Burn
In 1956 Sarah Dewhurst's father shocks her by hiring a dragon to work the farm. The dragon is a smaller blue rather than the traditional larger reds, though even the reds are now scarce. When the blue dragon, Kazimir, unexpectedly saves Sarah and her friend Jason Inagawa from the attentions of the racist police deputy, Kelby, everything changes. Sarah is part of a prophecy and she must escape the clutches of Malcolm, an assassin from a Believer Cell, the dragon-worshiping cult. When Sarah, Malcolm, and Kazimir eventually converge, they are thrown into another universe, where dragons seem never to have existed. Can they save this world and the one they left?

Burn Details

TitleBurn
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 2nd, 2020
PublisherWalker Books
ISBN-139781406375503
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Dragons, Fiction, Young Adult Fantasy, LGBT, GLBT, Queer, Urban Fantasy

Burn Review

  • chai ♡
    January 1, 1970
    it is my professional opinion that society is collapsing because we stopped writing books and making movies about dragons and I'm glad Patrick Ness is taking the necessary steps to remedy that
  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    I honestly don't know what to do with this book. Finished it yesterday and just couldn't make my mind up about it. It's definitely a Patrick Ness novel in all its originality and weirdness. It reminds me of Release in that two separate stories are being told in one book. And of course, it's gay, even though the blurb might not make it seems that way. My problem, I think, was that there was a disconnect. I'll try and explain why but I can't guarantee that I'll do a good job. The first thing that I honestly don't know what to do with this book. Finished it yesterday and just couldn't make my mind up about it. It's definitely a Patrick Ness novel in all its originality and weirdness. It reminds me of Release in that two separate stories are being told in one book. And of course, it's gay, even though the blurb might not make it seems that way. My problem, I think, was that there was a disconnect. I'll try and explain why but I can't guarantee that I'll do a good job. The first thing that properly irritated me were the many POVs. There are at least 12. That's a lot for such a short book. The plot was all over the place and I got really annoyed when I was thrown out of a storyline that had me really invested. I see why Ness did it, but I'm convinced he could have pulled it off with only half as many POVs. You would think that the characters suffered from these very short episodes that we stayed with them, but they were very well-drawn and had the necessary depth to make me care for them (some more than others of course). What did suffer though were the relationships between them, particularly newly established ones that advanced way too quickly. That holds especially true for the gay romance, which failed to convince me.Now, on the one hand this book is genius. There are very unexpected twists and I've not read anything like it before. It's like one of those film trailers that show you what the story is and make you super curious so you go and watch it in theatres just to find out that you didn't even know the half of it - there's so much more to the film than what was shown in the trailer and your mind is blown (I'm thinking of Kingsman - The Secret Service here). It just didn't work so well here. The fast pace threw me off and when I reached the 50% mark I kept thinking What the fuck is going on? I'm not going to say anything else here because that would spoil everything for you. It got even weirder when that one main character kissed that other minor character. He just kind of lost me there and I really don't understand how that was necessary. If you've read the book you know exactly what scene I'm talking about. Kinda random, kinda pointless.One last thing I want to mention is the representation: the two main characters are a Black biracial girl and a white gay boy. There's also a Japanese-American love interest and a Guatemalan-American love interest. This book is set in the 1950's and although there might be dragons in this alternate world, racism and homophobia still exist. Overall I believe the representation was good but bear in mind that I'm not an OwnVoices reviewer when it comes to the POC characters. Also, expect xenophobic, racist and homophobic violence, abuse and slurs.I think this book could have worked with a higher word count. More time to establish the world-building, more space for the characters to develop, more room for the story to breathe and settle. Because this was one wild ride and I believe it might have given me a concussion.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    so dragons are the new wave?
