Review: Burn Bright
Bran is out of town, leaving Charles in charge of the Marrok’s pack. But the situation is a little strange because he isn’t answering his phone when Charles calls. And he mentioned visiting Africa? Charles and Anna aren’t sure what’s going on, but they’re doing their best to hold down the fort until Bran decides to return… whenever that will be.
But they get a call from the mate of one of the “wildings”–which are unstable (usually old or traumatized) wolves that live in the Marrok’s territory, but are removed enough physically for the safety of the rest of the pack. Jonesy’s cryptic call leaves Charles concerned and confused, and with Anna decides to investigate.
They discover something much more than they expected.
I suggest having read SILENCE FALLEN (EBR review) before reading this (in case you’re also reading the Mercy Thompson series, as well, and if you aren’t, you should be), because there are a few events that affect the storytelling in BURN BRIGHT, but don’t sweat it if you can’t, Briggs does bring you up to speed so you aren’t lost. However, events here are cross referenced from the Mercy Thompson series (including characters and events from clear back in MOON CALLED), and we see that prior events were just the tip of the iceberg. It’s rather satisfying to see the culmination of storyline across a series. If you recall from MOON CALLED, a young man was turned against his will and sold to people in order for them to experiment on him. That initial book dealt with the immediate fallout, but don’t forget they never found the masterminds behind it.
Here Charles must work outside his comfort zone and take on a task better suited to his father. But as times goes by, he begins to realize that perhaps his father was wise in keeping himself separated, because there’s a deeper issue that what the problem first seems to be: there may be a spy in the pack, and the suspects are few, but outing the spy is tricky and potentially dangerous. Good thing he has Anna by his side as they visit the wildings and learn who they are, their stories, and solve problems previously thought to be unsolvable. As only Charles and Anna can.
BURN BRIGHT is a more talky book than usual for Briggs, which generally annoys me (such as in the most recent Orson Scott Card book, CHILDREN OF THE FLEET… so. much. talking). Don’t get me wrong, I love good dialogue; but lengthy conversations, no matter how clever, informational, or crucial tend to make my head tired, I prefer it a little broken up. This is probably a petty issue, so it doesn’t change the rating of the story, but it feels less action-oriented and more mystery-oriented.
Briggs’ world of werewolves, witches, and humans and how they interact is clever and fascinating. Here we learn interesting things about pack behavior as well as what happens when supernatural creatures live too long. I especially love how Charles and Anna’s relationship has progressed across the books, how they rely and trust each other–which becomes vital as they deal with the issues involved in this story. And supernaturals who’ve lived a long time have more enemies than the average person. We meet a few new people, but here it’s the regulars Asil, Leah, and Sage who becomes import in BURN BRIGHT and the vital roles they play in the pack and as friends to our heroes. I enjoyed seeing them work and interact.
BURN BRIGHT is a quick, fun read, continuing Charles and Anna’s engaging story. This review is short so you can jump straight into their story knowing that it’s worth the time.
- Recommended Age: 15+
- Language: Minor instances
- Violence: Usual werewolf stuff
- Sex: Referenced and a brief inexplicit scene