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By Alexa Donne
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release date: May 1, 2018
In Brightly Burning, debut author Alexa Donne takes the classic Jane Eyre tale and sets it in space aboard a starship in a dystopian future during an Earth ice age.
Orphaned at 7, then discarded by her uncaring aunt, Stella Ainsley lives on the starship Stalwart, where she works in engineering as well as helps educate the children. The Stalwart community is an impoverished one, subjected to water and food rationing and frequent power outages. Since Stella has no real passion for engineering, she decides to apply for governess jobs on other starships in the hopes of making a better life for herself. After several letdowns, the nearly 18-year-old Stella is hired to be both a governess and auxiliary engineer on the Rochester, one of the richer, private ships in the fleet. While she enjoys the comforts provided in her new home, there’s something strange about the Rochester and its 19-year-old captain Hugo Fairfax, a man who exhibits inconsistent behavior and is hard for the young girl to figure out. She hears laughter in the corridor at night and has witnessed several events that appear to be sabotage, yet no one else on board will corroborate her findings. To make matters worse, Hugo holds a secret that could alter Stella’s once-hopeful future, as well as threaten the survival of the entire fleet.
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