  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this one a few days ago and had to just sit on it a while and collect all my feelings. I truly believe Ness books are always this exquisite mix of the unique, bizarre and heartfelt aching. This one is set in the 1950s and it's strange, so so strange. But honestly enthralling. The mid-point left me utterly breathless. It's one of those books you cannot predict and I actually enjoy being left to the whims of an author instead of guessing how it'll all turn out by the end (I read a lot, I finished this one a few days ago and had to just sit on it a while and collect all my feelings. I truly believe Ness books are always this exquisite mix of the unique, bizarre and heartfelt aching. This one is set in the 1950s and it's strange, so so strange. But honestly enthralling. The mid-point left me utterly breathless. It's one of those books you cannot predict and I actually enjoy being left to the whims of an author instead of guessing how it'll all turn out by the end (I read a lot, okay!!! I make a lot of accurate guesses!!)The story looks like this: it's 1956, Sarah Dewhurst's father's farm is failing. She's biracial black and faces awful discrimination in her tiny backwards town of Frome (her best friend Jason is Japanese and treated even worse than she is) and she's missing her dead mum and she's worried this is it for her whole life. Farm. Pigs. Hiding that she loves Jason because it'll just give other people more to harass them about. Oh and also? There are dragons. And it's NORMAL. And there are jUST DRAGONS RANDOMLY. Also a teen assassin cultist who worships dragons?!? Also FBI people tracking down teen cultist because he's about to murder someone. Also he's headed for Frome. Also he's soft and gay and his name is Malcolm but is it. And Sarah's dragon is Russian and sarcastic and non threatening bUT IS IT.ALSO WHAT IS GOING ON.So it seems like a quiet book, and it IS, but it's just WILD.I didn't even mention everything bizarre that goes on because you need the plot twists 😂 prepare ourselves to absorb.I did really like this book. I think it took a bit of getting used to, and I'm not wholly sure what the message was apart from: war is bad, don't be a warmonger. I really loved Malcolm, our cultist boy assassin, because he's just such a dedicated dumbass and I loved seeing him stretching and challenging his own thinking. Sarah was so down-to-earth and sensible, I did like her a lot too! And the writing has this factual quality, but also it's just so powerful and has a lot to say. My only thing is I didn't quite connect to it as much as I have other Ness books. The FBI people chapters were eh. And look, it was, overall, super weird. 😂This is a story of war and change, of teens who have been lied to or mistreated and gone to search for their own truths. It's bizarre and enchanting and twisty, and incorporates high fantasy (prophecies! Dragons!) into a more modern setting in such an intriguing way. I've not read anything quite like this. And if you're sitting there like, "does this have REAL dragon content" omg YES IT DOES and Kasimir is a sassy little smart alek, I do adore his scaly unruffled self.
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  • The Burning Rose (Jess)
    January 1, 1970
    Patrick Ness + dragons = a wish came true even though I did not ask for it. 😍
  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    here's where i would make a joke about his name being "Ness" and writing a book about dragons...but i got nothingso here's a gif:| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram here's where i would make a joke about his name being "Ness" and writing a book about dragons...but i got nothingso here's a gif:| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
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  • Becca & The Books
    January 1, 1970
    Content Warning in Spoilers - (view spoiler)[Historically relevant Homophobia & Racism (hide spoiler)]Patrick Ness weaves dragons into 1950s rural America in his newest YA release.I really enjoyed the writing and world of this book, I expected the inclusion of dragons in a somewhat recent historical setting to be quite jarring but I liked how they were woven into the world and learning about the background and political structure of a world that humanity has to share with majestic winged beasts. Content Warning in Spoilers - (view spoiler)[Historically relevant Homophobia & Racism (hide spoiler)]Patrick Ness weaves dragons into 1950s rural America in his newest YA release.I really enjoyed the writing and world of this book, I expected the inclusion of dragons in a somewhat recent historical setting to be quite jarring but I liked how they were woven into the world and learning about the background and political structure of a world that humanity has to share with majestic winged beasts.The downfall of this book for me was the structure, the plot builds toward what feels like the climax of the story but then concludes at the mid way point, only to build up again to the true conflict and resolution. I found that this made section between the middle and final conflict drag as it felt like I was starting a whole new book.Overall an enjoyable story with an interesting world but not really for me and possibly would be a better movie than a book.
