Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Brightly Burning - Alexa Donne

Title: Brightly Burning
Author: Alexa Donne
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2 Stars

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.
SPOILER ALERT: This review has spoilers, so, I guess don't read the review until later if you don't like spoilers. 

I started out really enjoying this book. By the time I finished, I felt like I had just trudged through 50000 pounds of quicksand AND the fire swamp from The Princess Bride AND the bog of eternal stench from Labyrinth.

This book is a futuristic retelling of Jane Eyre.  Cool, right?  Well, turns out, not so much.

The book has things you'd expect in a retelling of Jane Eyre - hauntings, a young nanny, a brooding alcoholic 19 year old.  Wait, did I jut say brooding alcoholic 19 year old? Yes, yes I did - because that's how old Hugo Fairfax, the captain of the Rochester, is. He became the captain of the ship at 14 after his parents died, because obviously a 14 year old is mature and capable enough to be the captain of a ship.

Anyway, let's break this book down.

The Characters: were about as well written and well developed as a bag of bricks.  They were all flat and uninteresting.  There was nothing about any of the characters that I found to be special or that made them stand out to me.  They were stock characters with limited traits, and they had limited growth throughout the book.

The plot was predictable and boring. There wasn't really much of a surprise as to what would happen, and there were too many things that felt forced, like they were added to the story just for the sake of being there, and not for any real purpose. 

I found it unrealistic that the *only* books they would read were books from at least 200 years in the past or older.  Now, I like me a good classic - I love classics.  But, I love modern books as well.  However, this book only mentioned books like Harry Potter, all the way back to books that are classics in our current time of 2019.  They did not mention any new books that people might enjoy during their time period.  That didn't feel very well planned out to me. People read classics, yes, and classics are important, but to me it just isn't realistic that these are the only books people would read. 

I thought a few things were a little unrealistic - like the fact that people in this society suddenly only usually live to be around 35, maybe 40. (Unless you are a worker on the Rochester. Then apparently you live past middle age.) I would think that in such an advanced time period they would have found a way for people to live for more time, not less, but that's just me.  Also, what's with treating a bunch of teenagers like they are old maids if they are not married off by the time they are 18!?! As if a person's entire identity is tied up in whether or not they are married?  People are more important than that, and shouldn't be treated like the only thing that matters is landing a spouse. 

Overall, this book ended up being a bit of a dud for me - read it if you want, but don't go into it with high expectations

Okay, reader friends - have you read this book?  If so, tell me what you thought of it in the comments below! 

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