Monday 11 April 2011

Burn Bright

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres (Random House)
HB RRP $18.95
ISBN 978-1-8647-1988-8
Reviewed by Oliver Phommavanh

Burn Bright is a novel for teenagers, a gothic and paranormal novel with clubbing overtones. Yep, welcome to Ixion, an island that is similar to Ibiza, full of raves, parties and music.

It’s a place of pleasure that doesn’t bode well with Retra. She’s a Seal-think highly conservative religious cult and you’re halfway there-who’s just escaped to track down her rebellious brother. She’s followed him to Ixion, where outcasts get to party all night literally because it lies in forever darkness.

But there’s got to be a catch right? Ixion are guarded by Ripers, and people on the island eventually ‘disappear’ as they get older. Sounds like the real-life clubbing scene then. Retra’s determination to find her brother gets her mixed up in the politics of the island. And its secrets are messy.

There’s a tinge of erotica through the descriptions, modesty is a sin on Ixion and Retra finds herself half-naked on more than one occasion. But it doesn’t go overboard. You really have to suspend belief to get into this nocturnal world. de Pierres makes it easy though, with solid suspense throughout. The story never stands still for long.

Retra’s nerdy and na├»ve personality works here because like the reader, she sees past the superficiality of parties and pleasure mantra of the island. Give Burn Bright a chance and you’ll be immersed in its dark world. It’s recommended for ages 13 and up.  

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