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  • Vee_Bookish // stan shea couleé
    January 1, 1970
    I'm also a book blogger: Vee_Bookish(ARC provided by NetGalley, my opinions are unbiased)You never quite know what to expect from Patrick Ness book, leaving me to believe that he is either a robot controlled by several gnomes, or experimenting with different hallucinogenics. Burn is yet again, another unique book, about Dragons. In 50s America. It's very much the 50s we know, including the racism, but it has dragons it. Somehow this never feels shoehorned in, it just works seamlessly. We have a I'm also a book blogger: Vee_Bookish(ARC provided by NetGalley, my opinions are unbiased)You never quite know what to expect from Patrick Ness book, leaving me to believe that he is either a robot controlled by several gnomes, or experimenting with different hallucinogenics. Burn is yet again, another unique book, about Dragons. In 50s America. It's very much the 50s we know, including the racism, but it has dragons it. Somehow this never feels shoehorned in, it just works seamlessly. We have a full cast of diverse characters, the farm girl, her Japanese boyfriend, the gay assassin coming to kill her, the detectives following the assassin, the giant blue dragon I kinda want to marry? Is that weird?I definitely thought I knew where this book was going, and then when we started creeping up to the half way point I realised that Malcolm was nearly at the farm, Agent Woolf not far behind, the satellite was wherever the satellite needed to be and basically, everything was leading up to the end I predicted. But it was only half way through.It takes a lot to surprise me, I'm notorious for not enjoying books because I guess entire plots. But when we hit part two I was blown away and could no longer guess what would happen next, which lead to me running to Waterstones to pre-order myself a signed copy.
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  • Bookish Penguin
    January 1, 1970
    It's Patrick Ness. It has dragons in it. So of course I have to read it.
  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    What a unique, different kind of book. But I expect nothing less from Patrick Ness.I was intrigued when this was first announced, because Patrick Ness + dragons. And then throw in a prophecy about the end of the world, an assassin, and two FBI agents as well. Strange, right? But strange in the best way possible.I like how Patrick Ness is able to create such diverse casts of characters, and it’s no different here. For the most part the characters were well developed and felt real. Malcolm was my What a unique, different kind of book. But I expect nothing less from Patrick Ness.I was intrigued when this was first announced, because Patrick Ness + dragons. And then throw in a prophecy about the end of the world, an assassin, and two FBI agents as well. Strange, right? But strange in the best way possible.I like how Patrick Ness is able to create such diverse casts of characters, and it’s no different here. For the most part the characters were well developed and felt real. Malcolm was my favourite, because I found his story to be quite interesting with his faith being tested and all. The plot was weird, like the synopsis promised it would be, and I’m glad. I do wish there had been a bit more dragon stuff, but oh well. I liked it. I expected to like it. That’s all!
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  • Elizabeth Sagan
    January 1, 1970
    review coming soon
  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    ‘We are in the hands of Goddesses and madmen, Sarah Dewhurst.’‘Burn’ is one of those books where I think it’s best to go into it knowing as little as possible. It’s set in an alternate 1950s America during the Cold War and Sarah Dewhurst’s father has just hired a dragon to help on their farm. The Dragon has motives other than the money he will be paid though, Sarah is mentioned in a prophecy that could mean the end of the world.I’d argue that there isn’t really a main character in ‘Burn’, it fel ‘We are in the hands of Goddesses and madmen, Sarah Dewhurst.’‘Burn’ is one of those books where I think it’s best to go into it knowing as little as possible. It’s set in an alternate 1950s America during the Cold War and Sarah Dewhurst’s father has just hired a dragon to help on their farm. The Dragon has motives other than the money he will be paid though, Sarah is mentioned in a prophecy that could mean the end of the world.I’d argue that there isn’t really a main character in ‘Burn’, it felt to me more like an ensemble book with three main storylines that all had some great characters. Like with many Patrick Ness books these all eventually came together in two really great climaxes which really showed off his ability to write ‘blockbuster’ pieces as well as the intimate character moments that are common in his books. The time period is used to highlight many social issues such as racism which Sarah and her friend Jason experience primarily at the hands of the towns deputy sheriff. I can’t speak for how well this is handled having not experienced this myself but this is not the main focus of these characters stories. The backdrop of the Cold War, particularly the Space Race, play a big part into the plot of ‘Burn’, in my opinion it was an excellent choice in setting.Another of the storylines follows a boy called Malcolm who has been raised in what is essentially a cult that worships the dragons. He is being sent on a mission that is of vital importance to the cult but there are FBI agents trying to stop him achieving his goal. There was such a great plot twist here I had to take a minute and just sit and think, without