Uncategorized

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Brightly Burning is a 2018 re-imagining of Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel Jane Eyre. What makes this re-telling so unique is that it merges science fiction and young adult fiction to present a modern twist on the tale that is set in space. 

Plot

Sometime in the future, a new Ice Age has engulfed Earth and forced the population into space where they are split up amongst different ships of varying degrees of luxury and comfort. Seventeen year old Stella Ainsley is unlucky enough to inhabit the dilapidated Stalwart, long rumoured to be the next ship doomed to attempt probable fatal re-entry to a frozen Earth.

34963446_1893351650695374_7514119278048575488_n

Desperate to leave the Stalwart, Stella applies for jobs on other ships, finally receiving an offer of employment from the elegant and wealthy ship, Rochester. Although Stella jumps at the chance, she hears strange rumours about the ship and its captain, Hugo Fairfax, with rumours of hauntings and the fleeing of previous governesses. When Stella discovers a terrible secret onboard, she is forced to make an impossible choice.

Verdict

Readers familiar with the source material will know how this novel is destined to end, however, there are a few surprises in store along the way as Brightly Burning is not solely a re-telling of Jane Eyre. There’s a hearty mix of science fiction and material from other sources (including Donne’s own creations) which keep things interesting. The opening is a little long, and the ending a little rushed, but the bulk of the novel is solid and intriguing. 

Although this is written specifically for a Young Adult audience, at its core it isn’t a bildungsroman that documents the development and growth of its heroine, but is a sprawling hybrid of genres set amongst the stars. Consequently, Stella does not undergo the same kind of journey and changes as Jane does. Whilst this aspect of the parent text may have been lost, the blend of sci-fi, young adult, and romance keeps things fresh and interesting. 

Brightly Burning is a clever, unique, and enjoyable update of a classic and I’d recommend giving it a try if you’re a Jane Eyre fan.

BBB SIG

Please do not copy, share, or use the images from this post without seeking permission first.

If you like what I do, please consider supporting me on Kofi via the button below 

Ko-Fi

In loving memory of Bob.
57240703_2249540238593109_6775465047226318848_n

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s