Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
Okay...well... this Space Opera retelling of Jane Eyre left me with a heavy bag of mixed emotions. It was a space faring, hot mess of forced romantic entanglements featuring an ever so tepid insta-love that was both lumbering and implausible.
“Stella, why did you leave?” a brusque voice demanded.
“I had to put Jessa to bed.”
“Oh,” he said as if the thought never occurred to him. “Well, then, come back if you’re done. I want you here.”
“I’m quite tired.”
“Nonsense,” he insisted. “The night is young. I’ll see you in five minutes."
Let's suspend the original works foundation and judge Brightly Burning on its own, it's only fair. First our MC Stella is in lust with her emotionally robotic, unbelievably asexual seeming best friend. Then she shuttles off a dying hunk of space trash in an attempt to start anew where she immediately runs into a bloody mess of a man-child and predictably falls into instamatic, mutually reluctant, obsession with him. Their 4 month courtship was not only cold and stilted but it was also downright toxic at times. This was especially true when he insisted that she sit and watch as he flirted with someone who not only despised Stella but was a twaddling (later redeemed) prat to boot. It was hard to suspend my misgivings and allow things to naturally/realistically progress. There was less steamy, romantic percolation and more festering type awkwardness.
It certainly was a quick read though. Its smooth writing, and quick pacing made it feel like a dizzying romp that left me feeling...conflicted? It felt like a moment of dodgy, unfettered pleasure that proceeded to intrude on my regularly scheduled brain activities. AKA Brain Herpes. Yes I said it... Brightly Burning gave me a brain ITD.... Intercranially Transmitted Disease!! Am I exaggerating? Maybe. Was it worth it? Good question. As I said, it was a mixed bag of hmmmm and ewwww and huh(?!?) that will stick with the reader even after they have moved on to the next new shiny precious.