Title: Perfect Ruin
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: Internment Chronicles #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 1st 2013
Rating: 3 stars.. I guess?
Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.
Oh dear... Perfect Ruin is such a strange beast, I have no idea how to handle this. See, the first 200 pages of this book were a bit... - dare I say it? - boring. Not so boring that I wanted to put it down, but slow nontheless. It really helped that another blogger mentioned that the last 150 pages were quite good. And they were. I just wish that the first 200 pages were as well.
One of the main problems with Perfect Ruin is that every character is so very serious and formal. None of the charcaters were witty or funny. But if you need 200 pages to build up the plot, a funny character is pretty necessary. Otherwise it just becomes, well, boring. It's not that I really disliked those first 200 pages, it's that they could have been so much better, faster, stronger. The characters themselves are pretty okay: most of the time they do seem liek human beings with real thoughts and feelings and beliefs, but they all felt a bit too serious and sometimes stiff. They didn't really have outstanding personalities. Which, of course, also happens in real life, but this book really needed a witty, quirky character.
One of the main reasons I loved DeStefano's The Chemical Garden series was her prose. DeStefano really has a way with words. I definitely felt that her prose was different in Perfect Ruin, but not necessarily in a bad way. More grown-up, maybe, and it felt a bit more formal. It is a good thing that the prose is different, though, since it creates a different feeling from the one in Wither, Fever and Sever.
I have also noticed something about the romance: namely that DeStefano writes very similar romances in her books. And with similar I mean that the romance absolutely takes a backseat to the plot (which is good!), but also that the love interest is very bland and seems to have little personality. This causes the romance to feel bland as well, and when the characters spoke of love I did not believe it. Yes, the love from the love interest toward the protagonist is clear, but somehow everything is off. It just doesn't feel that real; there aren't very much 'moments' between the two; and there is no sexual tension at all. This all can be very nice, very calm, but like I said, I need something in those first 200 pages to spice it all up.
The ending of the book, however, was very good. The last 150 pages finally had some action and actually held some surprises. It was executed very well. It has provided some conflict, though: the first 200 pages convinced me to stop reading this series at the end of book one, but those last 150 pages actually really make me want to read book two, Burning Kingdoms. Dammit! I probably will, and keep my fingers crossed that it's more action-packed.
In all, I'm not sure how to feel about this book. The first 200 pages were boring, since almost nothing happens and the characters were too bland to make up for it, but the last 150 pages definitely held potential and made curious what will happen in Burning Kingdoms. DeStefano's prose is, as always, lovely.