I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BfYR on October 1st 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
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On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.
Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.
Perfect Ruin has a fantastic concept with the same easy flowing writing from DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series. Constrained on this island the size of a fist, we’re taken into the life of Morgan who’s been starting to wonder what’s over the edge. The one thing that is forbidden to all residents of this floating city. Oh did I forget to mention that part? Yes, the city is floating somewhere above earth. This lone city. With people. Living there!
Not only is this place the size of a cracker, but now people are being found dead. Murdered. And not nicely either – if there is such a thing. Not only do I love the fitting name – Perfect Ruin – but this story had me captivated from the get go. It has a gripping claustrophobic feel to it all, though the best part is the unknown. My imagination was on overdrive! Everything about this this confined life is so mesmerizing in an almost shocking way, and you’re absolutely craving to know what the heck this place is really about. There is definitely more to it than the “a God created it all” explanation from their history books. Since it’s told in Morgan’s perspective we can’t know more than she does, however – which is not much. We quickly learn that anyone who gets too close to the edge goes mad – as in mentally. Also, if anyone actually jumps they just get thrown right back on by some force of nature (or something)…usually dead. We’re never made entirely sure of anything but we’re told all of these compelling rid-bits that make us want to plow right through. The questions running rampant in my head kept me completely engrossed. Eventually… this made me cry, because we get no answers AT ALL. *throws book in toilet* It ends on an exciting cliffhanger (which I’m a sucker for) that promises tons of answers in the sequel, but as for this first installment we’re left hanging on every angle. If only it had been a bit longer, or the middle cut shorter, it would have made room for just enough progression. I feel like this was more of an introduction.
With that said, this book focuses on developing the world in an internal sense. We learn plenty about the inner workings of this floating rice cake. How it’s governed, how they live and get schooled, how population is controlled and such. The city was very much in the foreground of the novel. By the end I could clearly picture every corner of it – physically and governmentally. It’s intricately designed. I guess it would be reminiscent of how she built the world in her other series. She meticulously crafted the house and its vibe in Wither before heading into the real world in the following books. Ample attention is also given to her characters. When I turned the last page I knew Morgan inside and out. How she thinks, what she believes in, what she questions, her strengths and flaws. The secondary characters, however, could be a hit or miss for me. I loved her brother, her best friend, and Amy. Their personalities are addictive. It’s the love interest, Basil, that I found less interesting. He’s a complete mystery to me, still. Judas is more or less the same, but he seems to have better potential with a more vibrant personality. Although, his presence feels like the works of a love triangle…
From page 1 I was dying to know more about this immensely intriguing world, and after the last page, my curiosity was annoyingly left to its own desperate devices. That aside, Perfect Ruin is an engaging read with an exciting concept and a lot of promise!
3 Hot Espressos