Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Published: May 1, 2018
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.
Would I have enjoyed this book as much as I did if I didn’t absolutely adore Jane Eyre? Probably not. If you aren’t a fan of Jane Eyre, or aren’t familiar with the story, this book may seem a little out there. The writing does feel a bit juvenile, especially in the very beginning – I’d say probably for a younger YA audience.
There were a few plot twists that require a bit of a suspense of belief, and I can understand how people may get hung up on them: i.e. how did a 14 year old become a captain of a ship? How were rats allowed to run around the ship? (Some things made my science-degree wielding self cringe).
When it comes down to it, I absolutely love anything Jane Eyre, and this wasn’t a bad retelling. Hugo and Stella’s relationship gave me ALL THE FEELS, and more than made up for any questionable plot points that arose. The author is currently writing a new book set it the same world that is a retelling of Persuasion (my absolute favorite classic) so you can imagine how excited I am!
Do you enjoy classic retellings?