On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-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.
I was a big fan of DeStefano's previous series, The Chemical Garden trilogy for many reasons. It had a dreamy and very intriguing setting to it's Dystopic world, explained enough to be intriguing, travelled enough to feel very revealed but insular in many ways. She has an almost poetic way with words, which really played against this harsh world as well, but most of all she had a complex tale to tell, and though there were love stories to it, they were also complex and never so straight forward as to be set in stone. Meaning there wasn't a "one" for the main character or even a love triangle as such, just a girl trying to figure out who she is.
Perfect Ruin, although radically different in many ways has a DeStefano feel to it right from the get go. This world (so far) is more fairy tale then dystopic, her heroine has been paired off at birth with a boy she seems to love deeply, and although there is a large mystery swirling around the characters there isn't an obvious death sentence overhanging them. But the lyrical feel to everything is once again prevalent, and now that I've read something outside of her first series, it's obvious it's part of her style of writing which is a happy discovery.
It's a little hard to say where this current series is going, the ending was a big shift and there is obviously much to be discovered in the next book, let alone the one after that. And although there was a thorough world set up in book the first it is unclear how DeStefano will tie it into book the second. This should be an irritating way to set up a series (of course, until such time as all the books are out on shelves and you can launch right into the next book with out preamble), but strangely it was done in such a way that I felt like much of the story line from this book was rounded out, so I was fine with cliff hanger. That being said, I don't even have the beginnings of a clue where she plans on taking us next which is odd. What I can tell you is that like Fever, book the second will obviously be a tangent that will only more clearly tie into the story with book the third, which is not every ones cup of tea.
An intriguing start to a series that has the potential to be really interesting, I enjoyed Perfect Ruin quite a bit, but I'm reserving my full judgement until I see where she's going with this story line. If the Chemical Garden trilogy is any indication it will be someplace very worth going.
Perfect Ruin, by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Simon and Schuster, October 1st, 2013