spoiling anything it was. So. Good. Malcolm was definitely one of my favourite characters in the book, seeing how his life had been affected by being raised in a cult was really interesting. On his journey he comes across a guy called Nelson and they quickly form an intense relationship which did feel a little bit like insta-love but as it wasn’t the main focus of their story it wasn’t too detrimental and honestly it may not even be reciprocated love given some of the events that happen to them.Obviously, I could not review this book and not talk about the dragons. There are two main ones in ‘Burn’ and they remain quite mysterious through the book but we slowly learn more about them and their society. The dragon that works on Sarah’s farm in particular was one of the best characters in the book in my opinion, he had a strong sense of duty and was involved in one very satisfying moment which I won’t go into because of spoilers. Both of the dragons played an integral part to the story and the way things ended with the dragons (and many of the characters) just screams out for a sequel.I have been a big fan of Patrick Ness’ work for a while now and while his books have never disappointed me I feel this has been his best one since ‘More Than This'. The writing, as always, was beautiful and the plot was really intriguing with great twists. ‘Burn’ is definitely one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. The world and characters that he has created here are so well developed and it has left me wanting more! Thank you Walker Books for providing a proof copy of ‘Burn’.+ LGBT+ representation (own voices)+ Great plot twist+ Beautiful writing+ Dragons
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    I had to stop reading this book at the two thirds mark which I think is plenty far to be able to judge it without forcing myself to read a page more of it. First, let me say that this is the fifth book I’ve read by this author, so I thought I knew what to expect from him. Adding the summary of this book to my expectations, I was ready to read a fantasy story with some depth and social consciousness, one that featured a dragon that might be fearsome, but protective toward a young girl at the cent I had to stop reading this book at the two thirds mark which I think is plenty far to be able to judge it without forcing myself to read a page more of it. First, let me say that this is the fifth book I’ve read by this author, so I thought I knew what to expect from him. Adding the summary of this book to my expectations, I was ready to read a fantasy story with some depth and social consciousness, one that featured a dragon that might be fearsome, but protective toward a young girl at the center of a world-changing prophecy. That’s not what I got. This book is packed with increasing gratuitous violence that turned my stomach and disturbed me by degrees, the farther along it went, especially when in the context of an otherwise rather juvenile YA story. I can’t imagine what age group this book would be aimed at, but definitely not for preteens or perhaps even young teens. As for the dragon, there is very little page time devoted to him from what I read, other characters, some of them minor ones, taking center stage instead of him, quite a few of them unlikable. It didn’t start off this way when being inclusive and tackling racism, homophobia, and more. But little by little, then with great leaps and bounds, it left behind any depth it might have had in favor of a twisty and twisted story with a murky prophecy that even the characters couldn’t understand. Then at the halfway mark and beyond, the story devolved into a gleeful bloodbath with one improbable plot point following another. It became impossible to understand any of it with the author throwing away restraint and throwing anything and everything he had ever imagined into the mix, trying to shock the reader rather than appeal to any reason or to the heart. This story was all over the place, concentrating too often on anyone but the main characters, all the characters forced into acting like puppets for the author to stage his over the top train wreck of a story. I don’t enjoy writing such negative reviews, especially for an author I’ve respected and enjoyed reading in the past, but I’m doing it to warn people in case they think they’ll find a story here with much heart and depth, one focusing on a cool dragon. Look elsewhere if that’s what you want. You won’t find it here.
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  • Harley
    January 1, 1970
    I love this man beyond words. I know, ironic isn't it?I had the highest expectations for this book when it was announced, because Patrick Ness and dragons sounded like perfection, and I was scared for it to be anything less. But. I am incredibly happy to announce that this exceeded my expectations. I feel that the less you know about this book, the better. So all I am here to say is that I adored every element of this novel. All the characters, the pacing, the plot itself, the writing... ohhh my I love this man beyond words. I know, ironic isn't it?I had the highest expectations for this book when it was announced, because Patrick Ness and dragons sounded like perfection, and I was scared for it to be anything less. But. I am incredibly happy to announce that this exceeded my expectations. I feel that the less you know about this book, the better. So all I am here to say is that I adored every element of this novel. All the characters, the pacing, the plot itself, the writing... ohhh my. It's more than I could have ever asked for. I just don't know what to say because I felt that much of a click with this book.Please, just give this book a shot. I'll go now.
