

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And you know how he looks a lot like Ryan Reynolds...

This is how I feel about this book.

I will be the first to admit that it is not a perfect novel and rightly so, I should only give it four stars. The problem is that I just can't help myself. It has its issues. Whoever edited it did an appalling job. There were a couple of aspects of the story that were borderline silly. Not to mention that this novel could have been improved with richer, more tactile descriptions. Lastly, I just know that some readers are going to struggle with being tossed into the deep end on the story-telling side of things and struggle to keep up with this new and unfamiliar world.

But I don't fucking care.

This book is a glorious, shirtless Ryan Reynolds to me and I don't care if he does corny movies, can't act and is a little strange. HAVE YOU SEEN THAT SIX-PACK?!

Ryan Reynolds attempting to cause your ovaries to implode
In case you missed the first one

Seriously, he could sacrifice babies as part of his religion, he could have single-handedly caused the extinction of every cute animal on the planet, he could like NICKELBACK and I would still be attracted to him!

So I don't care about the issues mentioned above regarding Burn Bright. This book is a wet-dream for any teenage emo. Retra escapes from her morally rigid home to find her runaway brother on the party island of Ixion. There are basically no rules on Ixion except for one: When you get too old, the party's over and nobody really knows what they do to you then.

Retra causes some upset with the "Ripers" (the people in charge of Ixion) and with the strange Night Creatures who lurk in the dark. At first Retra, a morally uptight shut-in, is an outcast among the wild youth whose only purpose in life is the freedom to party. However, when she becomes a catalyst for change on Ixion, she begins to unlock its secrets and form strong bonds of friendship with others.

This book is dark, gothic and mostly original. It stands out amongst a sea of interchangeable paranormal YA. It's sexy, it's mysterious and very readable. It's everything Fallen and its ilk wanted to be and failed miserably at.

So to sum up:

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Profile Image for Lyndsey.
126 reviews3,123 followers
July 14, 2011

Also on Strangemore with Bonus Material and an Author Interview with Marianne de Pierres and a campaign to bring Burn Bright to the US!

Welcome to Ixion. A place of constant darkness, the Ever Dark. It is a bazaar of the bizarre. On this strange island, everything is a party. Modesty is a sin.

Ixion is like Party Zion. You know that scene in Matrix Reloaded with the rave where everyone is going crazy and dancing up on each other. That is how Ixion is ALL the time. But instead of Machines lurking outside the walls, there are the Night Creatures.

After her brother runs away to Ixion, a distraught and lonely Retra follows him there in the hopes of bringing him back home. She gets way more than she bargained for in this bizarre land and discovers a world full of things unknown to her. A place of gratification and self-absorption with a war brewing in the dark. A place that can change her. She will become someone else and she will call herself: Naif.

The island of Ixion exists purely for pleasure and purely for young. Anyone considered an "over-ager" mysteriously disappears, unless they are first taken by Ruzalia the pirate. Rumor has it that she uses the over-agers as slaves or pets. Since no one knows what happens to those that disappear, some would rather risk slavery to Ruzalia than the possibility of disappearing off the island into oblivion or death. In her case, Retra would rather risk the unknown than live without her brother. She would possibly even risk death, because she can't bear the thought of life without him.

This book got me thinking a lot about human motivation. Why we do a lot of the things we do. Because don't many of the things we do come down to what we feel is the "better case scenario". There's even a game we invented called "would you rather." Who ever picks the option that sounds the worst to them?

Is that why war exists? Some feel the better option is to attack others, rather than risk being attacked themselves. Things may be said like: "Get them before they get us." "Their sinful ways will be the death of us." "It's you or me, buddy." We see this kind of reasoning a lot. In movies, books, and even in reality. Defending yourself isn't wrong but there is a thin line between defense and offensive defense. In adventure or sci-fi fiction particulary, it isn't often that a true line of communication is opened. War just seems to break out. It makes me wonder how often "talking it out" is overlooked in the real world.

In this world that we live in, ruled by information and communication, where no one is left unspoken for, where open mindedness is encouraged - why does war still exist?

I think true dystopia raises questions about human nature.

Dystopia should have a life all it's own. A life that thrives on our our fears, skitters away from our comforts, draws questions from our concerns. Burn Bright does just that. A few examples:

"Is it the rules and restrainsts in your life that have made you self-sacrificing? Is guilt the foundation of your kindness?"

"They're passionate in their beliefs" "They are misled - as passion most often is. Beware it, baby bat. Beware the foolishness of passion."

This book is unlike the new wave of artificial dystopias that plague the YA shelves. This is infused with passion for the story and the author seems to have a great love for the characters. The prose is vague and haunting, with scant background information.

The beginning requires a difficult adjustment period from the reader. I feel like we are so used to "instant gratification" that we struggle when things aren't easy to understand. This is not a book to be read lightly. You can't skim this. Bits of information are worked in so scarcely that you will feel lost if you try to read it quickly.

Burn Bright contains unusual dialogue and things are often mentioned without being fully explained. You are left somewhat to your own devices a lot of the time, but I find myself okay with that. Sometimes, it's a necessity for me because I find myself to easily bored if I understand and know everything right away.

Marianne's imagery was so different from what I'm used to with YA and strangely vivid for such a dark world. The descriptions are not all too well defined and the reader is required to make their own assumptions about the details of the world and their surroundings, but I actually enjoyed that part of it and found it to be very Hitchcockian. Sometimes, less is more. More exciting, at least.

This world is fully immersive, but not for everyone. It's eerie and untraditional. You are required to see things in different shades of darkness, multiple shades of gray. I tend to like things that are a bit off the edge, those things that lie in the dark of the deep end.

If you have a similar craving for something different, then you just might love this the way I did.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
June 20, 2011
Imagine a place where there are no Elders. No rules. No punishment. Only music and laughter and freedom.

Deadly pleasures await on Ixion, an eerie island where young people are transported twice a year when they want to indulge in hedonistic pursuits. It is always night here, and every conceivable vice is available and encouraged. Retra has gone to Ixion in order to find her brother Joel, but her sheltered upbringing makes her cringe at the excess on display. She knows, however, that she cannot stand out and must give into pleasure before she can find what she most desires.

This is a wildly exciting novel filled with visual splendor. There are balloon gondolas. Sleek, stingray-shaped powerboats. Female pirates. Cloaks made of bat skins. Electro-eyes that spy on citizens. Obedience strips that control people with pain. And deadly night creatures who pounce if anyone dares to stray off permitted paths. The island of Ixion feels cool and edgy and treacherous, and the author does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to clearly visualize the thrilling world into which Retra is thrust. I love this passage in particular, which describes the clubs on the island:

Despite her nervousness a thrill pimpled her skin as she absorbed and made sense of the view: lights of every colour, some in soaring arcs, some in clusters, others scattered--ruby, glowing cobalt and bullion gold. A streak of emerald snaked through the middle, dividing the vista in two. The light haloes bled into each other, forming a misty night rainbow.

Ret wants nothing more than to find Joel, so she's determined to forgo the dancing and the music and the drugs and the sex. But she's constantly thinking about Markes, an attractive musician who catches her eye, as well as Lenoir, a dangerously seductive and powerful member of the Ripers, who are the guardians of Ixion. I have to say that I'm not quite sure what Retra sees in Markes other than outward attractiveness, as he seems relatively indifferent to her attention...but it's hard to say what's going on with Lenoir too, since he's holding so much back.

