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[Review] Burn by Patrick Ness

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Burn is an epic reimagining of 1950s America that is filled with alternate realities, secret agents and dragons! This story draws from the horrors of both reality and fantasy and is full of twists and turns that kept me hooked to this story from beginning to end.

Unbelievably this was my first venture into the words of Patrick Ness and trust me it won’t be my last. Ness crafts such powerful narratives and weaves the fiction and the fantasy so well in this story; it tackles prolific issues from the 50s such as racism, sexism and homophobia and poignantly tackles these negative attitudes throughout the story. This only further demonstrate Ness’s ability to craft a diverse cast of characters in any setting or story he creates. The inclusivity in this story feels even more important in relation to its setting and showcases the lives that history often chooses to forget when looking back at the past.

In the first part of the story the narrative alternates between two different leads and these two narratives merge in the second part where the story is truly flipped on its head. It does initially leave you with more questions than answers but that only compelled me to continue reading as I was desperate for answers to all the twists and turns.

Also I have to mention the dragons as they are the reason I wanted to read this book in the first place! I love dragons in stories and Burn was so unique in the way it featured them and I was so intrigued to find out more about the portrayal of dragons in this reimagined world.

Burn truly captured my attention from beginning to end and I did not want to put this book down. If you are a fan of Ness’s work or if you were a novice like myself then I can’t recommend it to you enough, but be prepared for a rollercoaster of a story that you won’t want to end.

This review is by volunteer YA reviewer Rose Gant.