Saturday, July 28, 2018

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I’m not going to lie; I was expecting to either love this or hate this. And I’m so glad I loved this. I kinda love Jane Eyre.  And I love sci-fi.  I just wasn’t sure how well they could fit together. Somehow, the author made this work.
I bought this book on a whim, even though I tend not to buy books so much any more unless I know I’ll re-read them again. It just kept calling to me. And I’m glad it did.
I like the little bonuses Donne added to Jane Eyre’s story. I like that she had already been in love before in this version and I loved her engineering life that happened before her governess life. I also love how eccentric Hugo was. He had to be on a ship that orbits the moon…(Spoiler sentence coming: I love that his crazy wife in the attack is actually his crazy mom that he’s protecting).
I was fascinated by the world this author created in space. The ships were fascinating to read about. The class divides and the politics of it all were so interesting. I guess my only complaint is that I wanted more of this. I wanted a little more world building, particularly in the beginning. It would have helped to have had more context to understand how there could still be a need for governesses.
I read it remarkably fast. So fast, that my boyfriend was confused when I was reading something else. He’s like, “I thought you were reading the space book with the purple flower on it. Was it not good?” And I was like, “Yeah. I finished it already. It was super good.” I guess I kept wanting to see more of the classic Jane Eyre connections and it was fun anticipating them and seeing them, and hoping to see more. And I had to know how closely the end would resemble the end of the classic.
All in all, this was a lot of fun. You don’t need to have read Jane Eyre to enjoy this one, though I do think you’d love it so much more if you have read the original. It was kind of a lighter, sci-fi version of the classic. It has a super fast pace. The world in space was pretty amazing. The characters were familiar. And there were some added bonuses to the story that I felt improved things overall.  I would have appreciated a tad bit more world building. I can’t wait to see what this author comes out with next. I give this one a 9/10.

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