I was incredibly excited by the atmospheric lure of the island, and I liked many of the characters that populate it. I was surprised to find, however, that some of the dialogue was not nearly as elegant as the surroundings, and actually bordered on being a little stiff at times. I would also have liked to have seen more emotional depth with the relationships between Ret and her brother and her friends and her love interests. The author describes the sensations of pain and confusion and temptation so well that it would have been great to see that matched with equally vibrant emotional connections.

Still, the story is really fascinating, and the world is superbly immersive in a way that most dystopian YA novels are not. It's also very daring, in that there are frankly sexual (though non-graphic) encounters in Ixion as well as startling violence. There are interesting ideas about the pursuit of pleasure and the nature of human beings surviving in a totalitarian society, and it will be exciting to see whether the whiff of rebellion fully forms in the second installment of the trilogy. There is dark, seductive beauty in the world that Marianne de Pierres has created, and I think most readers will quite enjoy their visit.


This book was part of the Aussie YA Reading Challenge, hosted by my friend Nic over on Irresistible Reads! It's the second book I've read by an Australian author this year following Rebecca Lim's Mercy, and I'm really enjoying this challenge so far. Sadly, Burn Bright is currently only available in Australia and New Zealand, but hopefully Random House will give it a wider international release soon. If, like me, you cannot wait and would like to order it in the meantime, it's available for international shipping from the Australian bookseller Dymocks.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews377 followers
June 9, 2011
4.5 stars

In a YA market fast becoming saturated in dystopia's BURN BRIGHT shines out in the crowd. It's a dystopian tale with splashes of sci-fi. It is, in fact, so vibrant and unique and convincing that it makes me feel embarrassed for other recent (often flailing romantic) YA dystopia's. It is fantastically original, creepy, riveting and atmospheric. I can honestly say BURN BRIGHT is unlike any book I have ever read = complete WOW experience.

de Pierres makes it easy to sink into a complex world: her prose is lush and rich, evoking vibrant imagery. She doesn't patronise her readers with an overabundance of explanations or bore us with oodles of backstory: she just throws us into the story along with Retra. Not everything instantly makes sense or is explained away and I think this is a strength ~ it truly made me feel as if I was submerged 100% into the story along with Retra.

I went into it not knowing much apart from the blurb and had no idea what to expect. It's hard to give you a feel of this evocative book in such a short review so rather than run down a synopsis I prefer just to share how brilliant I thought it was and give a little teaser:

There's pirates and gangs and secret passages and pills and dark creatures.

There's parties and a hot musician and mysterious creepy happenings.

There's a world bigger than Ixion, which skitters on the horizon, with even bigger dystopia themes.

It's ominous and daring and spectacular.

LOVED the climax where some of the islands secrets are revealed ~ while leaving me craving more.

I LOVED THIS: It's dark and wild, unpredictable and somehow enchanting. I found it unputdownable, sensory rich and utterly absorbing. It had been a while since I have been so pulled into someone else's story. I loved being in Retra's world and can't wait to return with the sequel.

Recommended: I very nearly missed out on reading this by thinking it wasn't a "me book." I thought it may be too paranormal-ish, too hedonistic (LOL) or too fantastical ~ GUYS ~ I know it may not be raved about by everyone but if you're in a reading slump or looking for a completely addictive absorbing experience I absolutely recommend Burn Bright. It's truly original and you can completely tell the author loves her world and characters. Brilliant stuff ~ it's in my top ten reads so far this year.

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.
Profile Image for Jillian -always aspiring-.
1,816 reviews197 followers
June 18, 2011
Ixion: a place of eternal night and eternal pleasure -- but nothing, nothing, comes without its price. . .

Admittedly, Burn Bright was one of my most anticipated releases of 2011. First, there's the darkly beautiful cover that brings to mind the fashion of Lady Gaga and the gothic wonder of Tim Burton's movies; right from the first time I saw it, it ensnared me in such a way that for months I thought, "I must have this book, I must have this book." Then there's the synopsis, speaking of a dark place called Ixion and a heroine who plunges into this night world to find her brother even though she has no desire to cavort and party as other Ixion migrants do. Burn Bright is of those ideas that just lit fire to my imagination and made me wonder what this story would entail and what dark delights would lay within its pages.

Thus, you can imagine that I came into reading this book with high expectations. Perhaps it was wrong of me, but I really expected this book to be a dark and heady mixture that made me think of the works of Laini Taylor or Melissa Marr. Instead, I received something that was bittersweet in texture and feel. . .and I honestly don't know if I liked it.

Burn Bright is a book that thrives on being different. It is very much a dark supernatural fantasy, and there is nothing quite like it in the young adult book market at the moment. Since it's fresh in that respect, I can see why other readers would be enamored with it. When you're faced with something so different from the norm, you're going to either embrace it or run away from it. Me? I was caught in the middle.

Where the story really succeeds is the world-building -- which, again, is so different from anything else that it's really rather fascinating and intriguing as you learn about Ixion right alongside its heroine, Retra. Ixion is a place where teenagers flee to lose themselves in wild parties and no-holds barred behavior, but there are people who act as guardians in Ixion: the Ripers, a group of overseers headed by the dark and secretive Lenoir. Why must the 'baby bats' -- the newcomers to Ixion -- stick to the lighted paths? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Honestly, Ixion is a fantastically realized world, holding the madness of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland and the strangeness of J.M. Barrie's Neverland. However, a world on its own is not enough to carry a book: there also needs to be a balance with characterization and plot too. In Burn Bright, I couldn't help the feeling that the world of Ixion itself was so rich that the characters seemed flat and colorless by comparison. To me, the characters here felt like puppets moving against a backdrop that didn't help to ground or solidify them but rather outshine them -- when, really, it should be the other way around. The characters are what move the story forward, and they need to feel like live players instead of figures at the mercy of unseen twists and turns. Yes, the world building offers so many fantastic ideas and concepts -- but, meshed with the characters and plot, the story didn't seem so stellar of a package as it could have been.

The plot itself is mostly a mixture of uncovering the secrets of Ixion and seeing a battle for dominion over Ixion begin to stir -- and Retra finds herself caught up in all of it and forced to change because of her involvings in Ixion. In and of itself, the story didn't really offer me much that I hadn't expected. You have the heroine who becomes a key player in a world to which she is still only a newcomer. You have her love interests, neither of whom seem really good for her in the long run. You have her friends, most of whom have brighter personalities than she does but who take a backseat as mere tagalongs for much of the story. Needless to say, I wasn't very much impressed as far as the characters and plot go.

While others will love Burn Bright for its ingenuity and freshness, I'm sad to say that it just wasn't enough for me. However much I liked the world building, it wasn't the book I had expected to read. Whether it will be a hit or miss with you. . .well, you have to read it to find out. I hope it will burn bright in your eyes as I wish it had done for me.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,946 reviews292k followers
March 30, 2012

"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."

It's been a long time since I've felt this excited about the opening of a new series. I'm not yet prepared to give it 5 stars as it's only just begun... but, you know, I'm thinking this could potentially be a 5-star series. Hurray for the aussies again who, after dazzling me with a series of awesome realistic fiction, have now provided an exciting fantasy world.

