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Enna Burning (2006)

Enna Burning (2006)
3.96 of 5 Votes: 5
1582349061 (ISBN13: 9781582349060)
bloomsbury usa childrens
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Enna Burning (2006)
Enna Burning (2006)

About book: At this moment, I'm still debating whether I like this book better than The Goose Girl...I certainly love them both, but 5 minutes after finishing this book, I'm thinking that I might like this one a little bit more. The Goose Girl was mostly a fairytale retelling; this book is a continuation of Bayern, but it does not revolve around a specific fairytale, and I think that enabled Shannon Hale to write with more artistic and creative freedom. Yes, this is still a "fairytale" book: as in, characters are complex and well-rounded, but not vice-like as you may find in "grown up fiction" or a lot of other YA-books out there. So once again, if you wrinkle your nose at love stories or happy endings, go find something else, because you may not like this story. Have we rooted out all the anti-happy people? Okay, good, on with the review! So there's a whole lot of what I would call "natural magic" in this series: powers of wind, fire, water, etc., and the ability to communicate with them. The main character of The Goose Girl, Ani/Isi, switches out with Enna, who becomes the main (and titular) character in this story. Central to the plot is Enna's firespeaking ability, a gift/curse that threatens to destroy her if she cannot learn to master it. I really thought that was such an interesting premise, and one that has an obvious theme we readers can take away and apply to our own lives. There are actually many themes that are so easily spotted in Shannon's writing, and I think that is one of the many things I admire about her. She's not one of these authors who spends the whole book trying to point a finger at some societal issue, and she never goes "after school special" either; instead, her story and characters reinforce themes: messages we as the readers can take away and apply to our own lives. And yes, I agree with other reviews: this book is "darker" than the first one. Enna has an urge to burn. The fire has a life of its own, and it starts to feed off of Enna's life (reminds me very much of The Ring!!!! Remember how the Ring had seemed to be "alive"? Remember how the Ring "wanted to be found"?!?! It's just like that!) The story was intense, in my opinion, but not inappropriate. I'll expand on that later. But one thing I want to ask all the criticizers: have you ever heard of siege warfare? Well, thoughout history (as in, REAL LIFE: not the stuff of fairytales) armies used fire at their enemies: fireballs, flamethrowers, Greek fire, lighted arrows... In other words, people got set on fire in real life...that is not something Shannon Hale just thought up. But I mean, from some of these reviews you'd mistake Enna for Bellatrix Lestrange! She's not particularly happy about setting people on fire... it stinks and everything, but yes, that happens. It's not presented in a graphic way: if anything, it's presented in a blunt, dull way. I kept thinking, "umm, these people are on fire, why is she not *screaming*?" But anyway... Okay and Sileph... wow. I have to admit, I really didnt think he'd be Book #2's "Designated Bad Guy." Yeah, he has one those cocky personalities, and he's a bit on the manipulative side, but I kept waiting for him to redeem himself, somehow... but then...well, I wont say anything. I just didnt expect him to actually be bad. So that was a shocker. Oh, back to why Shannon Hale is Not Inappropriate: she's pretty much the only author I can think of who can take an otherwise provacative situation and make it perfectly tame. Here's a scenario: a girl and a guy sleeping next to each other in a tent. And. Nothing. Happens. At. All. I just want to fax her scenes to some of these other YA authors out there, goodness gracious! Parents, Shannon Hale does not need to be on your Hit List. She's okay. And when two characters who are *actually* in love with each other camp together at night, nothing happens either. Don't you just love that? Nice, sweet romances with no content issues. In fact, the only content issues in this book relate to scenes of war. I didnt find them that disturbing, actually, but IMO this should probably be a Middle School and Older series (YA). But I found book so much harder to put down than the first one...and I really loved the first one, too :D I like the conflict in this book: Enna's a great character: strong and spunky, yet still human enough to need others. And I loved the struggles she endured: she was relatable and human, but never self-pitying. Cant wait to read #3!