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  • Alayne Emmett
    January 1, 1970
    Oh wow this book was fantastic. It read like a thrilling fast moving film, in fact it should be a film!!!!It took off on page one and didn’t let up until the last page. I am devastated that I’ve finished it and, as I shut this wonderful book my thoughts were will there be another one? I certainly hope so!!!
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  • bookellenic
    January 1, 1970
    Full review on my blog.Instagram | Twitter| Facebook3.5/5 rounded up to 4 stars.Would I suggest you reading it? Yes.I often want to rate Patrick Ness book slightly more than I end up doing, but I keep on reading his books, so I guess there is something there. I'm just always left... Wanting a bit more.This time, its message turned out to be eerily prophetic and at the same time displaying patterns and behaviours that have been happening since the dawn of humankind. Full review on my blog.Instagram | Twitter| Facebook3.5/5 rounded up to 4 stars.Would I suggest you reading it? Yes.I often want to rate Patrick Ness book slightly more than I end up doing, but I keep on reading his books, so I guess there is something there. I'm just always left... Wanting a bit more.This time, its message turned out to be eerily prophetic and at the same time displaying patterns and behaviours that have been happening since the dawn of humankind.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight ME:  Eh I don't know if I like dragons, but it's Patrick Ness so let's try.ME, AFTER: Wow so I love dragons and obviously Patrick Ness.There is SO much that I loved about this book that I cannot even tell you for the sake of spoilers. Places I did not see things going. And like, it's seriously SO GREAT so can you just trust me? Awesome thanks. Here's what I can tell you: ►Alternate 19 You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight ME:  Eh I don't know if I like dragons, but it's Patrick Ness so let's try.ME, AFTER: Wow so I love dragons and obviously Patrick Ness.There is SO much that I loved about this book that I cannot even tell you for the sake of spoilers. Places I did not see things going. And like, it's seriously SO GREAT so can you just trust me? Awesome thanks. Here's what I can tell you: ►Alternate 1957. I mean, some things are very similar! We're in some kind of nuclear standoff with Russia, but President Aaron Burr is on the $20. And there are, you know, dragons. Who help out on farms, because of course they do. And cults that worship dragons, and people who don't like dragons, and you know, examples that humanity will clearly never change."He was the thing the world had suffered from most in her four billion years of existence: a stupid man with power." ►The prophecy ends up being a real trip- both literally and figuratively. Literally for Malcolm, the young cult fellow who's supposed to be taking out Sarah, at the center of the prophecy, and figuratively for Sarah, her father, and her wonderful best-friend-with-benefits, Jason. Not only are they dealing with dwindling farm production and a new dragon, they're dealing with a very heavy dose of racist bullshit from the local police (holy relevancy), but now they've somehow found themselves at the epicenter of dragon cult prophecies. ►Okay I know this sounds completely bonkers, and it is, but in the best possible way. I promise it all makes sense when you read it! It isn't just weird for the sake of weirdness or anything. The world building is fabulous, and every single bit of what goes down is thought provoking and full of very timely and applicable messages. ►It is also just an incredible story with twists that I didn't see coming at all. Yeah, there's nothing more to say except I never wanted to put this book down and now I love it, the end. Bottom Line: Patrick Ness strikes again, with a unique story so wholly and completely relevant while remaining wildly entertaining.