And yeah, that's right, fantasy. Sorry to break it to you but the only reason this is marketed as dystopian fiction is because that seems to be what everyone's hooked on right now. There are some vaguely political elements to it like rules v. anarchy... but it's mainly a novel that straddles the line between fantasy and urban fantasy. So, just don't expect dystopia and you should be fine.

I should warn you, the plot takes some time to get going in this but, like Darkfever, it wasn't a problem for me. I found the author used the initial lack of plot well and successfully built up her world and characters (who I really loved); the writing and the introductions to Retra, Suki, Markes and Lenoir kept the book interesting and made the story all the more exciting when it did get going.

As the cover would suggest, the book is quite dark, but also the author manages to keep up a continuous feeling of darkness throughout so by the end you can't imagine any of the characters existing in a place with sunlight. There's also this very sexual element to the writing:

"As they walked along, the warm air played over Retra like a wet tongue, making her skin pimple."

And there are plenty more phrases like that one. Though, no in-your-face love. No instalove. No obsessive love. No forever love. Just a whole lot of lustiness, and I like books that create a sexy atmosphere without being overtly sexual.

As for the protagonist, she interests me a lot. Retra comes from a place where men make all the rules, women wear veils, the 'wardens' watch everything you do and punishments are severe (I suppose you can see some parallels being made between this and some strict religious societies today). Anyway, Retra arrives at Ixion (a place of freedom and pleasure) with only one goal: to find her brother who ran away from the constraints of where they used to live.

It soon becomes apparent that Ixion is not as it seems, that even anarchy has unspoken rules, and that there are creatures in the darkness far worse than any of the wardens back home. It's creepy, exciting and original... I really can't wait to read Angel Arias.
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,155 reviews642 followers
July 6, 2011
Imagine a place where there are no elders, no rules, no punishment; only music, laughter and freedom. Welcome to Ixion! Island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. BURN BRIGHT! This is the place where modesty is kin to sin and baby bats run to in search of pleasure. But remember, when you live in darkness, you also live with creatures of the dark.

Woah! What a creeptastic book in the best possible way!

Burn Bright definitely commands your attention from page one as Marianne de Pierres takes you on a journey filled with bizarre twists, sinister settings, and uniquely subtle characters. I found myself captivated as I traveled an undefined time and place along the paths of Ixion leaving me continually on the edge of my seat.

This book is a definite contender for top-spot among note-worthy ya-dystopic novels that deserve a captive audience! Now if only US Publishers will start picking up these worthy books and making them available to us avid readers so we don’t have to scour the net and pay hefty shipping prices in order to own these little gems, but I digress…

As I mentioned, the setting is so completely vivid that it just feels dark and sinister as you turn the corners and walk down dark paths with the cast of this book. The characters are carefully crafted that it’s impossible not to fall for them, but simultaneously wonder what their hidden agendas might be. Retra was a worthy main character as her journey throughout the book was one of growth, constant challenge and increasingly bold moves. Markes and Lenior added a good balance to the mix of intriguing characters where they all played equally vital roles none commanding the stage more than others.

Marianne de Pierres cleverly adds several moving parts such as established gangs, including the White Wings, Freaks, Ghosts and League who oppose the Ripers (or Guardians) that are in place to protect the baby bats. There is also the Youth Circle which somewhat serves as the judicial system within Ixion, but isn’t highly trusted by the inhabitants especially the gangs. Lastly, there are the outlaws headed by Ruzalia, who execute rescue missions for the inhabitants on the verge of being faded out of the system. All very clever and unique, which provides for constant surprises and twists.

Now the writing.. What can I say that I haven’t said before about Aussie writers? They come from this mystical land filled with magical water or food… maybe it’s the vegemite. I don’t know. But it goes without saying, their writing sets them apart and their prose is elegantly crafted. I can’t for the life of me figure out how so many Aussie writers so seamlessly dominate the literary world with their fantastical stories! Unlike vegemite, though, their books are easy on the palate and leave you craving for more. They feel completely real and full of depth and Burn Bright is no exception.

I will warn you now, this story grabs your attention from the beginning, so if you start this book late into the evening, you’ll likely be pulling an all-nighter. So, take the journey to Ixion, it’s well worth the adventure.

Thanks to my Street Corner Booker friend Nomes for rec’ing this story to me. I can’t wait for the next installment!
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews90 followers
June 14, 2011
Okay that's it! I am packing my bags TODAY and moving to Australia! I don't know what they have over there that we don't but I really wish somebody would share the secret. In the past few months I have read several books and I can only think of a few US authors that have made my top 10. Every Aussie book I have had read is on that top 10 list and this one is no exception. First I have to thank Nomes for sending this one out on Tour. Nomes you are the absolute bestest ever!!
Now on to Burn Bright...
Retra, a Seal from Grave, decides to run away from home to find her brother Joel who left to go to Ixion. A Seal is a person who is taught to seal off their minds and emotions. They are never to interact with others unless necessary and they are also limited in their knowledge of other places. Joel decides he can't live like this anymore and runs away leaving Retra to pick up the pieces and to be punished for his actions. He goes to Ixion which is a place where young people go to forget about rules and just live. It is built on a island in a cave like place where there is no light. All new baby bats (the new girls and boys) are told to stay on the lighted path and to just enjoy their new life ie Burn Bright. When Retra decides to find Joel she discovers that there is more going on than just parties and her new life may not be all that great. She is used to modesty and in Ixion there is to be none of that so right off she stands out. Her agenda is not to party and partake in the many drugs that are offered but to just find her brother and try to create a new life somewhere with him. Things get complicated when she helps a friend fend off a Guardian and finds herself put into danger for her actions. With Joel not being the brother she remembers she has to learn how to save herself. I loved the creepiness of the novel. The author really brought out the dark creatures and all the imagery very well. I could feel the darkness closing in on me while I read this book.
What follows is a deep and dark tale that has many twists and turns. I am very excited to read the sequel as I think the story will be even better than the first. I have so many questions that I want answered and I really hope that I get to read the next one because I have to know what happens with Lenior and Retra.

Thanks again Nomes you are the bestest! I don't know what I would do without you and Nic!
Profile Image for Janina.
214 reviews525 followers
August 10, 2011
Hmmm. I have to say that I'm neither over- nor underwhelmed. The concept was definitely interesting, and the world building and overall atmosphere well done. But everything remained superficial. I am sure that there will be more details revealed about Ixion in future installments, that there are a lot more things to discover as this series progresses, but I am missing the hook. The incentive that makes me want to read on.
To make things worse, I didn't really connect with the characters. They remained pale and - mostly - uninteresting to me. I didn't understand Retra's infatuation with Markes and Lenoir, and Joel was kind of a jerk. The prospective love traingle is a huge turn off for me.
Retra's friends were okay, but nothing too special either. And, of course, there had to be the standard mean girl. At least she wasn't a cheerleader ... ;). I liked Retra as a heroine, though. Strong, yet vulnarable because of her past and reluctant to let herself go. I could relate to her mistrust concerning the Ripers, I understood her reluctance to party non-stop and take the sense-enhancing drugs she was offered (seriously, how could the others be so unsuspicious and quick to accept them?). She knew exactly what she wanted and was willing to sacrifice a lot for it. She had suffered deeply under the conditions at home (some issues were only hinted at) and I really felt with her.

