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review 2018-03-23 01:40
I really enjoyed it, but it left me wanting more
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs

I had this pretty much ready to go yesterday and the day before that, but I didn't like what I'd written -- it's not like I disagreed with myself (I'm funny that way), but I just had gone off on a tangent and ended up writing about things I didn't care that much about, and ignored the things I'd been thinking about since I read the book. This isn't exactly what I meant to talk about, nor is it as clear as I wanted things to be -- but it's close enough. Hope someone gets something out of it.

Anna was her father’s daughter, and her father believed in science and rational thinking. She’d been a werewolf for years now, and she still tended to think about it from a scientific viewpoint, as though lycanthropy were a virus.


Faced with a wall of briar-thorned vines straight out of a Grimms’ fairy tale, she’d never had it brought home so clearly that what she was and what she did was magic. Not Arthur C. Clarke magic, where sufficient understanding could turn it into a new science that could be labeled and understood. But a “there’s another form of power in the universe” magic. Something alien, almost sentient, that ran by its own rules-or none. Real magic, something that could be studied, maybe, but would never rest in neatly explainable categories.

I appreciated this look into Anna's thinking. It matches up with what we've seen of Mercy's take on magic, but not completely, underscoring the differences in t heir personalities and way of looking at the world.


Burn Bright takes place on the heels of Silence Fallen -- Bran's not back yet and Charles is handling things. At least as much as Leah will let him. We've known for quite some time that Bran's pack is full of misfits, wolves that need extra care and attention that they probably couldn't get elsewhere -- particularly older werewolves, the type who are nearing the point where they can't keep control. Asil is a prime example of this -- but now we learn that Asil actually is an example of an older wolf who's doing just fine and that there are a half-dozen or so living near the Marrock, but that don't come into town or have much at all to do with anyone not Bran, Charles or a small number of specific individuals.


Now, while the Marrock is gone, someone is targeting these wolves -- and all signs point to someone within the pack. Can Charles, Anna and others protect these pack members from this new threat? Can they identify the traitor in their midst, and will Charles have to kill someone he trusted to preserve the safety of all the wolves?


One thing I noticed last year doing my re-read of the Mercy and Alpha & Omega books was just how comfortable I felt in these books -- that holds true here, too. It doesn't matter about the peril being faced by Charles and Anna (or any of the rest of the pack), reading this book was a nice, relaxing time with old friends. Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, she's not, but Briggs sure writes a cozy novel. I cannot put my finger on why -- if it's something in Briggs' style, her voice, the stories, a combination of the three -- but it doesn't matter. As long as she does that, she'll have loyal readers.


This was a very talk-y story (and maybe all the Charles and Anna stories skew this way, but this seemed a bit more pronounced). More than once I asked "Do we need to tell this story now? Can't we come back and chat about this later, you know, after everyone is safe?" Of course, the answer is now, and we need all the talk-y bits to get the understanding and information necessary to defeat the bad guys. Still, the author and readers know this, but Charles, Anna and the rest don't know that and I wish they displayed a greater sense of urgency.


Most of the talk-y portions were discussing the wildlings being targeted by the mysterious (and well-armed) forces at work here. Which at least pays off in the readers getting to know them -- which I greatly appreciate. The other person we get to know better is Leah, Bran's wife and his wolf's mate. Between these books and the Mercy novels we've gotten to know here a bit, but this novel fills that knowledge out. Between Leah and Chrissy (Adam's ex- in the Mercy books) Briggs displays a real talent in writing women that you cannot stand or trust, but have enough sympathy for that you can't just hate. They're manipulative, conniving, and self-promoting in ways that are clearly meant to set your teeth on edge -- but there's something very vulnerable about them, too.


There's a reveal or two later in the book that seem inevitable -- only because that's how stories work, even when (especially when?) everything is pointing in one direction, but there's no way an author of any experience would go with something so obvious. It's hard to get more specific while not giving away the details -- but those reveals ended up leaving me dissatisfied only because I called them so early. It feels like when you're watching a police procedural and identify the killer when the guest star makes their appearance in the first 10 minutes -- sure Castle might be charming, Bones' intern might be delightfully quirky, or Rizzoli might have some sort of compelling side-story, but the mystery part of the story is a disappointment because how is Morgan Fairchild not going to be the killer?


But the focus of the book is on the relationship between Charles and Anna, their mutual trust, the way they help each other in ways no one else can. That part of the novel is rock solid, and as long as Briggs delivers that, who's going to complain?


