Lyndsey's Reviews > Burn Bright

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
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's review
Nov 19, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: aussie-fiction, about-dystopia-or-utopia, 3rd-person-limited, genre-young-adult, pov-primarily-female, reviewed-5-stars, reviewed-2011, tour, my-top-dystopian-or-utopian, to-read
Recommended for: Those who enjoy things Hitchcockian or Burtonesqe

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.
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Reading Progress

November 19, 2010 – Shelved
May 24, 2011 – Started Reading
May 24, 2011 –
page 1
0.32% "Go Aussie book tour from Missie of The Unread Reader for Nic's Aussie challenge at Irresistible Reads!!"
May 25, 2011 –
page 165
52.22% "Hahaaha!! There is a place called "Bella Death" in this book. An intentional jab at Twilight, perhaps?"
May 26, 2011 –
page 316
100.0% "Interesting. Veddy, veddy interesting."
May 26, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-50 of 57) (57 new)

message 1: by Darkfallen (new) - added it

Darkfallen Hahahas maybe! This book looks interesting. Let me know how it is, I might have to check this one out.

Nicole :D i was wondering about that too.

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Lyndsey, where did you get your copy of this one? I've been looking but can't find it. I thought it was only available in Australia.

message 4: by Lyndsey (last edited May 26, 2011 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey The Unread Reader Blog is having a book tour on this one. I'm mailing it to the next person on the list today. You might still be able to sign up and try to get on the list. I'm not sure, but it's worth a shot.

Erica (daydreamer) Fantastic review! I'm so excited to read this book.

Nomes wow. way to go with your review!

i *should* read this. seeing as i see it every time i go into the book shop... and pretty much everyone is loving it :)

Wendy Darling Sooo want to read this one! Great review, Lyndsey.

Arlene Awesome review!! You had me at bizarre! :) adding it to my TBR.

Lyndsey Nomes! How could you possibly see this at the the book store every day and not have bought it already? For just the cover alone even. It's so pretty.

The texture of the cover is so strange, too. It's almost velvety. Every other cover pales in comparison now. It's like when they started making stuffed animals out of that super soft material invented by beanie babies, and you compare it to one from the 80s and you're like "how did I ever think this was soft?" Yeah, weird comparison. I know.

message 10: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica Great review! I really want to read this now!

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Great review Lyndsey. I read this book, loved it but had absolutely no clue how to review it. So, what do I do, I avoid reviewing it! You really said it perfectly when you wrote:

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.

What a great way of explaining the world in this book!

message 12: by Chichipio (new) - added it

Chichipio Lynds, is this the book you got sauce on? Oops! I hope I didn't get you in trouble by saying that. :P

What does Australia feed their writers? I get that only the best makes it internationally, but still. Their best in several popular genres is way better than any other English speaking country's.

There's only one word for this review: Excrement.

message 13: by Lyndsey (last edited May 26, 2011 09:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Michelle, you should write a review for this! I'd love to hear what you thought. It is difficult if you don't do it right away, though. For me, I know it is.

Ew, Chich. Of course not. I'm OCD clean with my books. You always have to make things so vulgar. Sauce? Excrement? What's wrong with you?! (view spoiler)

Nomes LOL excrement :)

re: not having bought it yet ~ I have incredible self-restraint, haha. Not really, just am hoping my lib will hurry up and get it in. If it doesn't soon I will get it...

Lyndsey Oh yeah, it takes them so long to get books sometimes. I wish they could just get them on the release date but that would be too easy, wouldn't it? Ah well.

oliviasbooks I resent this unseen book-wall between Australia and the rest of the world.

Nomes LOL Olivia. is this one touring with the bookers? I can send it off on a tour if there is interest? my shops definitely have this one! i can pick up a copy tomorrow...

(unlike graffiti moon which i can no longer find ~ prob as i bought 4 copies of graffiti and used up their quota :)

Lyndsey It's more like a book ocean between them and the rest of us.

Damn Australia for being an island surrounded by a massive ocean at the edge of the world! That doesn't seem to stop them from taking books from the rest of the world, though. They just won't give us any. *sad face*

message 19: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery Yeah, who does Australia think it is, anyway?

message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Usually, I quite like being on a island surrounded by a massive ocean at the edge of the world!

But I don't want to deprive anyone of a good book. LOL
Hope you all find yourself a copy soon, that review was awesome Lyndsey. Next time I'm out at the shops I'll have to pick one up.

Wendy Darling I signed up for the book tour for this one after checking to see if a bunch of Australian titles were available from Book Depository (they weren't). So sad!

