Saturday, March 31, 2018

Best of: The Burn by Annie Oldham - Book Review - Repost

Originally Posted: December 30, 2011

The Burn by Annie Oldham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Published September 28th 2011

The Burn is full of nuclear fallout, roving gangs, anarchy, unreliable plumbing. That's what Terra's father tells her. She has lived her whole life in comfort in a colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. She hates it. And she would pay any price to leave. But when Terra finally escapes the colony, she finds out her father is right.

She finds a group of survivors that quickly become friends, and every day with them is a race for survival. When she witnesses and commits unspeakable acts, she has to decide where her loyalty lies: with the colony she despises or The Burn, where every day is filled with nightmares.

I'm not sure what to say about The Burn, I'm pretty sure earlier in the week that I got the review request I was thinking to myself "Enough, already with the dystopias!" I don't know if it's the whole "2012 the end is near!" thing that's been going around since like last year, but I'm starting to get a little tired of hearing (or reading) what the world will be like once we destroy it.

And it's always us, in the words of H.G Welles "If we don't end war, war will end us." And then in turn we will have to continue killing to survive.
Even with my not so favorable views of the genre, something told me to give it a try. Then when it came time to read it a month later, I kind of struggled and almost decided to pass on it.

Before I make it look like I'm going the negative route with this I would like to say that I did like it enough to actually rate it and give it a fuller review instead of just saying "It was pretty good, but not for me." I've even considered giving it two reviews, of course one would have to be a not so good one.
Sometimes when I like a book I can't always list what I liked about it so I tend to go on about what I didn't. Which might be what I'm trying to do here.

One thing that gets me about all dystopias is that the message is a little too obvious; here I saw it as trying to just say "the grass really isn't greener on the other side." The main character Terra was unhappy and decided to go somewhere she thought might be better then she realized: it's not.
Also maybe a message to teens saying that maybe your parents are actually right and just trying to protect you.

In the beginning the main character Terra kind of comes off as a reckless brat, so I was not feeling for her. It was hard to understand why exactly she was unhappy with her living situation. That being at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, it all seemed a little too Little Mermaid to me.
The wanting to go up on land and a few other details.
Those other details might have been the turnaround point for me because after that I found myself enjoying the story and finally liking Terra.
I loved how Dave and his group just accepted her so quickly, there was something about these characters that just seemed so comfortable. The way they meet is a little iffy but besides that I really liked them.

I was a little heartbroken for Terra at times and started understanding her better. Her need to feel like she truly belonged somewhere, was pretty relatable we all have our times when we need to find where we fit just right.

I did and didn't like the ending, didn't because it wasn't exactly the one I was expecting and liked... well for the same reason I guess.

All in all I'm glad I gave The Burn a chance, just goes to show that it's always worth trying something out before you brush it off.

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