Title: Brightly Burning
Author: Alexa Donne
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: May 1st, 2018
Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.
But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.
“Someone told me that when we die, we are released out there, turned into something burning and brilliant. I don’t know if it’s true, but it brings me confort.”
I cannot tell you how excited I was to read this book. Obviously, it was one of my most anticipated releases of this year, and though I haven’t read Jane Eyre yet, I just adore the hell out of the movie and have watched it multiple times, so I was so pumped for this novel.
I have to say that though it wasn’t bad and I had such a great time reading it, it didn’t fulfill all my expectations, and I had some issues with the characters. But still, I’m so happy I decided to pick it up.
One of my main complains was that there was no plot during most of the book, and it was mostly a character driven and a romance story, and I don’t tend to have problems with books that focus on their characters, but I didn’t love these. They were okay, but they weren’t my favorite.
Their evolution was a bit too lineal, and it took a while for you to see that development in them. Something that I really enjoyed was the interactions between our protagonist and her love interest. They both have some similar personalities to the original story that this novel was inspired by, and I really enjoyed seeing those in Brightly Burning.
“Everyone on board this ship is a bit like a solitary planet. We orbit the same sun, but only on lonely tracks.”
The romance was actually pretty well done. Though it happened a bit fast, it was really well done and I love the relationship those characters had. The side characters were amazing, and I love getting to know them more throughout the story.
One of the things I wish I had read more about was the world building. The information about it was a bit lacking, frankly, and there were some parts that were a bit confusing because of that lack of world building.
It was a very atmospheric and eerie, and the author did such an amazing job with the descriptions, because it was as if you were inside that book. They were really easy to picture in the mind, and that added a little extra something to the story.
Overall, it was a solid book and I’m so glad I ended up reading it. I had some issues with the world building and the characters, and found that the revelations made towards the end were a bit predictable, but still it was a very addicting read.
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