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  • charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you just have to feel bad about a thing. Sometimes that's the only thing that makes you human. On my blog. Actual rating 4.5Rep: biracial (Black, white) mc, Japanese American mc, gay mc, Guatemalan Canadian gay mcCWs: period typical racism and homophobia, blood, gore, violenceGalley provided by publisherIt would be fair to say Patrick Ness ranks as one of my favourite authors ever. I’m not sure, in the almost ten years I’ve been reading his books, I’ve ever disliked a book he has Sometimes you just have to feel bad about a thing. Sometimes that's the only thing that makes you human. On my blog. Actual rating 4.5Rep: biracial (Black, white) mc, Japanese American mc, gay mc, Guatemalan Canadian gay mcCWs: period typical racism and homophobia, blood, gore, violenceGalley provided by publisherIt would be fair to say Patrick Ness ranks as one of my favourite authors ever. I’m not sure, in the almost ten years I’ve been reading his books, I’ve ever disliked a book he has written. And this book does not break that streak.Burn combines the best of Ness’ works - a world much like our own but with one fantastical aspect, characters you’ll love, and a storyline that will have you completely engrossed. I read Burn in a single sitting in a couple of hours, it’s that good.Probably the best thing about this book, as with most Patrick Ness books, is the characters. They are a particularly varied cast in this one, from a Russian Blue dragon, to a religious assassin who finds love and thus changes the course of history. It honestly feels the most creative of Ness’ books in that respect.Combined with that is the fact that gay love, not straight love, is what causes the whole “change in the course of history” in this book. I know, it seems like a small thing, but after so many books where it’s straight love that saves the day, this feels like a breath of fresh air.All of which means that you should definitely pick this book up. You won’t regret it.
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  • Riley Redgate
    January 1, 1970
    wow, JUST when i think i'm done with the towering stack of Historical Fantasy Red Scare-Era Socially Conscious Dragon-Farmhand-Plus-Cultist-Assassin-Turned-Multiverse-Travel novels the publishing industry has on offer, yet ANOTHER one gets churned out. when oh when will patrick ness write something less predictable and mainstream?
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  • vatana 🦋
    January 1, 1970
    well, i said i’d read anything this man writes.
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    OMFG. *no words*
  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    Like I always do with a Patrick Ness, I had pre-ordered this and I had some worries going into it because the last couple of books haven't been my faves. I was so hoping he wouldn't disappoint me with this one. And he hasn't. This is a return to form. I think what works best for this author is when he doesn't try to do too much with his stories. This one is a dual storyline but it is way more successful in this novel than in Release. You know that these stories are going to combine and you just Like I always do with a Patrick Ness, I had pre-ordered this and I had some worries going into it because the last couple of books haven't been my faves. I was so hoping he wouldn't disappoint me with this one. And he hasn't. This is a return to form. I think what works best for this author is when he doesn't try to do too much with his stories. This one is a dual storyline but it is way more successful in this novel than in Release. You know that these stories are going to combine and you just can't wait for that to happen. It is set in Washington State in the USA in the 1950s there is rampant racism and homophobia and so much judgement of people it makes you quite uncomfortable. Sarah's dad has just hired a dragon to help with the farm work. He will work to clear paddocks of rocks and trees, he is not to be spoken to and while there is a truce between dragons and humans, you shouldn't get friendly or close to him. Sarah's dad is very clear on this. However the dragon knows Sarah's secret and they begin to talk. At the other end of the country a young man is heading north on a mission to kill Sarah. He has been given a mission from on high and he must fulfil his duty. On the way he will meet another young man who will change his life and also change the future. There is a whole bunch more going on in this book but to reveal too much would be way too spoiler alert. I loved Sarah and her dragon. I loved all of the love in the story. There is a lot of love. Love for parents, for other people, for dragons and for humanity. There is also a lot of hate, for those who are different to ourselves, for those we are suspicious of and those we don't understand. It is the balance of these that makes this story so good. It is an exciting book to read, there is a heap of tension and a lot of action. Patrick Ness is so good at having his little guys wield enormous power and that is exactly what happens here. Grab a copy for your school, have a read and then share it with all your students. I think they'll love it!
