The Internment Chronicles [Review]

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Perfect Ruin Cover.jpg

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com): 

On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream – a novelist or a singer, a florist or a factory worker… Your life is yours to embrace or to squander. There’s only one rule: you don’t approach THE EDGE. If you do, it’s already over.

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city and her home, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. There’s too much for her on Internment: her parents, best friend Pen, and her betrothed, Basil. Her life is ordinary and safe, even if she sometimes does wonder about the ground and why it’s forbidden.

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 once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, Judas is being blamed for the murder, 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 whom she will lose.

Pages: 356

Goodreads Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

*****

Burning Kingdoms Cover.jpgSynopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com): 

Danger descends in the second book of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home.

The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.

It is also a land at war.

Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?

Pages: 312

Goodreads Rating: 3.52/5 Stars

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

*****

Broken Crowns Cover.jpgSynopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com): 

War rages everywhere and Morgan is caught in the middle in the haunting conclusion of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

The city is falling out of the sky…

Morgan always thought it was just a saying. A metaphor. The words of the dying. But as they look up at the floating island that was their home, Pen and Morgan make a horrible discovery—Internment is sinking.

And it’s all Morgan’s fault.

Corrupted from the inside by one terrible king and assailed from the outside for precious resources by another, Internment could be destroyed because Morgan couldn’t keep a secret. As two wars become one, Morgan must find a way to bring her two worlds together to stop the kings that wage them…

Or face the furthest fall yet.

Pages: 262

Goodreads Rating: 3.59/5 Stars

My Rating: 1/5 Stars

*****

My Opinion

When I was in high school, I completely adored Lauren DeStefano’s The Chemical Garden trilogy. Those books were a haunting tale of a future that might not be so far from our own – and stands close to The Handmaid’s Tale (which I have yet to read). Since I was in love with her books, I had also read Perfect Ruin shortly thereafter, but never continued with the triology. For my summer reading challenge, I decided to finally retire these books from my to-be-read pile and read them.

However, where I once thought there was greatness, I was instead met with bitter disappointment. Now that I have grown to be a more critical reader and writer, I take create interest in books that carefully weave their stories and cast their spells on the reader. In the case of these books, I found myself skimming across most of the pages and cringing at all of the writing follies that were occurring.

Foremost, I struggled the most with the characterization. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters due to their lack of development and flatness. They felt like every other young adult character that I have seen, only minus the drive and changes that make watching their character journey’s interesting. After a while, I had a hard time believing in Morgan, our protagonist, because she could not decide as to what she wanted and definitely did not hold true to the hero standards that this story was trying – and failing – to uphold.

When I read a story, I grow invested in a world if I can see it being flushed out and truly worked with. In the case of these books, it felt as if DeStefano had a loose idea of what she believed the world to be, but then gave up on trying to flush it out completely and incorporate it into her story. I found this to be unfortunate, as the world she was working on would have been neat, compelling, and immersive if it had been better played around with. One more draft of these stories and this aspect would have been perfected.

Furthermore, as I was reading, I felt as if the published draft was a mere treatment of the stories, rather than being the finished, polished entity. This most likely came out of the plot that was playing out across the three books (which, in reality, could have been one book altogether). Overall, I was finding it difficult to engage with the plot, especially towards the end. Everything played out too easily and successfully for the characters, which lead me to having difficulties with the belief factors of the events. I think this plot failure was best seen in book two, Burning Kingdoms, in which it didn’t feel like the book had a plot in the least – the characters were just existing in a world, with nothing major happening until the final 100 pages or so. Needless to say, skimming was my top reading strategy when it came to reading these books.

Now that I’ve come to the end of my ranting, I can see how this may barely pass as a review. Nevertheless, it definitely stands as a reflection of my feelings and reactions as I worked my way through this trilogy. It also goes to say that I will never read these books again. Maybe if I had read them a few years ago, as they were being released, I would have had more positive things to say – but that ship has long ago sailed.

*****

The Internment Chronicles (Trilogy)

  • Perfect Ruin
  • Burning Kingdoms
  • Broken Crowns

*****

“Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.”
― Lauren DeStefano, Perfect Ruin

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