“One of the most anticipated YA debuts of 2018, Brightly Burning is a gothic, romantic mystery with hints of Jane Eyre, Marissa Meyer, and Kiera Cass.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Brightly Burning delivers a brooding gothic mystery and a swoony romance, all set in space. Donne’s atmospheric, twisty update of a cherished classic will keep you up late into the night!” —Elly Blake, NYT bestselling author of the Frostblood Saga
Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on a private ship. On the Rochester, there’s no water ration, more books than one person could devour in a lifetime, and an AI who seems more friend than robot.
But no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella finds her equal in the brooding but kind nineteen-year-old Captain Hugo. When several attempts on his life spark more questions than answers, and the beautiful Bianca Ingram appears at Hugo’s request, his unpredictable behavior causes Stella’s suspicions to mount. Without knowing who to trust, Stella must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.
Alexa Donne’s lush and enthralling reimagining of the classic Jane Eyre, set among the stars, will seduce and beguile you.
Jane Eyre gets a futuristic reimagining in this appealing YA drama. Seventeen-year-old orphan Stella Ainsley, an engineer aboard one of the many colony ships orbiting an Earth during a new ice age, accepts a role as a teacher aboard a private ship owned by the brooding Hugo Fairfax. After a lifetime of austerity and deprivation, life aboard the luxurious Rochester is like a dream, save for odd accidents, mysterious laughter at night, and the ship's reputation for being haunted. But as Stella bonds with Hugo, they find an unexpected emotional connection, which blossoms into love despite complications. Stella also stumbles across a conspiracy that threatens the disadvantaged in an increasingly resource-starved fleet, and she risks everything to save those she loves. Newcomer Donne hits all the predictable plot points of her romantic storyline, but she leaves other aspects, such as the heroine's childhood and the story's social criticism, undeveloped. Still, this entertaining, loose adaptation of Bront 's classic novel features solid sci-fi worldbuilding, creative details, and a diverse cast. Ages 12 up.
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BRIGHTLY BURNING REVIEW
I’m not the type of person who normally writes reviews, but I decided to do it for this book, because I genuinely thought it was wonderful. I loved a lot of aspects about this book. I love the characters, and the secrets they hold from one another. I loved how this book was set in space. I loved that it was YA, but the most fascinating elements of this book were the mystery that blended into it, along with getting to explore the different spaceships that were mentioned throughout the course of the story. Reading this book was such an immersive experience for me, and I became more invested in Stella’s life as the book continued. By the last few pages of the book, I was glad she got the happy ending she deserved. Overall, I really enjoyed this debut novel from Alexa Donne, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.