Brightly Burning

Alexa Donne. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-328-94893-9
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 Brontë’s classic novel features solid sci-fi worldbuilding, creative details, and a diverse cast. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elana Roth Parker, Laura Dail Literary. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/04/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-328-47668-5
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