Published: 3rd October 2011 by Random House AU
Format: Paperback, 270 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Retra - now called Naif - has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn't know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels. But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds?
First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn't guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt - and Naif is caught in the middle.
Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey.
The fate of worlds depends on it.
Not many sequels surpass the original work, but Angel Arias achieves this gargantuan feat with relative ease: it’s just as eerie and beautiful as Burn Bright, but quickly becomes a darker and edgier tale – one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Naif’s growth is the most striking aspect of this book for me, because her return to the Grave could have easily allowed her to slip back into being the passive Retra, but she steels herself and brings Naif into her old world and comes out a lot stronger for it. I think that the way that Naif deals with being back in the Grave’s oppressive environment and seeing the consequences of her decision to run away to Ixion reveals the strength of her character. Markes helps Naif in this journey a lot and we get to see a stronger, more confident side of him that was lost within the splendour of Ixion. I really hope there is a happy ending in the next book for them both!
The new characters in this book are wonderful and provide an excellent counterpoint to Markes and Naif – Liam is especially endearing (and creepy, yes) and I love Jarrold. I’m not sure about some of the other characters, but I think that has more to do with Naif’s biases than my impressions of them. However, no one can replace Suki’s vivacity and Rollo’s good naturedness, and I keenly felt their absences right along side Naif. Her bond to Lenoir allows readers to glimpse what is happening back at Ixion, but nothing is clear and I am looking forward to getting back to the island in Shine Light.
I had not expected this book to be quite as action-packed as it is, since Burn Bright was filled with descriptions of the wonder and splendour of Ixion and only ramps up at the end. Angel Arias is thrilling from the get go, and with everything progressing so quickly I forgot that the book only spans a few days, until the very end. It has answered a lot of the questions raised in Burn Bright, but has offered up many more for readers to contemplate before reading Shine Light.
Engaging, thrilling and dark, Angel Arias offers us a wider glimpse into the world of the Night Creatures and is a must read for fans of Burn Bright. I am thoroughly enjoying this series and I think if you’re not already reading it, then what on earth are you waiting for? Hop to it: the third book is out already and now there is really no excuse!