All in all, I have to say that I found the first half very captivating and addicting despite the book's flaws - the pages just flew by - but the second half not so much. Retra's transformation to Naif didn't sit too well with me. Maybe because I could relate so well to her before and it seemed weird to me that she'd shed everything she believed in in a few seconds. And as much as I liked her at the beginning, new Retra got annoying.

At the end, we are - of course - left with a cliffhanger and I just don't like these much in general - even if the book is part of a series. I think there are better ways to keep the reader interested. Nevertheless, I wasn't really frustrated, and to me, that's an indicator I didn't particularly care for the book and its characters. I am not desperately awaiting what will happen next, more mildly interested.

Not entirely sure if I am going to read the sequel ... probably not.

Nomes, thank you so much for touring this and giving us the possibility to read this otherwise unobtainable Aussie book!

#4 Aussie YA Challenge 2011
Profile Image for Kim.
680 reviews1,690 followers
July 11, 2011
I don't think there will be a lot of spoilers in here, but there might be some small ones, so be warned.

The most difficult reviews to write are about the books I liked. This is no different. I mean, what is there to say? So much and yet so little.

I've been spending months and months without reading a single page, feeling no need to read. My Kindle was feeling sad and lonely, constantly giving me those "don't you love me anymore?" looks and to be honest, it only made me feel worse. But my good(reads) friends managed to change that for me by recommending me this book. I loved every page of it :) and I'm really glad it helped me rediscover how passionate I am about books.

I'll be honest and tell you that for some parts of this book, I had no idea what was going on, or at least that's how it seemed. I feel like I understood nothing, and yet I adore this book, I don't know how that happened. (I can't explain it any better than this, and I do realize that what I am saying is pretty confusing too)

I could rant a little bit about how I don't really understand what makes Retra/Naif so special that everybody focuses on her. I know she's the main character, but there are at least 8 people fawning over her, and that was before she got "famous". But I loved the transformation she went through.

I could go on and on about how difficult it is for me to understand the world where Retra came from and the one she went to. They are both so different from our worlds and it's scary.

I'm going to give up on this nonsense so-called review, with just one last thing: Lenoir, what is your deal?
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,633 reviews5,001 followers
November 18, 2011
this is a little scifi-cum-PNR Young Adult novel from australia. on some planet somewhere, teens wanting to escape the varyingly restrictive environments of their home countries can escape to Ixion, a place of perpetual partying and constant night. but who are the island guardians; who really runs things? where do the aged-out go; why is a fearsome lady pirate trying to rescue them? who else lives on the island; what are those whispers in the night?

if i were to judge it by characterization and dialogue alone, this would get an even lower rating. the dialogue is flat, flat, flat and is made even more awkward but some ill-considered attempts to mix current and made-up slang. the protagonist is entirely annoying and insipid; supporting characters have some interest but are also rather cardboard.

but still... i mainly enjoyed reading this one. the atmosphere on the island, the slowly-parsed out details of how the island looks and feels, the odd creatures and strange patterns of behavior... all quite nice. what was particularly striking was how right de Pierres gets the feeling of sweaty, music- and drug-filled excess. the sensation of different drugs, the fluid ambience, the palpable impact of music, the movement of dance and crowds, the way a person feels en route, the holding of hands, getting lost, getting found, diverse people and intense feelings fading and returning and transforming all night... well-done! i had to wonder how many raves the author must have gone to in the 90s - all the details and emotions were really spot-on.
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
June 6, 2016
Burn Bright was incredible. A blend of dystopian and urban fantasy woven through a unique storyline that left me breathless. Following the storyline of Retra, readers are introduced to Ixion through the young and sheltered eyes of a sixteen year old girl who's searching for her brother. I loved Retra's character. She had a quiet determination and although having grown up in a community who punished free thought, she wasn't afraid to stand up for injustice in Ixion.

The island is only for the young. Once inhabitants reach their adult years, they are withdrawn from society while the party continues on the island. Fearing her brother may have fallen victim to the age restrictions, Retra is desperate to find him and tries to embed herself within the island culture. New residents are simply referred to as Baby Bats, an endearing term given to the youngest members by the guardian Rippers, those who ensure the safety of pleasure seekers. But there's a stirring among those placed in power. The rules are simple, Rippers are not to involve themselves with the community but a rogue band are praying on who they see as the weak, taking what they want by force. It may be a party nation, but Retra refuses to stand by and watch others be placed in a position of abuse and now becomes a target due to her actions.

What surprised me with Burn Bright was how dark and delicious the storyline was. As a reader, you're eased into the world of Ixion which reminded me of Ibiza, only shrouded in darkness. The inhabitants need not sleep, only rest to continue their new lifestyles or risk burning too quickly and ending their loves prematurely.

Imagine a place where there are no Elders. No rules. No punishment. Only music and laughter and freedom.

Burn Bright is phenomenal. Beautifully written and a rare darkness in young adult that left me breathless and needing more. Words cannot do justice to how brilliant it truly is. Buy it. Love it. Or I'm afraid we just can't be friends anymore.
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
772 reviews512 followers
August 5, 2011
A scifi-in-space-fantasy-monsters-vampires-and-strange-creatures-good-and-evil-beastly-but-gorgeous-guy-drugs-and-blood-thriller featuring an innocent but incredibly strong heroine surviving a non-stop party on an island of infinite darkness, endless pleasure and short life-spans. Intrigued? You should be. It is that original and captivating.

(Note: 0.5 stars short of five because of the open ending.)
Profile Image for Alexa.
350 reviews286 followers
May 13, 2011

My review can also be found on my blog Collections.

3.5 stars

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.
392 reviews333 followers
July 14, 2011
Favourite Quote: "Rules? Ixion is supposed to be free of rules, yet it seems as strict as Grave in its own way and more...more dangerous."

Three words: I loved it! Burn Bright is one of those reads that when you are finished you are left saying "WOW I want more" because it such a amazing story.

I am having such a hard time writing a review to explain why I am so impressed by this book. I have being trying to write this review for two weeks and still nothing. So here is a list of just some of the reasons why I love it:-

* Burn Bright has one of the most unique and captivating worlds. It slowly unravels and I love the fact that everything was not what it seemed. Also you could (and want to) re-read it again to see things you have missed the first time to better understand the mysterious and dark place of Ixion.

* It's plot is unpredictable and exciting. It is the type of book you read when you should be sleeping, or while you are cooking or during a red light in your car. You know what I am talking about, a completely consuming read.

* Retra (aka Naif) is incredible character. She is quite but yet still strong. I like the fact that she thinks about things, asks questions and doesn't follow blindly. Retra is definitely a heroine you admire.

* The well written subtle romance. I would call it attraction and connection. It looks like something is building for the future books. There is Lenior the leader of Ixion who I feel Retra has the strongest connection with. And then there is the mysterious Markes, the musician, who was on the barge with Retra when she entered Ixion, who pops up every now and then. Retra has more of an attraction to him. And I am going to surprise you here and say I actually like Lenior more. Yes I am picking him over the hot musician (normally they are my weakness) because I don't think Markes has been in the storyline enough to leave a strong enough of impression of who he really is.

