Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Brightly Burning by Alexa DonneBrightly Burning
by Alexa Donne
May 1, 2018
400 pages

Goodreads     Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
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.



Brightly Burning was a novel that caught my eye because of its retelling nature. I'm a fan of pretty much any kind of retelling (regardless of having read the original text or not) so I had to give this book a try. Bonus that it's a retelling set in space!

Brightly Burning is a retelling based off of Jane Eyre. I have not read the classic and know very little about it therefore I cannot provide any insights into likeness or differences. However, I will say, whatever the original story was like, I loved this space-y retelling. It's a gem of a little story that had me thoroughly engrossed. I was flying through the pages.

Stella is an all too easy to like character. She's kind, keen and knowledgeable. Despite her "lower" status she doesn't hold back when rudeness and/or injustices were being committed. I love how there were no hesitations with her. "The right thing to do often sounded crazy." (ARC, p. 293). She knew right from wrong and doesn't waste any time in taking action.

With their status differences the romance that blossomed between Stella and Hugo felt forbidden. There were barriers but given the stubborn nature to both characters the obstacles didn't really pose as real threats. Stella's thoughts were maybe a little insta-lovey but Ms. Donne does a superb job convincing us of their attraction. I wholeheartedly rooted for Stella and Hugo.

The secret on board the Rochester was fairly predictable but I really enjoyed spending time on the mysterious vessel and getting to meet the various crew members and guests they received. Every person brought a little something different to the story making Brightly Burning quite the lively and engaging read.

I was a touch let down by the ending. It felt hastily wrapped up. I guess I wanted to see more to the big milestone but maybe it was done to keep to the Jane Eyre storyline? Again, since I didn't read the classic I can't say if this holds true. Regardless, still a fitting ending I suppose...

Alexa Donne is definitely an author I'll be keeping an eye on for future books. Brightly Burning was not only an entertaining read, it was a fantastic story that held my interest from start to finish. I love it when a book exceeds my expectations!
4.5 Cats
*I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the ARC I received.


  1. I will definitely be reading this one because Jayne Eyre is solidly in my top five favorite books of all time, and spaceship set SciFi is my favorite! Thanks for sharing your review. I'm heading over to Goodreads right now to make sure I added it. :)

    1. Yesss! This one was so fun and exciting. I've actually never read the original Jane Eyre or even seen any of the movie adaptations (there's probably several right?). Maybe it's time to correct that since I enjoyed this retelling so much ;)

    2. I have seen two or three movies and they were all good. :)


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