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Star Rating: —> 4 Stars[This rating keeps changing in my head- I need some time to sit & think on this one. what a strange, strange, (still AMAZING though!) strange,Oh so difficult to rate, read lolPatrick Ness has a very eclectic, eccentric, super difficult to rate writing style, soo yeah RTCRegardless, I realize that that sounds negative, but it is NOT at all. It is just that this is a read that really makes you think, and to inevitably ponder the meaning of life, Lol, as all of Ness’s work te Star Rating: —> 4 Stars[This rating keeps changing in my head- I need some time to sit & think on this one. what a strange, strange, (still AMAZING though!) strange,Oh so difficult to rate, read lolPatrick Ness has a very eclectic, eccentric, super difficult to rate writing style, soo yeah RTCRegardless, I realize that that sounds negative, but it is NOT at all. It is just that this is a read that really makes you think, and to inevitably ponder the meaning of life, Lol, as all of Ness’s work tends to do... so I expected nothing less. I really loved this though, I mean what a WILD ride! Like I said rtc... I just need time to do that whole pondering our existence thing]
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  • Beckee❤️
    January 1, 1970
    Yeah, so I quite enjoyed this. This was my first treasure by Mr Ness and where better to start than with alternative worlds featuring dragons and magic?!
  • Dannii Elle
    January 1, 1970
    Dragons are for sale, but only to those poverty-stricken enough to have no other option than to accept their cheap rates for services and deal with their abhorred race. Sarah and her father own a farm and a rare blue dragon may be their only hope for keeping it. Soon, however, it seems this dragon has been sent to them to perform more than just the clearing of a few fields and may be the only hope for humanity’s salvation, in general.Ness has such a skill for seamlessly blending reality with mor Dragons are for sale, but only to those poverty-stricken enough to have no other option than to accept their cheap rates for services and deal with their abhorred race. Sarah and her father own a farm and a rare blue dragon may be their only hope for keeping it. Soon, however, it seems this dragon has been sent to them to perform more than just the clearing of a few fields and may be the only hope for humanity’s salvation, in general.Ness has such a skill for seamlessly blending reality with more fantastical elements and yet maintaining the focus on real-world ambivalence with his running social commentary. Despite the plot being distinctly other-worldly this also opened up historical international conflicts as well as the sexism, racism, and homophobia rampant in this 1950's American setting. How Ness showcased and overcame this xenophobia was extraordinary and my favourite part of the book.The more fantastical elements were certainly very unique in their conception but my more high-fantasy-loving-self struggled to fully invest in all that occurred, despite appreciating how it was constructed. This was certainly a strong and inventive novel, if not wholly the one for me.I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Patrick Ness, and the publisher, Harper Teen, for this opportunity.
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  • Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: period appropriate homophobia, sexism, and racism; religious cult, death, murder, death of a parent and friend, police brutality/bad cop, and mention of an internment camp. There was a lot of content in this, so I'm sure that I missed some, but these are ones that I recalled off of the top of my head.When I saw that Patrick Ness was coming out with a new book, I knew I had to request it. It sounded super interesting with an I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: period appropriate homophobia, sexism, and racism; religious cult, death, murder, death of a parent and friend, police brutality/bad cop, and mention of an internment camp. There was a lot of content in this, so I'm sure that I missed some, but these are ones that I recalled off of the top of my head.When I saw that Patrick Ness was coming out with a new book, I knew I had to request it. It sounded super interesting with an alternate 1950s with Soviets and dragons and many other things. I just wish that I had liked it better.The plot was interesting and there was a lot going on. The action kept a good pace with the plot and I did get attached to a few of the characters. As usual, Ness wrote a fantastic book with great prose and I enjoyed the overall cadence of the plot. It mixed fantasy with sci-fi and that made it an even more fun read right there. It also was so period accurate and the historical aspect of the book was one of my favorites.However, there were cons to this one.For one, there were too many characters. There were about 2-4 main characters, then a bunch of side characters that I had to keep track of. The second I discounted some, it turned out that they were important and I needed to remember them for a period of time. As I said, I got attached to a few characters, but then there were a ton of other characters I was simply trying to keep track of, which really made it hard to get as attached to the ones I was drawn to.Then, the pacing was weird. It took almost 50% to get to the climax/into the area where things started mattering more. The first half of the book was setting the stage, which I felt could have been cut down some. It took too much time for things to get going and it could have been much more condensed.Finally, the ending. I felt like the conflict resolved too simplistically for everything that was going on and I don't like that there was an option left open for another book or some related one. It just didn't work for me.Overall, this is a fine book. I can see lots of people loving it, but there were aspects that didn't gel for me.
