Morgan lives in a city in the sky. Her world is insular and small and, although it is treason to think so, she longs to know what exists on the ground below her city, the Interment. Her dreams of land, however, are soon shattered by a murder—the first that has occurred in the Internment in a generation. The murder victim, a girl roughly Morgan’s own age, is soon discovered to have written a treasonous paper about the sky gods and the king before her death. In spite of herself, Morgan soon finds herself commiserating with the dead girl and her opinions. Unfortunately for Morgan, such commiseration can only lead her into danger.
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano is the first book in the Internment Chronicles.
Pros for Perfect Ruin:
- Setting ~ Kudos to DeStefano for creating a truly unique Dystopian setting. I kept thinking that the Internment couldn’t really be in the sky—that it was some sort of domed, social experiment—but I was wrong. DeStefano’s characters really were living on a chunk of dirt in the sky. I don’t know how the Internment works, but it’s just plain cool. I look forward to getting the truth in the next book (or books) in the series.
- No Love Triangle ~ Or, at least, I hope no love triangle. A potentiality for one is presented in this book, but I hope it isn’t pursued because it was nice for once not to have the main girl have two (or more) boys dogging after her. Anyways, romance wasn’t the point in Perfect Ruin which is, unfortunately, refreshing since I still come across way too many YA Dystopias where the love story is the entire story.
- Alice and Lex ~ Morgan’s brother and sister-in-law were fantastic characters. I even kinda sorta wish the entire book had been about them. With her forced termination and his jump-inspired blindness, they were just much more interesting than anyone else in this novel. I wanted to know more about them, but, unfortunately, we had to spend most of our time with the younger, less interesting characters.
Cons for Perfect Ruin:
- Most Characters Weren’t Well-Developed ~ Morgan never felt like a realistic, well-developed character to me. She was dull and lacked personality. What’s worse is that I didn’t like her and I didn’t dislike her. She just sort of existed for me as this two-dimensional story guide. A lot of the characters in this book were like that (with the exception of Alice and Lex). The main reason for this blandness I think is because the main characters didn’t know the stakes until too far in the book. The characters that did know how bad things were and also knew they had things to lose were much more realistic than Morgan and her friends who were blind to what was really going on. It would have been better if Morgan had been “in the know” earlier on in the book because then the thriller-y aspects of the story would have been way more intense.
- Not Frightening ~ This book really wanted to be frightening, but it just couldn’t get there. The characters freaked out about one murder, a fire, and the like, but it just didn’t seem all the bad when you compare it to the stuff that goes down in books like the Hunger Games or even all the horrible things people see in real life. I know Morgan was scared, but I just couldn’t get worked up with her. Maybe, like I said before, if she knew how bad things really were and knew people were out to get those who disobeyed the king, it would have been more intense and frightening, but the world will never know.
- The Ending ~ I’m not going to spoil things, but the ending had an eye-roll worthy moment that was just completely incomprehensible. It wasn’t a twist per say, but it was a turn of events that just made no sense whatsoever. Be forewarned.
While Perfect Ruin isn’t the best Dystopia out there, it isn’t bad. I’d recommend checking it out if you haven’t been burnt out by the genre yet. If you’re starting to tire of it, however, I’d steer clear of this one. It’s kind of the same old, same old.