Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Review: Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

Book Cover Burning Kingdoms Lauren DeStefano
Burning Kingdoms, the sequel to Perfect Ruin, suffers greatly from "second book syndrome."

I really enjoyed Perfect Ruin. In it, we were introduced to a unique world -- a floating island above the earth, with a strange political system to add to the intrigue. Now, if you haven't read Perfect Ruin, you should stop reading this, because I'm going to talk about the ending.

Morgan and her group have escaped the island and landed on Earth. About 70% of Burning Kingdoms is that group becoming acclimated to the differences between Internment and Earth. They eat new food, they see a movie, they explore, they get drunk, they learn that on earth even though there isn't a problem with having enough space, they still have their own problems and are actually at war. I understand that we need to know what things are like on Earth to compare and contrast it with Internment, but not for 250 pages.

They are staying with an adviser to the king and his 5 children in what is a hotel during tourist season. Since it is now winter, the hotel isn't open for business. We are re-introduced to the characters, and it took me a while to remember the details of their relationships. I remembered the characters (the Princess, Morgan's Brother, her best friend, her betrothed) but I had a hard time remembering how each of them felt about each other at the end of Perfect Ruin. I think catching up on these relationships at the beginning gave this book a slow start.

Morgan knows a secret that might help them get back to Internment, but she doesn't want to tell anyone. After all, do they want to return? The Princess definitely does, but she has her own motives that also are a secret.

We eventually learn these secrets. At about 70%, exciting (and horrific) things begin to happen and some progress is made with the plot. But not much. It's a good thing that DeStefano is a good writer, or I would have quit. Really, there's no reason to take up over 300 pages to tell this story. Especially when there isn't even an ending. You are reading, and suddenly there aren't any more pages. I was reading an ARC and I'm hoping that's really not the way the finished copy is going to end, because it was horrible. I mean, I can't even call this a cliffhanger. There is no build up of tension or anything to indicate a denouement. It just stops. Really, I want this to be a mistake, because I can't believe any author, editor, or publisher would think this constitutes a book.

Suffice it to say, Burning Kingdoms was a disappointment. There is virtually no character growth, and the plot progression could be accomplished in 50 pages. I still think Perfect Ruin is a good book, but maybe I would wait until the rest of the series is out so you can read them all together.

Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, March 10, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
320 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. I've been hearing a lot of the same about this book. I've really been looking forward to it, too. I have an eARC but I think I'm going to wait to get a finished copy to make sure I get the whole thing. A lot of people are scratching their heads about the ending.

    Michelle @ Michelle's Minions


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