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Showing 1-10 of 103 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 126 reviews
on July 24, 2015
Spoilers:
I love reading post apocalyptic dystopian type of books (check my threading history :D ) and with this book I found I liked it not loved. The author could of made this book Sooooo much more than she did. I get they have a colony in the ocean all over the world. She wants to leave ok. But to leave u have to get ur tongue cut out by your own mother I must add which she don't relize it even tho the author basically spelled it out say in she had tears in her eye, eyes that look familiar. Same skin color as my sister.... and later her other daughter comes up and she gets her head shaved?!?!?! Wtf is that? Also if u get ur tongue cut out u can only eat fluids and soft food not energy bars! I like reading books that seem REAL I can care less if they were living in the center of the earth but something like what happens if u cut out your tongue is very simple research that would of made the book that much better. But other than that Idk it was good. The ending with her sister say in she can come back? like hey dad I got no tongue, how are you going to explain that? Makes no sense but the character development was ok. Found she could of done a lot more that underwater, school house, supply run, hunting, leaving...the end. And she would of made it more factual with the things she did right. Hope others enjoy it.
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on August 30, 2017
Was finding this one to be very different and entertaining when suddenly in the last third it took a big 90* turn into a romance complete with triangles! The story moved along nicely with young Terra escaping to the Burn and finding refuge among a eclectic group of survivors. But why would they jeopardize their existence by taking a newbie, who has never fired a weapon, on a dangerous mission for medicine? Just became a bit too unbelievable for me topped off with the jealousies and strained relationships. Still, the book has it's moments and overall a decent read.
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on October 17, 2014
I have a great love for the dystopian apocalyptic genre. For whatever reason, I never read this one....passed on it numerous times. Its a great story, well written and I was thoroughly engrossed. Took me less than a day to read it and now Im on to the next book in this series. Love the characters....become emotionally involved now. I love the fact that the main character cannot speak ! A very original approach that works very well. The only thing that gets me upset is when the heroine has to give up what she really wants most because of something that could be explained if given the chance or if she was proactive, but it is in every book I read .... it's not what people do in real life....but I understand the necessity in terms of the formulation of the plot. That said, highly recommended and I need to get onto reading book two now.
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on December 15, 2016
I've wanted to read The Burn for quite awhile now. I finally got around to it, and was not disappointed.

Like others have said, it is a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid. Terra goes through similar things as the original Little Mermaid and as Ariel. Terra lives in a very different world, however, so how it plays out is different.

The pacing of The Burn is very consistent and well planned. The only issue I had was the storyline between two main characters. It went from nonexistent to super fast within a few pages. I had suspicions about that and in the end, those suspicions were justified.

The beginning of the story is mildly reminiscent of Renegade by J. A. Souders, which I enjoyed. The underwater world built by Annie Oldham is beautiful with plenty of description to make you feel like you're there.

The Burn itself is a scary place full of even scarier people, and description isn't lost here. It's easy to imagine yourself in the world that is being built.

I'm looking forward to reading Infraction and The Reaping.
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on June 30, 2014
I usually love post-apocalyptic stories and one about a whole community that lives underwater? That sounded so promising! But when the book starts out, all the character can talk about and think about is how much she hates living underwater and we don't really get to appreciate the technology marvel that she lives in. Also, within a few short chapters, she is leaving the underwater world for land or what they call "the burn". I think my major problem with this book was that she gets her tongue, you read that right, her TONGUE cut out of her mouth so she doesn't talk in her sleep! Very few people actually talk in their sleep and without a tongue, she can't really communicate with anyone up above!

Then we meet this guy who seems to be a potential love interest for her because he's sweet to her, protects her and seems to understand her even though she can't talk. And what happens at the end?

*SPOILERS*
.......

......

He's dumps her for another girl on the surface that he realizes he is in love with. She catches them cuddling together in bed and has a moral dilemma for a moment, and then just walks off.... I mean I'm hoping that the next book she's more lucky in love but honestly, with no tongue, I'm not willing to stick around and waste more money to see if she does. The book also just didn't have an interesting enough plot, no good supporting characters for the main character to lean on, and throughout the whole book I just felt so lonely and felt so bad for the character. It left me with a depressing feeling at the end of the book, which is NOT what I look for when reading for leisure.
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on June 29, 2015
Was not a fan of this series at all! The plot had promise, what with the protagonist, Terra (the Italian word for land funnily enough) being from a safe colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean but feeling trapped and wanting more. Enter 'The Burn" or surface world if you will. It calls to Terra and she's always been obsessed with it and feels trapped down below. She finds a way to escape and joins a settlement just off the coast of Seattle. The first thing that turned me off completely was the cutting out of her tongue! Was that really necessary!? And by her own Mother!? It seemed very sadistic and a big price to pay to go topside. Gaea (her Mother) says its to prevent her from ever telling the secret of the colonies to civilisation up there but there are certainly other ways to communicate this and she ends up telling people anyway. I guess I didn't like the idea of a protagonist that couldn't talk. I also felt there was little story development. She goes up there, joins the settlement, then leaves. The Med drop was interesting, but otherwise I found the whole thing a bit meh. The relationship between Terra and adage was also lacklustre and then thwarted by Mary who was a major bitch!
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on September 25, 2014
It admire anyone who spends time to write a book. That said, I feel I need to be honest in my appraisal of this one. The concept was great and the book could have been so much more. I don't think the series will be providing that "so much more." I have read the other reviews and there have been many spoilers, so I don't think it will make any difference if I add to these.

