Burning Bright (Going Down in Flames #5) By Chris Cannon Review

Author: Chris Cannon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Date Published: June 4th 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Page Number: 408

Bryn is back for her senior year at the Institute for Excellence, also known as shape-shifting dragon school. She isn’t sure which is scarier, the life-force sucking dragons stalking campus or the fact that she’s officially betrothed to Jaxon, a guy who will never love her. Not that she could ever love him, either… That’s just ridiculous.

Senior year should be fun. Her parents are alive, she’s finally fitting in, and she’s learning how to be a Medic. But what’s with Jaxon giving her strange looks? He runs hot and cold, and he doesn’t even have the excuse of being a hybrid fire-and-ice-breathing dragon like her. One minute they’re having a great time and the next, she wants to blast a fireball at his head. The marriage contract of doom looms over them--unless this match not made in heaven kindles a flame…

I was really looking forward to this book as it is the last book in one of my favorite series. The YA genre severely lacks in fantasy books featuring dragons so I was ecstatic when I came across this series, and I have been following it since book one. However, I couldn't help but feel let down by the ending of this series.

Bryn, the main character, seemed to become complacent with the Directorate controlling her life and seemed to give up in the end. Though she did start to develop feelings for a certain dragon she was betrothed to, it didn't feel real to me. Bryn had the kind of personality where she would fight anything and anyone who was in the wrong or tried to control her, but in this book, she gave up too easily for me. In addition to that, she didn't change the directorate like I expected (and hoped) she would. In the end, she didn't change the system, but she conformed to it. I can't say that I was happy about that. In the beginning, I felt like Bryn was a promise of major change and would give readers a sense of justice in the end, but I never got that. I just felt like there was something missing: Bryn's fire and resolve, a true love story, and most of all, a hard hitting climax that would end the series with a bang.

To me, the climax was lackluster and rushed. Compared to the other books, this climax just fell flat and didn't make my heart race or fear for the main characters' lives. I expected so much more and much more damage to come out of the "last battle", but I was left disappointed.

In the end, I cannot say I was happy with the ending even though Bryn seemed to be happy. I felt let down that such an amazing series so far ending with such an unsatisfying ending. I think that had we spent more time focusing on Bryn's relationship with Jaxon and building up the climactic fight, the book would have been a little bit more satisfying. I also wanted to see the directorate changed drastically and Bryn buck the arranged marriage idea even if she still chose who she was betrothed to in the end. The idea that she just let it go didn't sit well with me.

Nevertheless, I still love the series up to this point and the ending won't change the fact that this series still a favorite! I still highly recommend you read it because it is something unique and special!

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