Publisher: Egmont USA
Page Count: 272
Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.
Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.
When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.
*an ARC of this book was given to me by another blogger in exchange for a fair and honest review*
The first time I ever heard of Egmont USA was when I found out about Burn Out by Kristi Helvig, to my surprise I found that they were a fairly good publisher with some good books published. I was interested in reading Burn Out but couldn't buy it so of course I was happily surprised when Andye offered an ARC of it plus two other books in exchange for a review. However, Burn Out didn't meet my expectations and was a weak attempt at a sci-fi book.
Burn Out had some interesting settings and some OK world-building but it wasn't enough to push it to three let alone four or five stars. The main places we get to read about are Tora's shelter, some ships, the desert, and some town ruins. They were described in a OK way but I've read similar ones in many books, there wasn't anything unique or that varied. Sure, they were interesting to read about but when you stay in mostly the same place throughout all of the book then it starts to get boring. As for the world-building, there was a decent amount of information but around half of it didn't make sense and there was no way it could have been possible. In the book, 300 years ago (basically our present-day) an asteroid was heading for Earth and was deflected towards the moon. The asteroid had dark matter in it so when it hit the sun all of the suns helium was exhausted and Earth lost it's oxygen. First of all, dark matter is a type of energy and not really physical so how was it on an asteroid? How did the reaction with the sun get rid of all the oxygen in Earth? All these and more are not possible and/or don't make any sense at all. For a sci-fi book, Burn-Out was clearly lacking in the world-building and setting department.
The characters were a bit better than the world-building but were lacking as well. Most of the things in the books wouldn't have happened if the main character (Tora) hadn't been an idiot. I'm not exaggerating she was one of the most annoying main characters I've read about. I was sympathetic to all the things that happened to her (family dying, being stuck in a bunker) but she could have been at least a bit better. The other characters were better although the whole girl vs girl thing with Tora and the girl from the ship crew would have been better if toned down or omitted. Even the antagonist wasn't that bad compared to the ones's of other books. Overall, the characters were slightly better than the world-building but still barely above "bad".
If Burn Out has a sequel than I doubt that I'll read it, if you're thinking of reading this book than get it from the library first in case you don't like it like I did. Burn Out might be OK for people who like sci-fi or a minimal plot.
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