Girl agrees to get her tongue cut out!!!! Did the woman not think that the young girl could write? This part was so unrealistic and unnecessary to the story.

She spends many hours in a submarine getting to the surface. I think that even if every human on the surface knew she came from an underwater colony, there was no way they could get down to the bottom of the ocean to get to a colony. Besides, the humans on e surface know that there are underwater colonies. It just did not make sense.

The final straw for me was when the girl takes off in a huff because she needs time alone. She goes down to the beach at night and low and behold, a submarine surfaces with her sister inside. This girl should buy a lotto ticket!

Girl has to have her tongue cut out as her 'sacrifice.' Sister only has to have her long hair cut off. Talk about inequality!

In another huff, girl decides to leave these people he has spent the last week with and take off into the wild burn yonder....alone.....when she has seen how many people are out there robbing and killing each other. Is rape and imprisonment next on the agenda?

There were good parts to this story and as I said, the concept was a good one - though I haven't read The Little Mermaid, so wasn't able to pick up the similarities.
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on June 10, 2014
Before WWIII, the United States took away all freedom of speech and personal privacy in a dramatic attempt to eradicate terrorism. They had watchers in every classroom, every home. There was even a bill in congress for personal identification implants so the government could always track their citizens' movements.

Sixteen-year-old Terra lives where someone would only read about in science fiction and fantasy novels. She lives below the surface of the ocean, down in the depths on the very bottom. It is a secluded colony with a controlled climate. She lives in a bubble. Before WWIII (the Event) started, many scientists got together and formed these colonies in the ocean to escape what would inevitably happen. When the war broke out, those living in the colonies were safe. One hundred years later, their existence was just a rumor. And the colony wants it to stay that way. People don't ever go to the surface, what they call The Burn. It is said to be an awful, desolate, and lawless place. But Terra isn't happy with living in the colony. To her it feels like living in a prison. She longs to get out and see what The Burn is. Mostly, she just wants to escape the colony. Unfortunately everything in the colony is controlled and monitored heavily. Escaping is difficult and she must leave behind her loving sister and controlling father. Her mother hadn't been seen in a very long time. Terra blames her father for that because of the strange circumstances of her mother's departure. With the help of one of her teachers and the mysterious Gaea, she leaves for what had been Washington at one time. Now all of the states have been dissolved and it is just called New America. And it is nothing like she thought it would be.

"...Politically. New America is the most stable nation at the moment. Though that's nothing to brag about, given the way they're enforcing stability. Their citizens are required to live in designated cities. Anyone found outside is incarcerated in a labor camp. So many other nations broke out into civil war after the Event and war with each other as well. I suppose the relative peace in New America is admirable, but I wouldn't ask its citizens about it...."

When Terra reaches Washington, things are chaotic. The first thing she does is rescue a guy who was drowning. But he doesn't know who rescued him and she follows him and his friends back to their settlement. Dave, the guy she rescued, takes to her quickly and likes her. She likes him too. But there is Mary, who Dave has a serious history with. Mary also doesn't trust her. The more she gets to know the people within the settlement, the more she feels like a liar and feels like she is betraying her new friends by not telling them the truth of where she came from. Then again, she can't really talk. The sacrifice for her to come to The Burn was her tongue. So the group at the settlement thinks she is from Arizona. The longer she stays and participates, the more she wonders if she should have stayed at the colony. Even if it did eat at her from the inside out. Here on The Burn it sometimes comes down to kill or be killed. People didn't hesitate to take whatever they wanted or needed from you and you had to stay on your guard almost constantly. Staying alive meant hard work and going out for meds and supplies sometimes, which could be extremely dangerous. Should Terra stay? Could she survive here in this new reality?

I left the colony to find a place I belong. Instead I find I am capable of unspeakable violence.