Nomes we really are lucky in Australia.

I can (obviously) get any Aussie book BUT also any US or UK one from TBD...

I think the Aussie YA books are quite different in voice and flavour to the imported YA I read. It's also a much smaller industry so it feels kinda cozy over here :)

message 23: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery Fine, rub it in, Nomes.

Nomes sorry flann :(

didn't realise until after my comment was a little on the boast-y side ;)

however, you americans have REENACTMENT VILLAGES and apparently i am missing out on that...

Wendy Darling Koalas. Wombats. Wallabies. (sp?) Kangaroos. Kookaburras.

message 26: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery I was just giving you a hard time, Nomes:-) Plus, you guys have the right to brag a bit-you have access to most everything!

Lyndsey And awesomely adorable accents!

message 28: by Nic (last edited May 27, 2011 01:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nic We get jealous of you guys too. You have massive bookstores and loads of author events, and amazing accents and hot cowboys (you do right? Please don't shatter my dreams).

message 29: by Lyndsey (last edited May 27, 2011 01:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Oh, we don't have author events in Oklahoma, really. But we do have hot cowboys!

I have one of my own. ;-)

Kirsten So there is like no way for me to get my hands on a copy of this... :/

message 31: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery It's $12 USD to ship it from Fishpond, which is the cheapest I've seen:

Missie at The Unread Reader posted that link on my review of Fury because it has the same problem. (WE CAN'T GET IT!)

Lyndsey Did you try signing up for the tour, Kirsten?

Kirsten Oh, nope, I didn't actually see you guys had one going for that, but it would make sense since thats how you have it. But I've been looking into the Kobo app which is free to download on my phone, and then I think I can get the ebook. But I'm worried it won't download if I try to do that... We'll see I guess. In the mean time, how do I sign up for the tour? I've never done one.

message 34: by Lyndsey (last edited May 27, 2011 03:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey It's through The Unread Reader blog, actually. HERE

message 35: by Crystal (last edited May 27, 2011 03:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Crystal Great review!! I really want to read this one!
Nomes if you put it on tour I will be on that list LOL! No pressure though =p

Nomes I will tour it :) I'll add it to the thread now and can post if off early this week. I like sharing the Aussie love b/c you guys always make us Aussies feel like we are awesome ;)

Crystal OOOHH *goes to thread* You are awesome!! Thank you !!

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead The problem with books is you can't chop the book up and share, it's only one person at a time. I did pass my copy along. :) Hopefully you all get a chance to read this one, it is such a fascinating mind trip.

message 39: by Katie (new)

Katie The writing style of this author sounds a lot like Catherine Fisher's style. It took me forever to get into her novel INCARCERON because everything was so vague and confusing. But once I got into it, I LOVED it and couldn't put it down. There was something haunting about it. This sounds similar.

Great review!

Lyndsey KM, I haven't read Incarceron, but this did remind me a bit of The Maze Runner, because the main character is just about as clueless as we are about the world.

message 41: by AH (new) - added it

AH Great review, Lyndsey! I seem to be reading a lot of dystopian YA books lately. Looking forward to finding a copy of this one.

Lyndsey Yes, AH! I've always loved dystopia but I have certainly been in a dystopia phase lately as well. Quite a few good ones, too. And even more of them are still being released.

message 43: by AH (new) - added it

AH Have you read The Knife of Never Letting Go - it was really good, just hard to read because it had so many awful things happen to the main characters. I also enjoyed Mortal Engines - quirky, set in the future but it felt like it wasn't.

Lyndsey I've started Knife, but got distracted. Lol. I am liking it so far, though. LOVE Manchee and I so wish I could hear my dog's thoughts.

message 45: by AH (new) - added it

AH But your dog would probably say Poo! Food! Squirrell! too, LOL.

message 46: by Lyndsey (last edited Jun 03, 2011 06:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Oh, I yell out "Squirrell!!" randomly all the time. Is that not a "people" thing to do? Strange. Always seemed so normal to me. XD

message 47: by Darkfallen (new) - added it

Darkfallen HAHAHAHAS yes!!' I too have issues with those furry little distractions;)


message 48: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel i want this book :( thanks a lot lyndsey for making it sound sooo awesome lol

Lyndsey No problem, Rachel. Just doing my civic duty.

It makes it more fun to torment you all with when the book is mostly unavailable. ;-) Kidding. It's unavailable to me too. I had to send it on to the next person on the tour but I SO was tempted to keep it.

message 50: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel Lol guess I'll just have to wait like everyone else who wasn't as lucky as you :)

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