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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?

320 pages, ebook

First published March 10, 2015

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Lauren DeStefano

23 books6,713 followers

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854 (34%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 352 reviews
Profile Image for Vicky Marie.
268 reviews17 followers
June 9, 2015

After reading

After waiting a year for the second installment of the Internment Chronicles I'm sad to say it was a complete disappointment. The plot went almost nowhere. Instead of a journey into a new world, Morgan and friends are left to stay in a hotel pretty much the entirety of the book. I wanted adventure, to discover what secrets the ground below held. What we get is pages with Morgan and Pen sneaking out at night with their new friend to get wasted. The curious protagonist who helped an innocent boy escape and dared to wonder what was beyond her world was lowered to a girl who drank and went to the cinema.

The world building was also insufficient. If you were to give me pen and paper and told me to draw what Havalais looked like I would draw a hotel and water. I have no idea what to make of it. I pictured it as the 20's with black and white movies and speakeasies. But then we have a hospital and jet planes that seem way too advanced for the time period in mind. There are both cars and animals named elegors that they ride on (I'm guessing they're elephants). I had no clear view of what the world was supposed to be. I had gotten so bored that when something did happen I didn't care. Not that it mattered, because a chapter later we're brought back to the hotel where the group waits again.

I don't like where the story is going, with the secondary characters becoming insignificant and a love triangle that has no business coming to fruition. But alas I'll finish the trilogy. Destefano's lyrical prose is still mesmerizing and is basically what stopped me from DNFing the book.
Profile Image for Hannah (The Curiouser & Curiouser).
449 reviews68 followers
April 1, 2015

Dat cover . . . WHHHYYYYYYYYY?????

HOW could they think the original type of cover wasn't perfect?!

Firstly, now my copy of Perfect Ruin is not going to MATCH with the rest of the series.

Secondly, the original cover was perfect!!!! It is still one of my favorite covers. So beautiful . . .

But NOOOO . . . they have to mess with beautiful things.

Check out my blog, where I also review and rant over YA books:http://obsessivereads.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Rayne.
852 reviews288 followers
February 28, 2015
3.5 stars

Nobody bores me quite as beautifully as DeStefano. She is a very talented writer and her lyrical prose is absolutely mesmerizing. Her writing pretty nearly makes up for 300+ pages of almost comatose inactivity because it is simply a delight to read her words, to see the way she strings sentences together and creates the most beautiful of images almost effortlessly. Even after losing the intrigue that made the first book in this series, Perfect Ruin, a hit with me, I was riveted by the way in which DeStefano developed her characters in this one, the way she presented this new world and the decisions she made regarding the relationships between the characters. Sadly, at least for me, that still leaves a fairly repetitive and uneventful book that felt like it lasted forever. I understand the need to give these characters a chance to develop and become the people they need to be for the next book, but, quite frankly, I was bored with the novel most of the time.

This novel is very different from Perfect Ruin in almost every aspect, maybe not in most of its elements, but definitely in what they focus on and that made a marked difference in my reading experience. In the first novel, the mystery and intrigue behind the story, the beautiful contradiction between the technological and modern aspects of this monarchic, deeply religious island in the sky, and the sensitivity and thoughtfulness of the main character, made Perfect Ruin an enthralling read that defeated my every protest about the plot. Many of the same elements find a place in the sequel, but to a much smaller scale. There's also a mysterious, inconsistent world, but it is not explored as much as Internment was, and in spite of having a few elements to it that were pretty fascinating, those didn't play into the actual plot in the novel quite as much as the elements of Interment did. Moreover, the world wasn't explored all that much or figured that prominently in the way the story was told. Certain elements of it were highlighted, and enough details were given to pique my interest, but they never built together anything concrete or that satisfied my curiosity. There is not much of a mystery behind this world, either. There's some intrigue, but it is not unpredictable or all that hidden in the novel, and it has a lot more to do with what can potentially happen in the next book.

Morgan's still a great narrator, but her voice wasn't as compelling in this one, mostly because there wasn't all that much plot-wise for her to contemplate, and the way she saw the rest of the characters turned somewhat repetitive. What became evident to me about Morgan in this novel is that, by herself, she's not a very interesting character. Actually, she's almost a blank slate of a heroine, and she is defined almost exclusively by the people around her and what they say and think of her. In this novel, Morgan had a lot of time to think for herself and by herself, and it wasn't nearly as engaging as when she had others around her to buoy her characterization. She's a fantastic narrator because DeStefano is a magnificent writer and because she's a lot better at defining others than at defining herself and making her character stand out. I know being quiet and slightly unremarkable is part of her characterization, but she's too much of an observant when she should be an active participant in her own story.

