Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city in the clouds where she lives, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. If she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in her best friend, Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry.

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 once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, he is the boy being blamed for the murder, 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 whom she will lose.

“Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.”

Perfect Ruin was one of my most anticipated books of the year and not just because it looked interesting, but because of who wrote it. Lauren DeStefano is famous for writing The Chemical Garden series and Perfect Ruin is her first venture outside of that world. It is always interesting to see what an author produces after their big series is over. For the most part Perfect Ruin was a good start to the Internment series but there were a few problems.

Firstly, I really loved the idea. I loved the concept that there was this world in

the sky with people walking around, living their lives seemingly peacefully. There was a lot of originality to be found here and there was a lot of potential for this book to be exciting…but that is kind of where the issues were to be found. The story was good but there could have been a lot more going on. Everything moved at a relatively slow pace and not all that much happened. The last quarter was a lot more interesting than the rest but it still wasn’t explosive or nail biting. It could have really done with a bit more action or intrigue just to make things a little more interesting.

The writing was strong and I really enjoyed the world building. I could picture Internment and I really liked it. DeStefano really has built an original and interesting world that come across to me as beautiful even if the people in it were not.

The characters were also interesting but suffered from the same issues as the plot. Morgan is perfectly likeable and easy to get on with but she is not interesting enough. She is an ordinary girl which I liked but there was no real personality or charm to her. Her best friend Pen is a lot more interesting but she is unstable and erratic and is not always painted in the best light. Basil, Morgans betrothed, was likable as well, he was sweet and charming but again lacked a little in personality.

Perfect Ruin is a great idea and it has been well written but it was a little bland. Still, it is an enjoyable opening to a new series and a good, fresh start for Lauren DeStefano after The Chemical Garden.

3 stars

Published October 3rd 2013 by HarperVoyager in the UK & October 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readersin the US.  A free copy was provided for review.  All images taken from Goodreads

Review by Kate Phillips

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