Review: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) - Lauren De Stefano

Release Date: October 3rd 2013
Published By: Harper Voyager
Pages: 352
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Len, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find – or whom she will lose.

Review: Wow. The concept behind this novel was so refreshing and new to me. I really enjoyed the originality of Perfect Ruin, combined with the beautiful writing of Lauren De Stefano.

Perfect Ruin is about a girl named Morgan who lives in a kingdom in the clouds called Internment. The people of Internment know about “the ground” but have been prevented from ever going over “the edge” by punishment of the King. Although some people are lured by the edge and try anyway. Like Morgan’s older brother Lex. He lives, but is permanently disabled as a consequence for trying.

When people begin being murdered on Interment, the community reels from this. Their generally peaceful society doesn’t know how to handle this type of violence, and so Morgan and her best friend Pen lay low for a little while. When Judas is accused of the murders, it’s Morgan who first realises that he’s not guilty of what he’s been alleged to have done. She asks more questions, until she eventually uncovers the truth and realises that her own life is now at risk for digging too far. The only way out is to find a way to the ground - whether she makes it alive or dead.

The start of this novel whilst interesting had a slow start to it so I was turning the pages but not at a pace that I would if I was absolutely hooked. And that’s really the only reason why I am giving this book 4 stars and not 5, because aside from the pacing, this was an incredible story.

Whilst I am grumbling about the pacing, it’s probably fair to point out that as the first book in a trilogy - (like many others), there’s a certain amount of “world building” the author has to do before they can really get us knee deep into the storyline itself. And so to defend Lauren De Stefano (not that she needs it…) this is the reason for the slow start. It’s really worth it when you’re about half way through. But as I said above, it just wasn’t paced fast enough for me to give it 5 stars.

I absolutely loved the characters. Morgan is a curious, intelligent girl who admits to sometimes being afraid, but I think her moral compass is so well aligned that she would rather do what is right than what is easy. I admire this about her, and I thought as a character she was really likeable. I thought her relationship to her betrothed Basil was absolutely adorable and they made a really cute couple.

To contrast their relationship, her best friend Pen and her betrothed Thomas I thought were really entertaining. Thomas reminded me of a puppy that just wanted to make Pen happy, and Pen was never satisfied. Although, if anything ever happened to Thomas she’d be the first in pieces. She tries to be strong, but she really needs Thomas deep down. I liked the complexity of their relationship but also the tenderness underneath the bickering.

If you’ve read Lauren De Stefano’s Chemical Garden series, you’ll know that she’s a wonderful writer. She can write about the darkest of subjects but make it sound beautiful. She does this again with Perfect Ruin, and I am keen to find out what happens in the sequel. This is one to read. :)


“Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.”

“Time was our very first king. We all live our lives to the aggressive ticking of the clock. We don’t question that our lives are a grid of seconds; even our pulses oblige. No succeeding king can hope to hold this kind of power.”

“So many of the things I’ve wanted are the things I’ve been taught to fear.”

“He gathers me up and I’m weightless before he sets me on the railing. He’s the only thing keeping me from falling back, out of the reach of daylight. I’m not afraid of falling. I don’t fear the sky beyond the train tracks like I did before. I can go anywhere just so long as it’s with him.”

“We accept gods that don’t speak to us. We accept gods that would place us in a world filled with injustices and do nothing as we struggle. It’s easier than accepting that there’s nothing out there at all, and that, in our darkest moments, we are truly alone.”

What do you think?

  • Doughnut&Co says:

    Hello! I avsolutely love this cover and think the concept is unique and when I found out that Lauren Destefano wrote it, I was definitely intrigued! I’m definitely going to add this to my wishlist!
    - Annie

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