Making the Best of Things: A Review of The Burning Land

Book cover for The Burning Land by Jeff Brackett. Image on cover is a painting of a wooden ship sailing on a sea that is bathed in yellow light. Title: The Burning Land

Author: Jeff Brackett

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: October 3, 2016

Genres: Science Fiction

Length: 26 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 4 Stars


Arik is Kapin of “The Serpent”, a sailing ship on a far-away world of green skies and orange seas. And though technically the leader of their expedition, he knows the true power on board lies in the hands of his only passenger – the Seer, Uson Grogor. Arik and Uson lead the crew across the vastness of the ocean, risking the lives of the crew as they sail past the point at which their supplies might still get them home, all based on the visions of the old Seer.


Content Warning: Pregnancy, deaths from animal attacks, and a fatal spaceship accident.

Failure is a stepping stone to success.

Now this is an example of how to write a memorable dual-perspective story! I don’t want to give away too many details about how a ship sailing across the ocean could be related to a spaceship travelling through space to a new planet, but I loved the way the author connected these two storylines. The parallels between them were evident almost immediately, and I only became more curious about how they might intersect as I  grew closer to the conclusion.

I would have liked to see more character development. While I wouldn’t expect to see as much of it in something this size as I would in a full-length novel,  it would have been nice to have more examples of how the characters grew and changed as a result of their experiences. This is something I’m saying as a reader who otherwise loved this tale and would have given it a five-star rating if I knew the characters better and could point out their personal development over time in clearer ways.

The world building was exciting and well done.  I learned more than information about the Earth-like world the explorers landed on in order to picture it clearly in my mind, but I also found myself wishing the author would write a sequel to explore things in even greater detail. The differences in the flora and fauna in this world made me smile, and that’s not even to mention the many different ways people reacted to these new life forms.

The Burning Land made me yearn for more.

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