PJV Quickie: PERFECT RUIN, the first book in Lauren DeStefano’s new series was a compelling story, rich in detail and light in portrayal. DeStefano has a certain prose that is almost weight-less, she weaves her story with minimal embellishments, but rich detailing. Her gift for writing leaves you sighing over certain phrases and character actions. DeStefano clearly has impeccable talent for crafting a story and she proves it again in the start of her new series, The Internment Chronicles, PERFECT RUIN.
Review: PERFECT RUIN opens with the introduction of Morgan Stockhour, a 16-year-old girl that lives on a floating island above the Earth. The island is small, which is why it is under the very restrictive control of the King. Births and even deaths are regulated, food and basic needs are provided for, you just have to marry who they say you must marry and hold the job you are given. On Internment you can’t even get close to the edge without the risk of going mad. Jumpers, like her brother Lex, end up disabled and socially backward, not able to contribute to society.
Lex’s disability and his insanity doesn’t stop Morgan from wondering about the edge though. She seems content in her life, with her best friend Pen and her betrothed Basil, but she still wonders about the edge and what lays below the city. When a murder occurs on Internment, the young woman’s betrothed, Judas, accused of the crime, Morgan begins to question her life and the rulers of the city. And once she begins to question her life, there is no going back…
A fantastic edition to the dystopian genre, Lauren DeStefano does it again, hitting a home-tun with PERFECT RUIN. The story was beautifully crafted, the floating city reminiscent of the EMBER series in it’s isolation and secrets. There was even a bit of steampunk quality, even though there were a lot of science fiction elements. Morgan, was a great character, not the usual kick-butt warrior chick of dystoian series, but a real girl, trying to fix out of this world problems. There was also a slight bit of romance, I thought maybe the book was hinting at a love-triangle, but by the end of the book I was unsure if it ever really happen, or if it was just in my head. Morgan was very content in her betrothed Basil and while their love was already established before the book started, it was sweet as they got to know each other in a different type of setting.
I did have some issues in the final parts of the book as the prince and princess were introduced. They were very over-done characters and seemed very 2D in their portrayal. DeStefano doesn’t really craft these larger-then-life characters that overtake a story, her writing is more subtle, but these characters just seemed deflated. Their stories written in, just to add a bit of political intrigue to the second book, I’m guessing to bring it back to the city. I can’t explain more, I would be giving away the ending.
This was a paltry annoyance though, not detracting from the overall great writing of the story. DeStefano has some great ideas and she weaves them into her exposition fantastically. Her worlds, while fantastical, feel real. I can’t wait to read more from DeStafano and her new The Internment Chronicles.
Recommendations: Recommended for fans of Young Adult Dystopian. Ages 12+. Fans of The Chemical Garden series should really enjoy.