Burntown by Jennifer McMahon


Publication Date: April 25th, 2017

This review does not contain spoilers.

Burntown‘ is written from multiple perspectives and time frames. I would say that the main character is Eva who we are introduced to as a kid, and then follow her story through to her young adulthood. Eva remembers following her dad Miles around his workshop as he built many different objects, including a strange machine that was built using the blueprints that Thomas Edison himself created. These particular blueprints were somehow smuggled and then passed down in the family. Miles finally decides to take it upon himself and see what this mysterious machine actually is, and builds it throughout the span of several years. One night when this machine randomly comes to life, and the words “Danger” are spoken from it, the story takes a dark turn, and we soon find Eva waking up next to her mother Lily on the side of a river. Utterly confused at what happened the night before, she discovers that her dad and brother are both dead, and the rest of the story follows Eva as she tries to put the pieces together and find out what happened to her family.

As for my thoughts, I think that Jennifer McMahon can obviously create intricate stories that make it seem as if you are there with the characters and experiencing everything that they are experiencing. She is easily one of my favorite authors, and this is the third books of hers that I have read so far. I have also read ‘The Winter People‘, and ‘The Night Sister‘, and all three books are well thought out, and you can really tell that she researched different elements that she put into her stories. I am amazed at how well she can weave in the amount of character perspectives that she uses in her books. The only thing I had trouble with was that ‘Burntown’ is written from so many different character perspectives and points of time, that it can get a little bit confusing at times. Keeping track of who is who, and where you are at in the story had me scratching my head and a bit lost at times.

I think out of the three books that I have read from her so far, ‘Burntown‘ would be my least favorite, just because I really enjoyed the overall stories of her others a little more; however, that does not mean that this book was bad in any way. I will continue to read anything that this author comes out with, and I still need to read some of her other books. I think this book is definitely worth a read, though I may be a bit biased towards the author.

Overall, I rated this 4 out of 5 stars.



7 thoughts on “Burntown by Jennifer McMahon”

  1. Great review Carissa! I’ve only read one book by this author (The Night Sister) but I’m partial to her as well because she actually lives near me, so I like seeing her books do well. I’ve been meaning to pick this one up, but I sort of want to read The Winter People first.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this book! I’ve read Winter People but still need to get to The Night Sister, which sounds like you also really liked. There’s something about her writing style and stories that makes her a must read author for me. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have “Winter People” waiting on my shelf to be read soon. I feel like I have to wait for cold weather to read it! It just wouldn’t seem right to read a book about cold weather in the summer for some reason. haha. It’s good to know what you think of all of her books, having read three of them. Between “Winter People” and “The Night Sister,” which was your favorite?


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually went to Kauai in April and I thought about that! About my tendency to save “cold weather books” for cold weather and how if I lived in Hawaii, I wouldn’t really have that choice. That’s so funny. And awesome, I will add it to my TBR list!


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