Overall, Burn Bright is an alluring and gripping read that has left me craving the sequel. I highly recommend this to all dystopia fans.
Profile Image for Milly.
637 reviews23 followers
July 14, 2011

3.5 stars

Aussie Reading Challenge #4

The first thing that came to mind was Pleasure Island at Disney World. It's all-night-long partying at the happiest place on earth. Burn Bright definitely captivated and intrigued me. It's so different from the young adult dystopias I'm used to that I couldn't stay away from it for far too long. It was definitely a book I had a hard time putting down. The world building was done fantastically and so differently since it's set only at night. Ixion is nocturnal, surprisingly. And when it's only night and never day, Night Creatures exist. Non-stop partying, drinking and all other pleasurable activities happening typically at night exist non-stop at Ixion. Its inhabitants are all young teens probably no older than 19 or 20. Once you are deemed to be too old for this hip place, no one really knows where you go. No one can really explain why it's only night time in Ixion either and no one also really knows how Ixion came to being as well as its Guardians, the Ripers. So much mystery surrounds Ixion and its people. All one ever knows is that it's never-ending fun and party at Ixion. This is actually what drives young people to leave and escape their current lives and situations wanting to live free and party without the restrictions of rules and expectations from their parents and societies. This is the reason why Retra's brother Joel leaves Retra and his parents living in Seal to live in Ixion.

Retra, our 17-year old heroine, also escapes from Seal to find her brother, Joel, whom she's missed so desperately. Her only reason for coming to Ixion was to be with her brother and not really caring about what Ixion has in store for her. Once she sets foot on Ixion, it wasn't difficult for her to standout because of her strict and conservative upbringing at Seal. She couldn't tolerate being touched or kissed by the opposite sex or wear provocative clothing or hardly nothing like everyone else in Ixion. Retra is characterized as being strong-willed despite being naive as well as caring for her friends and others whom are being hurt or taking advantage of. She appears to be described as looking simple and nothing extraordinary but interestingly enough, she seems to be attracting a lot of men and Night Creatures alike. That still baffles me. She's caught the eye of Lenoir, the leader of the Guardians/Ripers and who actually acts as the law in Ixion. She initially got the attention of Markes, the gifted musician, and Rollo, and Leyste. Though much is explained about Retra's background, not much justifies the amount of attention she gets from everyone even before she performs heroic acts that makes her well known in Ixion.

There's a lot going on in the book and at times I'm a little confused, uncertain whether the words used are Australian slang or words that our author came up with. I figured "Fross" was somewhat of a curse word. There were other things I've never heard of and had difficulty visualizing. But overall, the world of Ixion is beautiful and mesmerizing. Again, I tend to recreate my experience at Pleasure Island at Disneyworld to fully immerse myself in the Ixion experience.

There were also a lot of interesting characters in the book and the Night Creatures still intrigue and gross me out especially with reference to them in the end. That was a part I didn't want to visualize, for sure! There's just so much more intrigue and questions that came up at Burn Bright's conclusion. I wondered more about Lenoir and his origins and of the Night Creatures. He appears to have more abilities than meets the eye. And what about his ability to heal? And why is he so attracted to Ret? Did he truly care for Ret or did he use her to find her brother? I'm still impressed and intrigued as well by their technological advances and how they are able to manipulate the hypothalamus, disrupt the wake-sleep cycle and circadian rhythm requiring its people only naps (petite nuit) rather than sleep and the biological consequence of 'burn out'. And how is it that Ixion is nocturnal? I'm defintely reading the sequel to get more answers. Well, hopefully our author will enlighten us more in the second installment.

I was also wondering why when Ret changed her name to Naif why it was told in the third person, like Ret's version of Naif, was separate from herself. Did the author do that on purpose? Did I miss something?

Burn Bright definitely burned bright in my mind and left a lasting impression with me. It was clever, fresh, and tantalizing! Another impressive Australian read!

Special thanks to my friend Nomes for sharing another awesome Aussie read to her American friends hungry for some Aussie goodness.
Tecc, you're next!

November 17, 2013
(OK, so if you wanna read this book spoiler free then don't read this review)


Right...So this book was ok, it had an interesting concept, but I was basically overloaded with erroneous details, cardboard personalities, tedious inner-monologues (I do not like reading paragraphs about how shy Retra is or how hot some guy is) and sparse and confused descriptions. My head was spinning.

World building
Retra lives in a district that is closed off from the world, where everything is shit, a watcher-man even lives in her house, spies on her while she changes and stuff...but nobody picks up the signs that Retra is self-harming (to make herself stronger) everyday and is going to follow her big bro across the water to the land of ever-night & party-on.
(I love the queen).

Anyway she runs away, despite the pain-giving strip in her leg, using the signs on the torn up fliers that everybody can read, except I presume her parents didn't bother to keep an eye out for them because otherwise surely they would have kept a better eye on their little girl? Right?

The different districts are purposefully vague, only ever giving us random hints, because Retra is incredibly naive about her own land, and therefore we are also kept in the dark. This also works as a clever device for De Pierres not to have to bother to elaborate on her very confusing world.

Ixion itself was dark with some creepy elements that could have potential, the monsters in the shadows, the scary/hot guardians and the drugs handed out in the confessionals. Everything sounded relatively cool, but to me anyway, it came off flat. I dunno, I have partied a lot, and I am sure the author has as well so I am not questioning her investigative skills, but I wasn't convinced by the teens more trippy moments. It also basically missed out Retra's come-down, or show any signs of addiction with the other kids, just in general I wasn't feeling it. Maybe it could have been expanded?

Character development:
This book to me was supposed to centre around Retra's sexual awakening, her development from a timid, reserved, naive and boring teen into something closer to a woman, more empowered, more sexualised, wiser and confident.
She leaves the confinements of her home only in order to follow her brother, she has no desire to party or let loose. Which is fine, YAWN, sorry excuse me, what was I saying? Oh yeah, her friend was much cooler and interesting. That was all.

Retra's relationship with Lenoire really really creeped me out, the way he brought her to climax in order to save her life was too odd. I hate it in a book when you are just told something, like: she's bleeding out and the only sure way to cure her is for her guardian-stalker to make her orgasm. Quick, medic? Bring the lube she's flat lining! Oh and BTW now she is bonded to him FOREVER!

Basically I just did not find Retra's character at all fluid, one minute she was being judgemental or frigid (sorry I hate that word) and the next she was being ballsy and bad-ass; then she turns into Naif, who is equally annoying but in a different way.
Please don't get me wrong I don't believe that you have to be wild and out going to be a strong character; I think it is more just about being in control of who you are, avoiding being a hypocrite and knowing what you want. I never felt like Retra was in control of who she was.


I am the wrong person to ask:
Profile Image for Brodie.
230 reviews224 followers
March 24, 2011
Twice a year the barge comes to Grave during the night to sneak unhappy young ones away to a world of uninhibited freedom, music and eternal pleasure - all day, every day. Where desires are acted upon without care and every person burns bright with life. Retra is not like the other young partiers taking the journey to Ixion - she doesn't want to be there, she only wants to find her brother Joel, who escaped the harsh and restricted community they live in. He's the only one she's ever been able to freely talk to and form a connection with. But in order to stay safe and not attract attention, she must try to fit in. Modesty is a sin. For a girl raised with her every move dictated by others and having to wear a veil to conceal herself, this is quite the culture shock.