One can only see the similarities in what happened before WWIII with the limitation of freedoms and how things are today. History does repeat itself at times. And although Terra lived in a safe and very controlled environment, is it really worth giving up her freedom for feeling like you're in prison? Can you trade your freedom for safety and comfort? Even though most would that lived in these colonies, she wasn't one of those. The chance to find out who she really was and where she really belonged had a much bigger pull on her than the safety and comfort of the colony. But what she found changed her. Things out on The Burn were harsh. A reality she never expected that made her question her decision to come there. Want to hear the whole story? Go check out The Burn!!
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on February 18, 2013
Now before you "burn" me, read the whole thing! :)

Before World War III a group of scientists mastered the art of ocean living building a secret community 36,000 feet below. Over a hundred year after the anticipated nuclear war the colonies in the depths of the ocean still thrive. And while a scorched and violent world above on dry land is common knowledge, one girl in the colonies, Terra, is still looking for greener pastures. Careful what you wish for.

**There WILL be abundant spoilers in this review**

The Burn by Annie Oldham seemed to be a unique concept that I welcomed with much interest. However, I think the story can be best explained in one simple quick shot here ... girl lives life in the ocean and dreams of going on dry land, she find a strange woman who helps grant her wish for a price...her voice, once the strange woman cuts out Terra's tongue she quickly makes her way up top where she rescues a handsome prince who she saves from drowning and glimpses her for only a second, but as Ariel can not speak ......

You get my point. This story is almost a retelling of The Little Mermaid. To be honest I don't mind this so much, albeit it did make the story very predictable. I mean, Avatar was nothing more than a retelling of Pocahontas, and I enjoyed the dickens out of that! That might have been the case with The Burn as well except there were some things that just rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, we will start with "the ugly"..

Cutting off someones tongue requires far more than some lidocaine, a scalpel, and a heat burner to cauterize the wound. I have personally assisted in removing a persons tongue due to cancer and it was NOT this simple. Poor Terra would have bled horribly, and with no sutures, for long time. She would also most likely suffer from some kind of infection. Her pain level would be through the roof while she was surfacing in that sub. I wish the author would have done a little bit of research before penning this. And Terra's miraculous recovery from this where she could eat and drink with no issues? Really? This crossed the line of BS for me. I almost stopped reading at this point.

But it also brought up the question ... why? Seriously, why was her tongue removed? What Mother in her right mind (other than a sea witch) would disfigure and maim their daughter just to keep a secret? Terra had no issue communicating. She wrote on peoples hands, on paper, she mouthed words ... This hole removal of the tongue thing was a completely pointless part of the story. There are other ways to keep a person quiet without cutting out their tongue. Poor Terra will never lick an ice cream cone, enjoy her first kiss, or blow a raspberry ... simply because some crazy woman with cabin fever thinks it is a good idea? No. I think this aspect of the story could have been so much better if the author would have thought this through a little better.

And let us not forget Jessa .... who magically appears one night from a sub ... at the exact moment that Terra runs to the beach ... and she has sacrificed her HAIR to give Terra a warning, a needle to kill someone, and a chance to return home? Wait ... WHAT? That did not just happen? Oh yes it did! How on earth, if Terra had killed Mary and returned home, would she EVER explain losing her tongue? Once again the author goes where it wasn't necessary and opens up yet another can of BS. I think this entire event could have been skipped in the story (including the plot to kill Mary) and the story would have turned out exactly the same and remained believable.

So Rhea, since there was too much BS in the story and you hate it so much, why are you giving it three stars? I will tell you why ... because in spite of a little poor plot planning and the fact that the BS meter was going pretty high ... I still enjoyed the story and wanted to know how it ended. I enjoyed the characters, especially Jack, and there was enough intrigue to keep me wondering "what happens next". I think that with a little bit more careful planning on her outlines (assuming she uses them to write, not everyone does) then her stories would be a bit more refined. The Burn, all in all, is a fun world and good concept. I am hoping it grows and that as she writes, Annie Oldham will refine the details. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. But Annie ... there better not be a man behind the curtain in this series ...

I could lick a fine gelato
Sing a song staccato
And be forever young
I could kiss so unabated
Yell obscenities at Agents
If I only had a tongue

LOL ...

~*~Rhea
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on June 25, 2015
Terra lives in an underwater colony. She has heard all of the horror stories about the Burn, land, but is still intrigued. In exchange for passage to the Burn, she agrees to have her tongue cut out. A la Little Mermaid style, she saves a boy from drowning but disappears before he knows who saved him. She follows his group back to their hideout and is quickly taken in by them.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. Terra seemed to make a lot of irrational decisions, but she is a teenager. Further, a lot of things did not make sense. Why did the group accept her so easily? How did her sister find her so quickly when she had less than 5 minutes on land? Why did Terra have to lose her tongue? All of these unanswered plot points seem to be laziness or lack of imagination on the part of the author. Regardless, I do not see myself reading more books in this series.
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