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  • Fall-Out-Book-Nerd
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent an eARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was... Different. It had everything I thought would make me love it: diversity (queer own voices rep, non own voices rep of black main character and a Japanese love interest), there was dragons, and there was a plot twist which is what saved the book for me when I was so close to putting it down.The main problem with this is that there was way too many characters and story lines which when they all come tog I was sent an eARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was... Different. It had everything I thought would make me love it: diversity (queer own voices rep, non own voices rep of black main character and a Japanese love interest), there was dragons, and there was a plot twist which is what saved the book for me when I was so close to putting it down.The main problem with this is that there was way too many characters and story lines which when they all come together it was hard to keep everyone on track. And then with the big plot twist halfway through it then made it even harder to remember who was who.I might reread this again because I did enjoy it but I don't think I was taking everything in properly.
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  • Figgy
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.- Pre-Read -OHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD YOU GUYS!This was waiting for me when I got home today, and I just want to get lost in it, but my friend's foster kids are coming to stay with me this weekend... and I'd rather be able to get TOTALLY lost in this and read it in one go if I so choose... than have to start and then stop again... now matter how short the stop is. I just know I won't be able to set aside a solid 8-10 hours of reading time while th Review to come.- Pre-Read -OHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD YOU GUYS!This was waiting for me when I got home today, and I just want to get lost in it, but my friend's foster kids are coming to stay with me this weekend... and I'd rather be able to get TOTALLY lost in this and read it in one go if I so choose... than have to start and then stop again... now matter how short the stop is. I just know I won't be able to set aside a solid 8-10 hours of reading time while they're here, unless I don't sleep, so... Monday I am COMING AT YOU, Burn. Prepare yourself!
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  • Celia McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    So rarely do I have to sit for a few hours (or days in this case) and think about the book I just read before I finally hit I FINISHED and started a review. Patrick Ness, as an auto-buy, auto-read author, always seems to hit me with I've kept all my long-buried emotions and brings them out into the world in the form of big fat sighs and manically sobbing because dragons are just so cool.This book was just so bizarre. I know that's a strange way to start a review, but I can't think of any other w So rarely do I have to sit for a few hours (or days in this case) and think about the book I just read before I finally hit I FINISHED and started a review. Patrick Ness, as an auto-buy, auto-read author, always seems to hit me with I've kept all my long-buried emotions and brings them out into the world in the form of big fat sighs and manically sobbing because dragons are just so cool.This book was just so bizarre. I know that's a strange way to start a review, but I can't think of any other word to describe it. BURN is set in the 1950s in the great state ( and my current home) of Washington. It follows quite a few POV's but didn't really feel overwhelming. A biracial teen named Sarah lives on a failing farm in a world where humans and dragons coexist in semi-harmony. Sarah's dad hires a dragon to help with the farm, burning down all forest, etc and soon befriends him. But there's a homophobe, racist cop who screws everything up. Then there's also a queer boy named Malcolm who is part of a cult that worships dragons and an FBI agent who is after him because he's murdered a bunch of people on his way to find out what the hubbub is all about with a prophecy involving the dragon goddess. Also, there are also other things I can't mention because I want you to be as officially f*&ked as I was whilst finishing this masterpiece.I knew going in that I was in for a wild ride, but this was like getting on the Spiderman ride at Universal and finding out that not only does it go really fast and loop and all that but it also goes to the moon and ricochets off a few craters and eventually comes back down. This book hits all the high notes including DRAGONS. Having actually dragons in a book about dragons is few and far between so this was a breath of fresh air. Fresh fire? I'm going off the rails here. Let's regroup.The ending is probably the only thing that irked me. It was a bit too abrupt. You could tell there was going to be a sequel. It would work just fine it Ness didn't write one, but I wouldn't complain if he did. Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-arc to review. I'm here for it. BURN was crazy and weird and violent. If you want a myriad of emotions, this is the book for you.
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  • Kirsty ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting book set in an alternate 1950's timeline with humans and dragons co-existing. Lots of twists and turns and was difficult to be able to spot what was happening next followed by a great ending. Enjoyable
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