Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Burn by Paula Weston

Title: Burn (Rephaim, #4)

Author: Paula Weston

Rating: 4 Stars

Note: This review is SPOILER-FREE for the entire series. You can read my reviews for the previous novels in this series, Shadows, Haze, and Shimmer by following the links. 

Since I read the first cliffhanger ending of Shadows, I've been complaining about anxiously waiting for and theorizing about this series, time and time again. With each new installment, Weston both managed to soothe my fears and build them up within the span of a few hundred pages, leaving me desperate for the next installment right now. The one where I'd finally have the answers to all my questions.

And, here it is. Burn.

But, now that I actually do have all the answers to my questions, answered beyond satisfactorily, I am beginning to realize what a privilege it was to have Weston's cliffhangers living with me for a year. I can remember waking up, still six months prior to the release of Weston's next novel in this series, and just lying in bed turning over all the possibilities and burning questions and unsolved mysteries. And now, with this series at an end, I am unbearably sad that I won't be tossing and turning at night, thinking of these characters as I used to. Yet, I got what I wanted, didn't I? As they say, be careful what you wish for. It turns out, all these years, what I really wanted wasn't actually the missing pieces of the puzzle (although, believe me, I'm not complaining that I have them now!) but actually more from Paula Weston. Now.

Weston's debut quartet has been a series like no other. It's the type of collection of novels that are filled with tropes--twins, lost memories, manipulation--but they're all done so well that instead of rolling your eyes, you're actually sitting on the edge of your seat. Weston makes you lose your heart to her characters, each flawed and guilty in their own way, but she also makes you root for them and care about them so, so deeply. Burn completes the metamorphosis that her characters have been undergoing since Shadows, giving us the maturity we've been vying for and the answers we've been craving.

I wasn't sure how Burn would be written--a series of flashbacks, an extended flashback and then the present day?--but I really enjoyed how Weston structured this novel and the flow of it traveled seamlessly from flashbacks to present day and back again. It wasn't jarring, as I imagined, and I further appreciated that Weston took her time revealing these answers to us. Moreover, the true strength of this novel lies not in how cleverly the true answers were interspersed in the previous installments but, rather, in how these characters deal with the truth and accept their fate.

Burn may be Young Adult Fantasy but it ticks off so many contemporary boxes--parental relationships, female friendships, familial ties, sibling issues--that it truly shines in any genre it's placed into. What's more, Weston leaves us with the type of ending that ties up loose ends and leaves readers smiling but in such a way that there is more, here, if she should choose to return to this world and its people.

It's always difficult to review a finale because--spoilers!--but rest assured that fans of this series will not be disappointed by its ending. For those of you who haven't picked up these books yet, I cannot encourage you enough to do so. They're so much more than expert plot and world-building; they're about finding best friends in these characters and re-visiting them, years down the line, when the plot has faded away into memory but the distinct feeling of these characters and the comfort they provide have not. Although I will say that I found a plot element or two to be explained a little too conveniently--I always despise long paragraphs of revelations--overall, this was a near-perfect novel and a near-perfect series. All I can ask for is all I've been begging from Paula Weston always. More. Now.


  1. I *still* haven't read Burn but everyone's positive reviews make me so happy. I am happy that this finale lives up to all the expectations built over the series.

    I know I've spent many a night tossing and turning and wondering where things would go and the end of Shimmer made me SO excited to know more. I am glad we get flashbacks in Burn but I am also happy to hear it isn't just one extended flashback and that Weston does a fabulous job incorporating them!

    The ending also sounds amazing it sounds exactly like the kind of ending I would want. One that leaves potential for more adventures but also ties up loose knots!

    Fantastic review, Keertana! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  2. YAY!!! I just read Jasprit's review of this one as well and I'm so glad to see neither of you was the least bit disappointed in this final book. I'm going to be binge reading all of them soon (cliffhangers cause me stress, so I've been waiting for the whole series to be out!). Looking forward to see what she comes out with next Keertana!

  3. Man, I SERIOUSLY need to read this entire series. Now that all the books are out, I'm thinking this is the kind of series that's going to be perfect to binge read, especially with all of those cliffhangers!!

    There IS something about having to wait years between books that makes you appreciate that anticipation so much. That was the way I felt with The Darkest Minds, as those cliffhangers were totally epic as well. It's bittersweet finishing a series, but I'm glad she's writing more books (and I hope Paula Weston plans to soon too!!).

    It's so great to hear that everything wraps up so nicely, and that the format isn't jarring either. You've got me intrigued with this whole flashback thing, so I'm curious to see how well executed it is.

    Gorgeous, gorgeous review, Keertana! <33

  4. I actually read the first book last winter and thought it was good, but not spectacular enough to pick up the sequel and the books following. I'm not sure why; I think my expectations might have been too high or something. People had said that the angels in this series are like NOTHING ELSE, but I didn't find them all to be *too* unique. Honestly though, I'm kind of rethinking my decision because the rest of the series seems fabulous and one heck of a ride! If this series kept you up at night thinking about the unanswered questions.. that's when you know the series has really impacted you! I do remember Shadows reading quite like a contemporary in that a lot of the issues Weston presented are ones that I thought were completely relatable and realistic.

    I might just pick up the rest of the series again someday... Thanks for your spoiler-free review, Keertana!! <3

  5. Sweet! Ending books aren't always my fave book, but I'm so happy you have all your answers... and it is done well! I don't think I'll ever feel the way you do about cliffies... but I don't have to see now that all the books are out. Plus, you know it is a good series when it is done, but you want more! Brilly review!

  6. Rephaim is one of the series I've been wanting to try out for a long time. It's seems like a strong series that starts and ends well. So I can't wait to try it out! Great review!

  7. I just ordered my copy of Burn. I can finally read Shimmer before it comes. I get the appreciation for the cliffhangers, but only if I have the proceeding books on the ready. Lol. Brilliant review, as usual!

  8. I've been waiting for all books to be released before picking this series up. I've heard such great things and I'm happy to hear you were pleased over how things wrapped up. It's also a great sign that you were sad to say goodbye. Wonderful review, Keertana! :)

  9. Gorgeous review as always!
    I'm so happy you were as satisfied with this series ending as I was! I didn't have to wait as long as many people (I read the first three all at once, and then a few months later was able to read Burn), so I can only imagine the agonizing wait! But I think it will have been well worth it for all of us. :) I love the way Paula handled the flashbacks, and especially Gaby's reaction to the whole thing in the present. It was so mature! That's definitely refreshing for a change.

    I can't wait to see what Paula gives us next! :)

  10. I love this series and the ending was awesome so I'm really pleased to see that you enjoyed it as well.

    A lovely review! Sharon - Obsession with Books

  11. I have a hard time with cliffhangers, so I wait release of Burn to start this series. It was really hard with all the hype around it. But now I’m not sure that to wait was the right decision. Since you read books as they were released, you had so much time with this world and these characters, in contrary I’m going to binge read Rephaim, and I’ll have about two weeks with them. Oh well… Wonderful review, Keertana. It’s always so difficult for me to write a review for the last book without any spoilers, but you masterfully did it.


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