It doesn't take long for Retra to make enemies and form tentative friendships and alliances. She soon learns the intricacies of Ixion and discovers that it's not all just partying and fun. Under the layers of lust and pleasure beats a darker, scarier tune, pulsing throughout every vein of Ixion. They're all warned in the beginning not to stray from the light paths, for lurking in the dark are creatures of the night. But what Retra discovers is that the dangers of this world not only lurk within the shadows, but are hidden in plain sight too. In the end, no one stays safe in Ixion.

These young souls came to Ixion with the sole purpose of freedom, to reign free and forever indulge their body and emotions. But at what price are they willing to pay for these years of ecstasy? What happens when the Ripers - Guardians of Ixion - decide you are too old to stay? What happens when you burn too bright?

Burn Bright is a dark, thrilling, fascinating ride that pulls you in along with Retra as she explores the hedonistic world of Ixion, which ultimately allows her to free that part of herself that was still shackled to the suffocating restraints of her old Seal life. Seal Retra was robbed all colour - she was black and white with a little grey struggling to break through. By the end of the novel, Naif (the name she adopted while in Ixion) is bursting with a dizzying array of colours all trying to gleam dominant. She has grown into her own - from a shy, naive girl to a brave young heroine who will risk her life to save those she cares about. Free of strict, over-bearing rules to obey and dictate, she's finally being able to breathe and begin to discover herself. I enjoyed watching her grow and I'm looking forward to seeing her continued journey of self discovery in the following books.

All the secondary characters are fantastic. I especially loved Rollo and Suki. But I have to say I am most fascinated by the leading Riper, Lenoir. He's an enthralling character, at first we're given small tastes of him and you're a little unsure, you don't really know what to expect. The more you see of him, the more you want to unravel the mystery of him. And when certain aspects come to light... well I can't say I was expecting it! He's fascinating and enticing, but when you really think about what you've learned of him, it's rather disturbing. I think Marianne has written him perfectly - given us a hint of his vulnerabilities, personality and introduced an entirely original and intriguing element. I'm quite interested to discover more about him and to see the bond between him and Naif developed more in the next book.

Marianne dives deep and explores the human desires and fears in a thoroughly captivating world that is equal parts seductive and disturbing. Dangers lurk within every shadow, voices whisper from the dark, mysteries are unravelled and new ones present themselves. Words leap off the pages, wrapping their black curls around you and lure you deeper into Ixion. I was sucked into this world, the atmosphere was brilliant and I did not want to leave. I can't wait to get my hands on book two - Angel Arias - the first chapter was included at the end of Burn Bright and it sounds just as incredible as the first book!
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
July 15, 2011
On Part One, the biggest thing that might put people off is the world building. It's a daunting thing to tackle especially with it being so intricate. Imagine a place where there are no Elders. No rules. No punishment. Only music and laughter and freedom. That's Ixion. Needless to say, Ixion is complicated. And I confess, after reading that line I was imagining an outcome of donkey ears and wooden noses.

That aside, what I truly enjoyed was the puzzle that Retra presented. Plopped smack in the middle of it, I was unsure as to how I felt about her. I can't say I disliked Retra, neither can I say that I liked her. That I was confused by her is certain. Her upbringing as a Seal presented two things for me. It made her experience in Ixion a little more scary and alien. As a Seal she was taught little and was aware of few things outside her walls. So when she stepped out of that her world in search of her brother, her feelings were mine: unsure, confused but certainly fascinated, and maybe even a little enthralled by the how different things were. HOWEVER, it's the same upbringing that set her apart from the rest in a more postive way because she was not weak, "Their voices rained on Retra. She wanted to scream loudly enough to drown them out, but her Seal-disciplined vocal chords would not oblige her. Seals did not shout for help for themsleves. Seals did not scream..." She did not swallow the company line like the others did either. Instead, she questioned, she sought... and had her own agenda. Of course, it all these things that put her in danger.

Another notable thing about the first part is the absence of a romance... or more accurately, the focus on anything but that! I love that! Yes, she's a girl. Yes, there are boys. Yes, they all live in a place where anything went. So one would expect some romance to be kindled somewhere. I admit it, I was expecting it, hoping for it even. But despite all the opportunities presented for it to be tackled, her thoughts did not progress further than, "Hmmm, I like him or might like him." Thoughts like those were quickly set aside by the novelty of her situation. Of course, the romance bit is tackled a bit more in the second part, but hey it's all good because the direction the story went was very surprising!

And aside from Retra, there's a whole bunch of characters who actually contribute. Almost all she came in contact with had something to add. At first, Rollo and Suki came across just like everybody else, but slowly as she got to know them, their stories added somemore to what was already coming out as complicated in my mind. Complex given the number of players that include: Ripers, Night Creatures, Zoners (burn bright but burn fast,) Peaks (too old) Circle (spies,) Ghosts, The League etcetera, etcetera.

And by the time Part Two rolled in.. I was all, F*ck, what was that? Never a dull moment, I can honestly say I had no idea that Burn Bright would go in the direction that it did. Not that I'm complaining because the second part was where the action was.

I loved the book, so I could go on and on and on about what I liked, loved, didn't like and didn't love so much, so here's the skinny:


*No cardboard cutout protags. All characters even the supporting ones had something to contribute. Whether it's the needed mystery, humor, sappy-sap love or angsty jealousy, all the people she met had something to contribute. And at the center of it all is Retra. She's fascinating! Her background kept her ignorant, and in Ixion, her experience read like a fish out of water, but it is the same upbringing that made her stand out in a positive sense.
*There's worldbuilding of the intricate type. Even if there was a lot to take in the story flowed seamlessly.
*A lot of confict. There's never a dull moment especailly in the second part.


*It's short. Much shorter than I would have liked because just as I was getting more excited well The Acknowledgements showed up; this was not a good way to end a book... at all.
*The second part had much more speed and was more action filled than the first, making the first part seem a tad tame. But really it was the first part's intricacy that had me going. While some may take the first part and weigh it against the second to find it wanting, frankly, both parts? Equally awesome!

Profile Image for Braiden.
359 reviews204 followers
March 25, 2011
Oh my! I'm really annoyed that i knew there were a few more pages to go, but the next sentence I would be reading would plant me on a cliff, needing to want the next book immediately (which unfortunately isn't too far away - end of this year). It was BAM! the last sentence and then acknowledgments the page directly after it. Gutted me! However there is a chapter 1 preview of the next book Angel Arias, which I'm tempted to read but I just don't want to. I got totally lost in those last couple of pages.

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres was a phenomenally creative and original Young Adult read. A newly developed world is slowly revealed in front of our eyes but just enough so that we can understand it the way Retra, our protagonist, does. Because Burn Bright is so atmospheric and engaging in its nature, it is really hard to capture and give you details on everything that I loved about it. If there was only one thing to say it would be to, ‘Read it!’

