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Sunday, January 27, 2013

OBSCURA BURNING by Suzanne van Rooten_Review

Obscura BurningObscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen
5 stars

“Obscura Burning” takes a rather unique approach to Apocalypse, and I think that a situation like this would actually be worse than living with the imminent threat of say, asteroid impact, Planet X, meteor crash, or nuclear holocaust. The “new” planet Obscura (newly arrived in our solar system between Earth and Mars, aligned with the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, interferer with satellite transmission and radio waves) is there for a reason—but what reason? Why? Whose? Maybe this is a shifted reality, as one Professor suggests (with mathematical equations as proof).

Certainly reality has shifted for young Kyle, only he gets to experience TWO alternate realities, day by day by day. You see, Kyle, a boy who likes to both have his cake and eat it, is dissatisfied with his life; he has a boyfriend, Danny, who loves him and asks him to run away to New York City, but no, that isn’t enough. He also wants their mutual long-time best friend, Shira. Kyle also has this little problem: he’s a budding pyromaniac (diagnosed “problem fire-setter”), he’s an alcoholic; and he sets a fire in Ghost Town that kills: either Danny or Shira. Yes, Gentle Readers, which died depends on which reality he’s living on any given day.

“Obscura Burning” is an intriguing novel, not as complicated as I’ve probably made it sound. I really enjoyed the theme of the alternating realities and of the “new” planet, especially the speculations as to why it appeared and what its arrival means for Earth. I just found Kyle a difficult character to warm up to; I liked Danny better, as an individual. I found Kyle kind of in the “anti-hero” category.

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