Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen

Synopsis: The world's going to end in fire...and it's all Kyle's fault.

Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore. Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...

The Nerd's Ramble:
Obscura Burning is the story of Kyle Wolf and how his world is slowly crumbling around him. Caught between two different realities, one where his boyfriend is alive and their friend Shira is dead, and the other where Shira lives, but Danny, Kyle’s boyfriend has died.  The shifting reality, the appearance of Obscura, and the fight against time are tearing Kyle apart, and he ends up not only fighting for his life, but the salvation of Earth.

It took me a couple of chapters to get oriented with the world and the events that were going on. I feel that there could have been just a little more back story and set up, but it’s not detrimental to the pacing, or the story overall. I really enjoy the issues that were presented in this book and how the characters deal with them, and the emotions that go along with them. I like that Kyle Wolfe is more of an anti-hero or a dark hero, but I tend to fall for characters who have baggage.

The book is well written, well paced and the characters are ones that I keep thinking about and coming back to. I like the science in this story, and the fact that it’s a very different take on an apocalyptic story. Kyle, whether you love him or hate him, will stick with you for a while. The ending of this book is something that I would not change. I like the way it ends, and the sentiment in the ambiguity.

Obscura Burning is a book that I would recommend to people, even if they’re a bit turned off by the ‘young-adult’ label. It’s mature and fast paced, dealing with some heavy issues. I like that the main character is conflicted with his own personal issues, along with having to deal with the societal labels that go along with them. It’s a great, wild read and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Total Length:  300 pages
Available Format: Epub and traditional
Publication Date: December 7, 2012 (Etopia Press)

Author's Link: Suzanne Van Rooyen on Goodreads
I was sent a copy of this book by BTS Magazine for a review. I was not compensated or influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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