Review | Monday 07 March 2011
When Retra runs away to Ixion, the island of parties, youth and eternal darkness, she doesn’t do it for the same reasons as the others. While they just want to lose themselves in the constant rush, she wants to find someone: her brother.
So, ignoring the pain in her thigh from her disobedience implant, she makes it aboard a ship bound for Ixion. For the first time in her life she is free from the strict rules and harsh punishments of her life in the Seal, but Retra is all too aware that even here she doesn’t fit in. Her upbringing marks her apart from the other ‘baby bats’, and in a place where modesty is a sin, she struggles with its ways and its secrets – what lies behind the pale faces of the Ripers, their supposed guardians? And in a world for the young, what happens to those who grow too old? Are their lights snuffed out in the darkness?
Burn Bright introduces one of the most exciting worlds I’ve encountered since Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, or Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn, and it will surely appeal to fans of both. Ixion is such an easy place to get lost in, helped along by strange, wonderful characters and Marianne de Pierres’s lush writing, which at times feels like you’re floating through a dark dream. This is the first YA book from the Australian author, who has previously written crime under the name Marianne Delacourt, and I for one feel so lucky she’s ventured into this genre because Burn Bright really is a book that takes your breath away.
Burn Bright is the first in the Night Creatures trilogy, so once you’ve devoured the pleasures of Ixion, you can look forward to more, baby bats.