I thoroughly enjoyed this one, don't misunderstand me. And the more I learn about Bran's pack in Montana, the more I like it and the more I want to know. Asil, as always, was a joy. But . . . the more I think about Burn Bright the less satisfying it seems, the slighter it feels. I'm glad I read it, I'll likely gladly read it again -- and I look forward to the next adventure with these two. But I think Briggs could've -- and should've -- done better.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/03/22/burn-bright-by-patricia-briggs
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text 2018-03-22 17:10
Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 320 pages.
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs

Well that did not go well. Who to trust ? I don't trust any of them  and this chick who keeps talking is at the top of my list.

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text 2018-03-21 16:04
Reading progress update: I've read 55 out of 320 pages.
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs

Good start, dead mean, cages, powerful beings and something more...

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review 2018-03-19 11:33
Review: Nothing Left to Burn
Nothing Left To Burn - Heather Ezell

I received a copy from Penguin First to Read.


I went into this book not really knowing anything about it. It flagged my attention because I remembered if from my TBR list. I wasn’t expecting such an emotional gut-wrencher.


It starts with teenager Audrey wakened by firemen knocking on her door and some ungodly hour of the morning informing her of mandatory evacuation due to a raging wildfire. Audrey lives in Orange County, California. Her dad is out of town on a business trip and her mom and younger sister Maya have gone somewhere (I can’t remember where) for some really exclusive ballet audition for Maya. Audrey stayed home and went to a party the night before. It’s clear something happened there and she may be a tad hungover.


Naturally she’s completely freaked out and running around trying to figure out what to save, to get hold of her dad. She can’t bear the thought of freaking out her younger sister before her big audition. Also extremely worried over her boyfriend Brooks who is a volunteer firefighter.


What follows is an emotional roller coaster as Audrey comes to terms with the raging fire and how it’s effecting the people in her life. Also with flashback chapters on how she met Brooks and how their relationship developed.


It’s excellently written and the emotion pours out of the characters. Audrey comes across as a bit of a shy loner, with one best friend Grace. She doesn’t seem to get out much and feels a little left behind since Grace got a girlfriend, Quinn. Audrey works with Grace’s older brother Hayden on some AP projects for a class they’re in together. They’re friendly but you also get an impression something happened there as well that Audrey’s trying to avoid dealing with.


She meets Brooks at a party and they strike an immediate connection. He’s a loner as well, there’s gossip about him Audrey’s heard throughout the school grapevine but Brooks is nice and she doesn’t want to listen to rumours. Especially since they seem to be getting on so well. They start hanging out more and more and develop a deeper relationship going from friendship to something more romantic.


Audrey misses some red flags when Brooks’s behaviour starts changing. He’s got a complex past, his beloved brother died, he’s struggling to deal with it. Understandable. He can get her to talk, but doesn’t always seem to divulge much information about himself and gets annoyed and angry when asked about it. That should raise a few questions on its own. He doesn’t seem to like Audrey hanging out with her friends. He makes a scene about it when her friends show up at a birthday celebration for Audrey. He also seems kind of pushy about sex as well, especially since Audrey’s made it clear she wants to wait until she feels ready. Yet at the same time he can be very romantic as well.


The chapters switch between what is happening the day of the evacuation and what happened over the summer leading to that point.  As Audrey gets closer to Brooks she starts ignoring her own friends, and there’s big questions about what happened to Brooks’s deceased brother. Audrey gets some pretty shocking information. Yet she still can’t seem to think of much else.


There’s also a really great family dynamic as well, Audrey and her sister are really close and their relationship with their parents is decently described as well. The parents are involved without being overbearing and not pushed to the background.


There was a surprising twist in regards to the wildfire as well.


Beautifully written and really emotional as well, this was a quick read but a very good one. Definitely an author I would read again.

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review 2018-03-15 09:46
Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5)
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs

I love this series; I love it even more than the Mercy Thompson series.  I think it's because I find Charles far more interesting than Adam.  


Burn Bright ticked all the right boxes for me too; its entire setting was in Aspen Creek, which was a nice change from the previous books, where they were always somewhere new, with a new cast of supporting characters each time.  In Burn Bright, we get more information about the Marrok's pack, and a smidgen more insight into Bran (some of it I'm not sure I like knowing - tiny bit of ick).  I also enjoyed the small mysteries to solve along the way that aded up to the big plot point - I felt like it kept the pace fast without feeling ridiculous.  


Each of the books in this series and the Mercy Thompson series all work together, each one contributing to one of many over-arching plots she's got developing in this universe.  It makes it impossible to be able to recommend reading this series out of order, or honestly, without reading the Mercy Thompson series as well.  The latter isn't strictly necessary, but it'll definitely enhance the reading experience.


This book works for the Kill Your Darling games COD card:  Killing Curse.  Witches, magic and curses are all significant parts of the book and the series.

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