The Burning Star by Jessie Lane
May 24, 2012
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “…just book me a train to crazyville, because apparently that’s where we are headed. “
Seventeen year old Kay is living under a death sentence. Diagnosed with cancer, she has been given six months to live. Her mother moves them to Asheville, NC, hoping to find a miracle. Instead Kay finds her life turned upside down when she meets the insanely gorgeous Ryan and learns she is a real life fairy princess. Kay learns her life has been a lie. Taken as a baby, Kay was raised human and had no inkling of her heritage. Ryan meets Kay and suspects she may be the missing princess. Once Ryan confirms this, he prepares to take Kay back to fairy and her parents. Kay comes with some extra baggage though. Her “mother” whose secrets may save or kill Kay and two special friends who are determined to protect Kay at all costs. Suddenly, Kay is thrust into a world she never knew existed. A world where myths and legends have come to life, showing your wings is like flashing a boy, and saying thank you can bring death. If Kay can survive the journey and her new life, she may find the cure to save her life. But someone went to great measures to get Kay out of fairy…and they won’t stop until she’s permanently gone.
Fans of Julie Kagawa’s dark YA Iron Fae series will enjoy Jesse Lane’s debut novel, The Burning Star. Not as dark or emotionally heavy, Lane takes the basic mythology behind the fae stories we’ve all read and adds their own twists to the story. Heavily character driven, the story is told mainly from Kay’s point of view though it does switch to other points of views throughout. The world building is an interesting mix of new and old as Lane tinkers with the origins of the fae and other supernatural entities. I enjoyed the crisp writing style that flows through the story. Often, paranormal stories, especially involving fae, are interjected with flowery prose and emotional angst that leaves you feeling worn out once you’re finished. Lane doesn’t go that route. Within here, humor, action, suspense, and romance, all circle around normal teenagers. This isn’t a story about the fae, this is a story about Kay, who just happens to be fae. It’s not completely lighthearted though. Darkness permeates the story in intervals as another young woman’s story begins to unfold as Kay enters fairy and starts her new life.
Kay is a cute heroine. Witty and smart with just enough attitude to remind you she is only seventeen. She handles learning her origins and meeting supernatural creatures with believable disbelief. As Kay tries to accept she is a fairy princess, she is also having to deal with parents she has never met and her feelings for two completely different boys to whom she is attracted to. She listens and learns quickly without making unforgivable mistakes.
The love triangle is handled well, it intertwines and enhances the main story without taking away from it. Ryan, the prince of the Summer Court, is sweetly attentive with his efforts to protect and “court” Kay. He sees his future in her. Nick, a werewolf, is also sweet and tender, especially when his alpha tendencies come out. His connection to Kay is complicated and I do hope that particular issue is addressed in the future. Kay doesn’t flirt or play the boys off each other, which I appreciated.
Secondary characters balance out the story and add depth to the storyline. Kay’s brother Brandon is the champion in her corner and plays the part of “big brother” well. Lane’s characterization of Queen Mab, the Unseelie king, and other important figures is interesting and I look forward to spending more one on one time with them all. I will admit I would have enjoyed seeing more of Kay’s parents and finding out what happened to facilitate Kay’s kidnapping. As stated earlier, we also meet and enjoy a well defined POV from another young woman. I can’t say more without spoiling, but suffice to say, I foresee an interesting journey in her future.
The storyline is steady and action packed with plenty of twists and turns that delighted me. I enjoyed the light and dark aspect that is brought into play-they blend well together. There are some editing problems that hopefully will be cleared up by the next installment and the abrupt POV changes did leave me confused on occasion as chapters would start and it would take a few sentences to realize who was speaking. (Chapter titles would help that.) The ending is climatic and leaves off with quite a cliffhanger. I enjoyed The Burning Star and look forward to reading the next installment. I will definitely keep Jesse Lane on my up and coming authors list.