• Tyler Davis

Burn by Patrick Ness

Updated: Sep 2



Burn by Patrick Ness is a novel set in the 50s in a world where dragons exist as part of society. Except that only lower-class people consult with them, and they are neglected as part of the world. Except to a cult of dragon worshippers who believe in a prophecy that the end of the world will begin in Frome, Washington.

Sarah Dewhurst and her father live on a farm in Frome, Washington. They are down on their luck and hire a “blue” through a friend. Blue dragons are smaller in stature but incredibly intelligent where reds are larger and more threatening. Meanwhile, Malcolm grew up in a dragon worshipping cult and is tasked with murdering a girl in Washington to prevent the end of the world.


This book has it all. So much so, that I don’t think it knows what it wants to be. It’s fantasy, it’s alternate history, it’s even science fiction to an extent. The story itself makes sense, there are no unanswered questions really and it plays with the idea of prophecy interpretation which is cool. Oh, there may also be some multiverse stuff going on here as well.


The cast of characters is diverse in all ways. Ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion. Ness does a good job of weaving this into the story and uses the time in which this takes place to display the types of oppression these groups faced back then.

Pros:

  • A diverse cast of characters

  • Dragons

  • Patrick Ness Writing


Cons:

  • Too much going on

  • One very strange moment


Rating: Fanboy Worthy


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