Today I’m coming to you with my review for “Burning Bright” by Melissa McShane, a young adult historical fiction set in England. This was an e-Arc that I had had waaaaaaay too long and I was drawn to it by the beautiful cover. I didn’t know much of the story when I started it but was pleasantly surprised with the story, settings, and magical system.
Title: Burning Bright (The extraordinaries #1)
Author: Melissa McShane
Publication date: 15 August 2016
Elinor Pembroke wakes up one night surrounded by a fire, that is eating away her bedroom. With one thought she extinguishes it, and discover that she is an Extraordinary Scorcher, the first one in England in a hundred years. In an era where woman are not supposed to have a career but lived through their husbands, she is forced to make a decision that will determine her life. Either stay here and endured a forced marriage to please her father or find another path and built something for herself. She chooses the later and decides to use her gift to help the Navy fight pirates.
Phenomenal world building
One of the things that caught my attention was the world building as there are different types of gifts that people can have. Not only that, they can be the ordinary gift or you can be an extraordinary. I always like books where there is magic or something of the kind.
“…I admit I am as fond of money as the next man, but no. And I don’t crave fame; it’s only the outward appearance of what I do want, which is security”
In addition, I found fascinating the England that is described and the naval life that Elinor chose to live. Nevertheless, I found a bit lacking the explanation of the different gifts and the differentiation between an ordinary one and an extraordinary.
Strong and defiant main character
This will come as no surprise that one of my favorite parts of the book was Elinor herself. What there is not to love with a character that is able to defy not only her father but also all the pre-established rules of the time, to do something for herself. I loved how Elinor grows throughout the book. She starts being this uncomprehended girl that is only trying to please her father so he will love her but finds out that that only happens once he can gain something, marry her to someone in a higher class.
“It is remarkable in how many ways one can be forced to a decision without having a knife to one’s throat”.
She stands up for herself and finds people that truly appreciate her for herself not for what they can gain. She is smart and I love how she uses her intellect to come back to people.
Captain Ramsay was a nice addition to the cast of characters. I liked how he was always there to help her and support her, and how a different leader he is. More “modern” for what the time was.
In all this was a fantastic read, I flew through the pages and it will definitely make you wanna pick it up just to see Elinor defy society rules of the time.
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review