Book Review: Perfect Ruin

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23658Lauren DeStefano’s Perfect Ruin (Book #1 of The Internment Chronicles) is a perfect combination of fantasy and allegory wrapped up with a beautiful Young Adult series bow. Destafano is already known for expert world-building, (as in her Chemical Garden series), but she takes it to a new level in her latest book.

Imagine a city on a hunk of land that floats high above the ground. A large dome protects the city from the atmosphere and creates a barrier between the population and the Edge. Trains run around the city to get people where they need to go, but they are also the dividing line between an orderly civilization and forbidden territory.

In a city where everyone and everything is controlled by an all powerful king, the concepts of individuality and free thought are virtually nonexistent. The government arranges marriages, dictates when babies can be born, assigns jobs and living quarters, and essentially brainwashes the entire population with a state religion and fictional history. Anyone who dares to think outside these boundaries is declared as “irrational” and subjected to therapy and medications, or worse.

Morgan has lived in the city her all her life and she knows the rules. The Edge is a dangerous place and there are serious consequences for even thinking about what lies on the ground. Still, her imagination often tries to picture the landscape and who might live there. Both her best friend, Pen, and betrothed partner, Basil, can see the danger of her daydreams, but they too share her curiosity. All can’t help but wonder if this one city is all there is in this life. The distant land below beckons as Morgan and her friends begin to question the life laid out by their government.

Perfect Ruin is a high concept story that digs deep into social and adolescent issues like independence, family, and self-discovery. At the same time, it is a compelling allegory that explores the folly of master societies and dictatorial states.

Verdict: Well worth reading.

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c.b.w. 2014

 

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Downpour

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Rain falls for the first time in months. Dry, cracked sand turns into mud, sidewalks transform into mirrors of slick water, and thirsty trees drink until their roots swell. It’s too late for the brown grass and wilting weeds. They gave up the fight long ago. Did they really belong, anyway?

The cacti are the only ones complaining. Drowning is all to easy when roots run deep and there’s no way to move.  Days like this are all about holding on for dear life and praying for the sun.

None of the stones cared. Their lives continue much as they had before, only now they are wet. A new temporary color gives them something new to talk about and maybe a few friends will follow the stream and land in a new place.  The pebbles always love the ride, while old boulders grip the ground with all their might. There’s no way in hell they’re moving.

Gray clouds weep and weep until they run out of tears. Sorrow for what, no one knows. Perhaps it’s the ever-changing scene from above. All they see are bunch of ants building colonies and destroying the land.  So, they send downpour to flood them out and clear their mess.

Blue skies return, shining light on the wounds. The air is clear, but the ants return.

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c.b.w. 2014