The Burn Zone is an intense science-fiction thriller set in the futuristic city of Hangfei. Sam, her friend Vamp, and the haan called Nix take you on a roller coaster ride that suddenly drops out from under you in the last few chapters. The twist at the end is shocking as well as intriguing; it will leave you pondering for days. The technology is cool and the writing is fearless. I loved this book.
I read the prequel novella, Ember, before starting The Burn Zone (TBZ) and though it’s not necessary to read Ember in order to understand and follow the plot of TBZ, it does provide insight into a critical piece of the history between Sam and her adoptive father Dragan. After reading Ember, I started page one of TBZ rooting for Sam and empathizing with her wholeheartedly as she raced to save the only father she’d ever known.
In The Burn Zone, the relationship between the humans of Hangfei and the alien race called the haan is fascinating and complex as they struggle for space, food, and survival. I loved the idea of humans as surrogate parents to haan infants, as well as the technology which allows Sam (as one of the surrogates) to sense the haan’s emotions. The small details, such as the wet drives implanted in the human skull, instantly accessible internal chat windows, and the frequent A.I. pop-up advertisements help put the reader in the high-stimulus setting. Learning about the haan and their unexpected abilities as the plot unfolded had me captivated. There’s even a dash of romantic tension for those who need a little love in their stories.
The Burn Zone is phenomenal! I highly recommend this novel to all fans of science fiction and to anyone who is thinking about giving sci-fi a chance. I am already looking forward to book two.