Perfect Ruin - Lauren DeStefano

Genre: YA/Fantasy
Synopsis: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Lex, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find – or whom she will lose.


Review: Okay before I go any further, let me just get this out of the way - I enjoyed this book in the way I used to enjoy Twilight. It's not well written, I have a full-size poster of Kian Egan from Westlife that's less flat than the characters and I don't think there is anything of value to be taken from it. However, it's also compulsively readable, and I tore through it in an evening and a half. For the first third or so, I wasn't sure I would keep reading - it meanders at a slow pace and doesn't seem to really know where it's going - for a bit of a murder mystery/thriller, it's not very exciting. Exceptionally inconducive towards making it so, is how unrelatable the main character Morgan is. Judas is also not a particularly compelling character, so it's difficult to care much what is going to happen.

Fortunately for the novel, it does have some good points. Some of the secondary characters are very likeable, particularly Morgan's parents, blind brother Lex, and his wife Alice. Some of the details of how life is lived in Internment, such as the carefully allocated births and marriages, lend themselves to making it an interesting concept, even if the execution is questionable. The contrast between Morgan, whose curiosity takes her thoughts frequently to the 'ground' below, and her friend Pen, who cannot conceive of everything they have been taught about gods and their ideal lives (essentially, their religion) being a lie, is pretty interesting. The city (not depicted nearly extensively enough) is quite interesting, as is the question of how it got up into the sky. In fact, most of the questions that this novel doesn't answer are the most interesting ones - where Internment came from, why it's called Internment (because the name sure implies something!) and what in the heck is going on down below on on Earth? I suspect at least some of these questions are going to be answered in book two, so I'm going to keep reading the series for that.

All in all.... an easy read, which honestly feels inspired by the Final Fantasy series - floating cities, mechanical burrowing flying bird ships - and I guess that's at least part of what kept me reading. It definitely won't be for everyone, and certainly not readers of very discerning standards. But screw it, I liked it.

Rating: 2/5

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