I love, love, love Enna Burning, to the point where I'm fired up and about to burn! (Bad pun!) I fell for The Goose Girl, but I've fallen even harder for Enna Burning. Maybe it's the word burning, but I have no idea. All that I know is that it's a definite 5 out of 5 stars!In The Goose Girl, I didn't exactly like Enna. She was just too bubbly to the point of annoying. However, in Enna Burning, I got to know Enna Burning and understand her a little more. I can't say that she's my favorite character, but I can say that I like her a little more and I don't think she is annoying. Enna definitely is flawed. She has good intentions, but she is a bit rash and bold at times. That gets her in a lot of sticky situations, which causes more trouble than she expected. The main issue is that she does everything independently, even though she needs the help of her friends. It's hard for her to change, but by the end of the book, she develops like crazy. I love character development!I also love twisted, messed up villians. I fall in love with them, which is pretty unfortunate for my friends. In this book, the twisted guy really takes advantage of Enna. He does mean well, but he also has high wants. He wants Enna to betray and kill against her will, but I still can't help but fall in love with him! I think he's so broken, even though he is also incredibly selfish and mean and cruel. It's so sad how messed up he is. If he had a better heart, maybe Enna would seriously consider him.Finn was cute and loyal and all, but I just couldn't really connect with him. He's just so nice to a point where you think he's too nice. He's perfectly quiet, which is definitely a little boring. Sure, he may be the best guy for Enna, but he's totally not the best guy for the reader. I want a guy with issues, not a guy who is a block. No offense to anyone who loves Finn, of course. It's just that I want a guy with attitude!I totally missed Ani and Geric! Ani is still your wise character who can definitely help Enna, especially when Enna discovers the gift of fire. Fire is a blessing and a curse. It gets you wanting to burn more and more, to the point where the people you love are in danger. You end up falling victim to its addiction, and there's no going back. Unless, of course, you have a great friend who has the power of the wind. Friendship is a topic that is greatly stressed, and I love how Shannon Hale intertwines it with a bit of fantasy! Isn't it so amazing how fairy tales are so interesting now? Yes, I now love them.P.S. The Goose Girl is actually a real fairy tale, one of many compiled by the Grimm brothers! I just read it last night, and I have to say, I love Shannon Hale's version a whole lot more! It's so much more detailed, although I greatly enjoyed the shorter version as well!
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Ok - the cute little baby prince helped this book scrape by with 3 stars! :-) For the most part, I really did not enjoy this book. If you deleted the words fire, burn and heat, you'd lose 2/3 of the book. I thought the plot was unimaginative and very forced. Kind of like when you used to add adjectives in your English papers at school to try and get the required number of pages. Plus, any book that spent a good part of the time BURNING PEOPLE ALIVE or talking about someone wanting to burn people alive, was really creepy to me! Right out of a horror novel. This would be a torturous way to die and no amount of writing about Enna's regrets at doing so, softened what happened. I can't imagine this in movie form. (shudder!) As a story about Enna, it only rated 2 stars. With the small sideline parts about Isi, Geric, Razo and Finn, it barely managed to make it to 3 stars.
I couldn't decide whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars. I debated for way longer than I have time to debate about truly unimportant things like this. I struggled a bit through the first part of the book because I was reading the really exciting part of another book concurrently. (Why did I start a book before I finished my first one? I don't know, okay? I just wanted to.) I was really frustrated with the heroine from the first Book of Bayern (Isi/Ani) because she accomplished this incredible feat only to be defeated by the task in the second book (or so it seemed). Also, I didn't really like some of the choices Enna makes in the beginning of the book.However, the second part of the book (from about where she gets captured on) was INCREDIBLE! I loved it! Everything that frustrated or confused me about the previous chapters was expounded upon and became clear. In fact, I was totally fascinated how the author deceived me about what was going to happen more than once. I seriously considered reading this book again to see how much more I could get out of it. And I would have if I didn't have River Secrets sitting on my desk waiting to be read next!Let me just pay tribute to Shannon Hale once again. She is totally original. Her stories are fresh and unpredictable. Her characters are well-drawn with flaws and their own sets of idiosyncrasies. The worlds she creates are fascinating to read about. I am constantly amazed at the research she has to do in order to create lands like Bayern. The politics alone would take me years to think about and perfect. Shannon Hale is my hero!
This is WAY more intense and disturbing than the first book, Goose Girl. I would not recommend it for preteens or sensitive teens without a parent to preview it and discuss it with. Enna's struggle with her powers is an awful lot like a chemical addiction and/or burgeoning sexuality. The images of people burning to death are gruesome. The romantic relationship she develops with a dangerous seducer is disturbing. In the end there are good lessons learned about love and friendship and finding a balance between different "forces" in one's life, but much of the story is very dark. Stories can be a great way to introduce kids to big issues in life, but be warned that this is not your typical fairy-tale variant for young girls.
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