Burn Bright by Marianne De Pierres
"Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark."
"Ixion exists as an antidote to the rules and conventions of other places. We believe that indulging in pleasure will make better people. Self-denial and discipline and virtue area all myths and invented to control you."
The story grabs you from page one and never lets go. No long descriptions, no chapters of back story. Just jump right in. We follow Retra as she is escaping from the island of Grave. Running through the pain of the discipline strip that has been implanted into her thigh. Barely making the boat as it pulls away from the dock. She knows nothing about Ixion, it has been hidden from her, but that is where the runaways are taken. The pirates come....searching for older runaways? The kids that are too old to go to the island of Ixion? Or, are they looking for something else?
Retra is looking for her brother who ran away before her. He went to Ixion needing to escape the contained, disciplined restrictions of Seal South on the island of Grave.
Ixion is unreachable by sunlight. It is guarded by the Ripers, it is fed and clothed by the Uthers. It is also contained by the night for the sunlight does not reach the island, ever
. "Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark."
Retra finds many new things on Ixion. She makes friends from other islands who have come to Ixion, who know more about Ixion. We learn as we go, following her every step to discover the island, and its inhabitants and it's rules.
"Everyone comes here for pleasure, even if they think they don't. Embracing it is harder for some and they go mad before they truly accept it. Most of the places they come from are founded with guilt and rules. The Ripers want us to break away from that-some wish to tear it from us while others are more subtle. "
They have to register and pick new names as they enter the island. They are stripped of their old clothes and given beds and rules. They must schedule resting times between the partying, the dancing and the music. If you don't rest you will burn out more quickly. You eat, you take your pills and you dance and then you rest. You mind the Ripers, the rules and don't stray from the paths. Your focus is to be happy, seek pleasure and try to ignore the fact that you will be removed when you become to old.
There is unrest on Ixion. Gangs are forming and the uneasiness between the Ripers is noticeable.
The rules are changing.
"Rules? Ixion is supposed to be free of rules, yet it seems as strict as Grave in it's own way and more....more dangerous."
Burn Bright is dark, it's creepy and it's fantastic. What a roller-coaster!
You can also visit Burn Bright Vlog to see my video review
This book is not yet available for purchase in the United States, Please help show your support if you are interested by helping spread the word about the books. The only way to purchase the book currently is directly through an Australian online seller.