Have you ever wondered what your favorite classic novel would look like if it happened in space? Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne might give you an idea!
About ‘Brightly Burning’
Alexa Donne’s Brightly Burning is a reimagining of the literary classic, Jane Eyre, that’s set in the future when another ice age has forced Earth’s population to set off for the stars.
Brightly Burning follows Stella Ainsley, a talented young teacher and engineer as she longs for life outside of the Stalwart, the spacecraft she’s reluctantly spent the last six years of her life on. Next to the ship’s dwindling resources, her lack of enthusiasm for her job, and her unrequited affections for her best friend, George, anything seems better, in comparison.
Stella can’t believe her luck when she’s granted a position as a governess to a charming, intelligent 11 year old aboard the Rochester, the most affluent craft she’s ever been on.
Unfortunately, things aren’t always what they seem. While the Rochester may have luxurious meals and living spaces, a crew that feels like family, and more books than Stella could read in a life time, it’s also home to mysterious laughter, suspicious “accidents,” and conspiracy theories. Is it worth it? That question only gets more complicated when Stella meets the young, handsome, Captain Hugo, who might steal her heart before her head can make up its mind.
After you check out our review, you can buy Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne using the links below!
‘Brightly Burning’ book review
I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to read this particular “reimagining” of one of the most classic pieces of literature there is. The story of Jane Eyre just seemed so complete, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy hearing the same story told in a different setting.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t long before I was completely wrapped up in the world of Brightly Burning for everything that was unique about it. The similar plot points and name references became more of a fun easter egg once I became immersed in the goings on of Stella, the Stalwart, and of course, The Rochester.
Brightly Burning will equally appeal to young adults who are fans of the classics and those who are fans of sci-fi. The story is deep and familiar, and the setting is interesting and thought provoking.
As a protagonist, Stella will steal your heart all on her own. The vibrant, talented, and curious young woman is a pleasure to follow throughout her trials of unrequited love, suspicious happenings, and the perils of living in space with a very finite amount of resources.
The supporting characters are equally fun to discover. Whether it’s Stella’s smart, big-hearted student aboard the Rochester, Jessa, or one of her handful of love interests, each character brings something unique to the world and the story and will have you rooting for them at one point, or another.
As we mentioned earlier, young adult fans of sci-fi will especially enjoy Brightly Burning, but fans of The CW’s The 100 will be transported back to some of the best aspects of season 1. Stella is very reminiscent of Clarke Griffin in many ways, and the inhabitants of the fleet are forced to deal with dwindling resources, potential population culling, and the uncertainty of Earth reentry, just like the heroes of the TV series.
At its core, Brightly Burning is a fun story about young love, mystery and doing what’s right despite all of the things that are easier. Lovers of Jane Eyre will have a great time exploring their favorite story in a new setting, and those who haven’t read the classic will love discovering the characters and the story in this inventive way.