What I got involved with the most in Burn Bright was Retra’s journey. She escapes her Seal-life in Grave where women wore veils, men ruled and wardens punished. She didn’t escape on her own moral choice, but rather because she wanted to find her brother Joel who had escaped and left her alone with their grieving mother and tyrannical father. Retra seeks out Ixion, an island of uninhibited freedom, music, partying and eternal pleasure every second of your consciousness. A place where desires are acted upon without care and every person burns bright with life. A place where fear and “self” is forgotten. Retra only has one reason for being on Ixion: to find her brother, not party and let her Seal principles deteriorate into lost memories. However Retra could not hide, but rather stood out. A change was the only possible decision. Retra’s struggle from coming from such a restricted and controlled life to the point of being a total introvert, to becoming someone who has started to find her feet and build her own path was worth the read. She built the courage to start standing up for herself and others. It takes a lot of courage to break free from being extremely withdrawn and isolated in the way Retra had been. Although she struggled as I said, she did it with not much help from anyone. I am introverted myself at times, so it was no difficult task to connect with Retra in the beginning. I don’t party a lot, and when I do I try and not draw much attention to myself - like I guess will happen at my own 18th birthday party in a couple of weeks time.

The cast of characters: those new to Ixion, those already residents of Ixion, and the Ripers all brought this world alive. Through each of their voices you could hear music playing or lights flashing. How? I don’t know. It just omitted into my vision while reading Burn Bright. You adapt your own party experiences and knowledge about partying and reflect that in the descriptions that Marianne provides. Burn Bright in itself is pretty provocative and dangerous at time, but in saying that Marianne does not shy from difficult subjects such as drugs and sex, which are two important parts of the Ixion way of life.

You do ask yourself a lot of questions. The plot thickens and thins, twists and turns in so many ways it is hard to keep up with it at times, therefore you wonder about things occasionally, hence the questions. Human desires and fears are investigated, and today’s ‘party-life’ of so many individuals is instigated. Much can happen when you’re having a good time, and most of it not a pleasant as you wanted your pleasurable night to be.

A thrilling ride in Ixion. A ride that I couldn’t hop off. I was bedazzled by the atmosphere and details, that made myself burn bright with ecstasy and passion for this home-grown Australian novel. Marianne de Pierres has sunken perfectly into the YA genre and doesn’t need a second chance to express herself once again. She has hit the donkey on the tail in the exact position. Love to Retra and this series. What does criticism mean?
Profile Image for Erica (storybookend).
347 reviews286 followers
July 5, 2011
Burn Bright first drew me in with its mysterious, beautiful cover. I’m a sucker for well done covers, and this cover is very nice, might I say. It’s dark and strange, alluring perhaps, with a brush of brightness. Then I found the synopsis intriguing, and I started hearing good things about it, about the mysteries hidden in the strange world of Ixion. Needles to say, I’ve been excited to read it. Then I finally got my hands on it, and… it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

Let me start on a positive note. Pierres wrote the world she created with such vividness I could see it clearly in my mind as I read. I loved her descriptions, and how she worded things. The plot, for the most part, kept me interested. Ixion is a rather sensual place, where people live with free abandon, but I still appreciated the writing and creation of the world.

My problem was that the characters weren’t portrayed as well. I didn’t connect with anyone, or even like someone wholly. Retra was a boring protagonist. She didn’t seem to have much personality or show much emotion. There was a slight romance, that I can see being explored more in the sequels. Burn Bright was more about Ixion, and Retra finding herself and her place in it than the romance. I just can’t say I’m much interested in seeing where that will go. I didn’t care for any of the love interests, or really of Retra finding someone to love.

The ending captured my interest better, but not quite making up for the rest of the story or making me really excited for the sequel. Seeing as how the author is Australian, who knows how long it will be before I’ll even have an opportunity to read the next book. But I’m in no hurry. If I happen to get it, and have no other books pressing, I might read it.

Burn Bright is intriguing with a dark fantastic world written with skill. I can see it appealing to many people , it just wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,947 followers
March 24, 2012
I had a few strange little quotes which I had planned on using to start this review. Apparently, I don't get to use them when I come late to the review party.

Other GR reviewers : 1
Stacia : 0

Burn Bright fine print : Use the good stuff quick before someone else does. You losers who read the book after everyone else are screwed.

Come with me to Ixion anyway. I'm afraid to go alone.

Ixion is one scary, scary place. Don't be fooled by the hype. People want you to believe it's one big non-stop party. And it is - a party for the blissfully ignorant. Should you care to learn anything about Ixion, you're going to find out that you probably shouldn't have gotten on that darn zeppelin in the first place.

What's your pleasure? Is it to partake in the desires of the flesh? Would you rather lose your inhibitions for a while and dance in a cloud of fearless delight? Maybe your desire is to stay youthful for as long as you can? On Ixion, anything is possible. Unless you desire freedom. Or knowledge. Or answers. Then you're on your own. While on the quest for truth, try not to stray off the path. Those Night Creatures tend to bite.

This is not Neverland. Youth comes with a price. Are you willing to pay it?

My thoughts about the book :

This book was darker than I was expecting. Even after reading the blurb and being told by others that this was not really a paranormal romance but more of a dystopia, I still found myself suprised at how strange the Night Creatures world was. If you're looking for different, bizarre, or twisted, look no further.

Retra/Naif was something of a mystery to me. She didn't really show much of who she was as we followed her throughout the story. It's quite possible that the author set it up this way to illustrate the "before" and the "after" of her life and personality between the time she spent as a Seal and the time she went through a changing on Ixion. I hope her character is expanded upon more in the next book.

The dark world and multiple factions were a plus/minus. The uniqueness of the world is a huge plus. Any time a new fantasy world is brought forth in a book, it's a big draw for me.

I would have preferred there to be a more basic explanation of the class sytems in the first book. A bit too much info dumping happened all at once. Between the League, the Youth Circle, the Ripers, the bat gangs, the Night Creatures, etc. I was a bit confused trying to figure out who belonged where, and which people were fighting with what faction. To be honest, I still don't think I have a handle on all of what went down. If the info had been spread out a bit better, maybe if some of it had been pushed off to book 2, I might have even gone up to a 4.5 or 5 star for Burn Bright. This book kinda sorta kicked ass.

Markes = eh. Lenoir = yay. The last few chapters = wow. I want to know Lenoir's entire story now.

I already have my copy of Angel Arias ready to go and hope to get to it soon. I can't wait to find out what happens next for Naif and Lenoir!

This book is currently on its way to the next person in the Traveling Book Society (around the world) Round 2 for the Rated YA-MA group.
Profile Image for Amber.
334 reviews111 followers
June 19, 2011
I am going to say that this is my first Aussie book I have read. I don't know if all their books are like this one or if it is an exception, but Burn Bright was such a fascinating read for me. I was so captivated by the creativity the author put into this book. It's really unlike any other "dystopian" I have read before. The world that Marianne de Pierres has created really can't be compared to anything that I have read. It's so fresh, new and a pleasing change, as from monotony I feel with the dystopian genre.

Retra is a Seal from Grave, which they are to seal off their emotions. They are somewhat left in the dark about the "real world" and they aren't to talk to anyone unless necessary. Since her brother Joel has escaped from Grave, Retra has been tagged with an obedience strip and her family is closely monitored. She is determined to find her brother. She must get to Ixion. Ixion is a place where there are no Elders. No rules. No punishment. Only music and laughter and freedom. So they are told.

When the story takes you to Ixion, your eyes are opened up to all sorts of fantastic creativity. There are pirates, night creatures, underground caves, gangs, secret meetings, conspiracy, darkness, action and a hot musician.

Recommended?? Absolutely! This isn't your average dystopian book. It's so much more. Very original.

Thanks to my Booker friends who have shared this with me!

