Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 15-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.

Believe me, you will have lots of questions when you close the book. If you go into the story knowing this, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I'm still thinking about the story days later, so I think it deserves at least 4 stars. And while it might not be for everyone, I enjoyed it.

The book focuses on Morgan and her journey, rather than on giving you answers about the world she lives in. The world building for the city of Internment felt complete, but the reason for Internment to exist is a total mystery. The people believe that when the earth started going to hell in a hand basket, the gods took a hunk of the planet and flung it into space. So Internment basically floats above the earth like a big rock with no communication from below. There's a force field (that the gods supposedly created) surrounding it, and it keeps anyone from throwing themselves overboard, so to speak. You just kind of bounce right back if you jump. Not many people do this though, because while you do bounce back, you come back fucked up somehow. For example, Morgan's brother tried it, and now he's blind.

The city of Internment actually sounds pretty awesome. I kept thinking I'd found the fatal flaw in their system, only to be slapped upside the head and told that it wasn't.
When Morgan mentions that everyone is assigned someone at birth to be their betrothed, I thought that was the problem. Except it wasn't. Everyone seems genuinely in love with their other half. Do the folks in charge of that sort of thing have a special way of knowing who is your perfect match? 
This is one of the many unanswered questions I mentioned.
Then when Morgan talks about how everyone is basically recycled when they can no longer be useful to society, I thought that was when the city would begin to look horribly evil.
Ehhhh. Not really.
You work (in a job you pick) until you get too old, then you go live in some sort of a retirement home called a dodder house until you're 75, then you get recycled.
Yeah, ok. I don't want anyone picking out the date of my death, but at the same time it's not exactly a super-evil time span, you know? You're guaranteed 75 years with the love of your life, doing a job you enjoy, and you get a retirement package to boot! Oh, and there's no crime. 
But I guess that's the point. Lots of things look good on paper, but the reality isn't quite as awesome.

Everything starts to unravel for Morgan when a girl about her age is found murdered on the train tracks. That sort of thing just doesn't happen, after all.
Once she starts to open her eyes and question things, she finds out that not everything is what it seems. Even the people she loves most.

The ending is fairly crazy. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will tell you it involves a giant mechanical bird, a wanted murder, and a crazy-ass princess.
And, yes. There's a cliffhanger ending...


Kate Phillips said...

Great review. I liked this one but wasn't in love with it. I thought the ending was good but found it a little dull in places. Still, I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Glad you liked it!!

Kate @ The Little Blog of Geek


I have to say I agree a bit with you. Not a lot of action in this one, but I thought she did a good job with the story. I'll read the next one just to find out how the heck they ended up on a floating rock!

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