Profile Image for Karen Brooks.
Author 16 books524 followers
April 14, 2011
What a ride! From the moment the reader opens this book, and we're introduced to Retra, a young Seal (someone who lives in a sealed community, where education is limited and emotions oppressed), running for her life, we're plunged into the mysterious and sometimes terrifying world of Ixion - a type of pleasure sanctuary for young refugees, discontent with their lives and seeking thrills and change. In order to reach the isle, young people (and only young people are allowed there) must break all ties with their present and hand their well-being to the strange and seemingly omniscient Ripers. Retra's brother, Joel, fled to Ixion years before and it's to find him that Retra enters the darkness that is the pleasure isle - where innocence is a sin, drugs are plentiful and the rules that bounded her cloistered life no longer exist. Encouraged to 'burn bright' before expiring, clubbing, drinking and hedonism are encouraged. Flung into her new existence, Retra is reluctant to embrace all that Ixion appears to offer - a stance that earns her enemies faster than friends and exposes her to dangers that make those of her old life seem harmless...

This is such a fast-paced, tight narrative with absolutely splendid and evocative writing. de Pierres knows how to hook the reader - her metaphors are sharp and powerful - you breathe the air of Ixion, you feel the effects of the tablets the young initiates swallow and you experience the pulsating terror that the night creatures evoke.

When I first started reading, I was reminded of other fabulous narratives such as Logan's Run or the Hunger Games. I want to resist comparisons - but, while drawing on some similar themes, I feel Burn Bright is better than either of these. It is so original and intoxicating. The setting, vocabulary and sense of otherworldiness is powerful and real. You want to get to the source of the great mystery that is Ixion and the night creatures, and discover why Retra is such a threat and curiousity.

As the first book in a series (the second is Angel Arias - not out yet, dammit!), this is an incredible introduction. While it's a YA novel, it's clearly a fantastic crossover that will appeal to adults as well. Cannot recommend highly enough - Burn Bright indeed!

Profile Image for Amy Parker.
29 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2011
I was privileged enough to read an early draft of this a couple of years ago. I got through it in one sitting, and loved it.

Today my advance copy arrived in the mail, and I made myself a cup of tea, curled up on the couch and read through the finished book... in one sitting. And loved it even more.

Burn Bright is edgy, adventurous and unapologetic in its exploration of teenage desires and curiosities. Anxiety and euphoria have equal places in Ixion, the island of ever-dark - at least for the book's protagonist, Retra.

By the end of the book, Retra has undergone a complete transformation: from a naive, frightened girl from a strict community to a determined and inquisitive young woman who empathises with certain Night Creatures of Ixion. Along with the character change comes a change in her name: from Retra to Naif.

Because Retra/Naif is who she is, the focus of the book is mostly on unease, pain and longing. She's on Ixion to search for her brother and persuade him to leave with her, to start afresh somewhere new. Her search gains her the attention of many of the island's inhabitants and enforcers, including the Ripers - pale and inhuman, but led by the charismatic and fascinating Lenoir.

She doesn't indulge in pleasurable pursuits - dancing, drugs and romance - as often as her peers on the island, but when she does, the effects on her are profound.

It's hard to do Burn Bright justice in a review. It's so atmospheric and engaging that all I can really say is this: read this book. Read it now. Tell all your YA-loving friends, and then go and read it again.
Profile Image for Juliet.
Author 83 books10.8k followers
June 11, 2012
Burn Bright is the first book in the Night Creatures series for young adults by versatile Australian writer Marianne de Pierres. De Pierres has also written the highly successful Parrish Plessis and Sentients of Orion series for adults, as well as the Tara Sharp crime series under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.

Ixion is an island of eternal partying, a magnet for bored young people, provided they can sneak onto the barge that slips in twice a year to take them there. Retra is not like the others. She is a Seal, from a closed community bound by repressive rules, and has no wish for a life of parties and pleasure. But her brother left for Ixion two years ago and never came back. Retra wants to find him.

In Ixion Retra finds not only the glamorous world she expected, but a place of peril and dark secrets. The allure of Ixion's lifstyle starts to suck her in, but the need to find her brother is stronger. What happens when people grow too old for Ixion?

This is a fast-paced story set in a well-realised world. There is room for character development in the sequels and I'm hoping that will happen. My rating (3.75) is based on Burn Bright's originality and its potential appeal to a young adult readership.
Profile Image for Merve Özcan.
798 reviews31 followers
October 6, 2020
The book starts with an escape to find her brother Joel. Main character's name is Retra (later she takes Naif as a name) when she runs away from a place named Grave ,where Seals trained very strictly, to İxio where pleasure, fun and life reign but after Retra lands there she finds nothing is fun, people vanish. Riper watch you like jail guardian it is not very different from Grave. then Leonir leader of ixion protect her and get bounded to save her life. While she tries to find her brother and understand what is going on she gets attack. when a Night Creature try to kill her and Lenoir save her, night creatures wants her life for revenge.(ps night creatures not people) the only chance to survive run away with a pirate (Ruzalia, she is a pirate and takes away old ones from ixion).
Profile Image for Lila Lockhart.
Author 3 books48 followers
October 27, 2015
4.5 / 5
I may have received this book at a very cheap price (under $5), but it was well worth more than that. It would have to be the best three-dollars-something I have ever spent (see, that just doesn't sound like much of a compliment, but I swear it is). I will admit that at first my expectations for this novel were low - a young adult book about 'night creatures' screamed some trashy 'vegan vampire' fiction. Still, the cover was absolutely gorgeous (I'm a sucker for metallic pink - shiny!) so I held my breath and thought I'd give this book a try.

The story follows the journey of a young, sheltered girl named Retra in a world of social unrest and repression; and boy, does it start with a bang. The reader gets thrown right into this without much context and only snippets of information about Retra's situation. In all honesty, that first chapter was not a winner for me, it was at times difficult to follow and the writing style left a bit to be desired. Nevertheless, the mood of the book quickly shifts from fast-paced confusion to something much darker, and much-much more mysterious. Marianne de Pierres creates a rich and delectable world that is both diverse and perverse. It is extremely dark and 'adult' in its themes, to the point of this being a strange choice for young adult fiction if it weren't for the youthfulness of the characters themselves (and the necessity of that to the plot).

This short but decadent novel took me surprise and has left me wanting more. I absolutely recommend others to try it (though in the US it may be hard to find in stores, beyond the internet) and fully intend for this to be a re-read in the near future.
Profile Image for Kristy.
592 reviews84 followers
March 2, 2012
I understand when you write a book you want your readers to have some mystery, to have to figure things out for themselves. I get it, I do. But, I spent the majority of this book feeling way to in the dark. I felt like I missed something.... I kept thinking did I skip a page? But no. Toward the end things started to make sense, but there is something about this author's writing that just doesn't click with me. Even after I figured out what was going on, I didn't really feel anything for these characters. And, that ending seriously pissed me off. I will not be reading #2!
With a cover like this, I expected spooky, cool, haunting fun. It was spooky at times and eerie. But, for me, this bad boy just fell extremely flat.

I can't force myself to even write a summary on this. I am ready to move on.

2.5 stars

Please don't just take my word on this one though. I can see why some people might really dig this, but it's just not for me.

blah. Can I take a nap now? Or can I just re-read Divergent?!?!?! ;)
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