I liked how DeStefano played with the characters, the new dimensions she gave them, how alliances shifted, friendships weakened while others flowered, and how she twisted around the romance angle. I didn't see that last one coming, and it was an interesting way to play up the tired love triangle angle, as well as a way to develop the characters involved and throw some light on some things we might've missed about those relationships in the first novel. The new characters introduced were certainly intriguing and they did add to the story and the characters we'd met before, becoming a natural fit into the group dynamic, but even though she did a commendable work with all of the aforementioned, the fact still is that those things took over the story and left the actual plot stagnant.

Truth be told, there wasn't much of a plot in there. There was a general idea guiding the story, but it didn't factor in until the last third of the novel, where it gave the novel a rather abrupt ending. This one is a very slow-moving read, compelling in a strange way, but still almost uneventful. I do like the thoughtful and measured way in which DeStefano moved her characters here, and truth be told, this is a really good novel, but because of how different the take in this one was from the first novel, and how stilted the development of the entire novel was, I was left feeling unfulfilled and that ultimately had a lot of weight on how I rated this novel.

I still think this is a good novel, maybe not the strongest sequel, but definitely a really fantastically executed product that just focused its attention on some areas in particular, and did a great job at it, while relegating others to the background, some of which I think it could've benefited from. Slightly predictable, vague and confusing sometimes, I think the novel needed a bit more tightening up with the world-building and the development of the main plot removed from the main characters. It was slow-going, but I did enjoy the novel, even if it did not live up to my expectations entirely. In spite of everything, I'm still eagerly looking forward to the next book.
June 12, 2018
Review posted here

After reading the first book, which set the scenes up very well, I had quite high expectations for this one. I thought at last we would have the history behind this world revealed, but we didn’t. Instead I just got a well written description of the characters everyday lives and while that may be ideal for some, it makes boring, uneventful reading for me.

I think the only real good thing here was the writing style and how the author was able to keep the reader intrigued even when not a lot was going on. It, like the first book was very well written with our MC’s feelings being fully brought to life. That’s where the good ends though, I felt hardly anything important happened in this book, at least not until the few chapters at the end. It was just pointless descriptions of the characters everyday lives in the hotel they were staying in on the ground with no revelations about the history of the world on the ground or the floating city of Internment.

Another thing I didn’t like was that most of the characters were pushed into the background with only the MC and her closest friends being spotlighted. Everyone else just felt like a dismissed extra and I will admit though that Morgan’s character was still realistic and believable, in fact everyone’s character was, I just wish the other characters had had more page time as well cause this author definitely knows how to develop her characters…

There could have definitely been more things going on in the plot and would it have really been too hard to fit in some history? Despite all this the writing still managed to keep my attention but there really isn’t much to say about this book because genuinely not a lot happens AND there was a small hint towards a future love triangle which I thought developed way too fast without any sort of build up.

I can definitely see why some would like this even though I wasn’t really impressed. Despite this I will read the last book in the series mostly out of curiosity as to how the author is going to tie everything up and what will become of both these worlds… But mostly this was a disappointing read that had a lot of potential to be exciting and informative but just fell flat throughout most of the book.
Profile Image for Victoria Scott.
Author 37 books2,911 followers
October 21, 2014
How I love this book! Let me count the ways:

1) The return of characters I adore.

2) A fresh, new world and plot. No second book syndrome here!

3) Reveals that broke my hearts (in a good way).

4) Romantic tension that sizzles.

5) The dreamy, lyrical writing DeStefano is famous for.

6) Beautiful endings that leave you feeling complete, yet wanting more.

Profile Image for Molly.
956 reviews14 followers
April 7, 2015
Classic bridge book. Lots of walking and talking and *almost* revelations, and then everything wraps up with a cliffhanger. Stay tuned for book three!

What's weird is, nothing really happened in the first book either. Again, more wibbling around, talking endlessly about maybe doing something, and not until the last 50 pages does anything of note happen. Plus there's the world's most poorly thought out rebel resistance ever. We don't get much info on that front, because book two takes place exclusively on the ground. And at first I was on board: it's like our world in the 20s. And also at war. And with a monarchy. Morgan and friends end up staying with the king's advisor Jack Piper and family at a huge, off season hotel. I'm not sure what city this was meant to emulate...obviously one near water. I'd guess New York if not for the fact that there are numerous references to the ocean. And also Internment was probably once part of a nearby archipelago, over which the king is now at war. The islands are the only source of some precious fuel-adjacent resource that could power everything, and...do you see where this is going?

As it transpires, Princess Celeste is keen to make a deal in the hopes of saving her mother (dying of "sun sickness," aka skin cancer). Woe is Celeste.

I really wanted all of her sob stories to just be a way of manipulating Morgan into sharing the info about the fuel, but no, she's all sincerity. Barf. She reminds me a bit of Dinah from the Queen of Hearts series: I know I'm supposed to feel sympathy for her, but I'd like her better if she just gave in and went mad. Without Celeste, there's no real villain here. Oh sure, the country is at war, and the King is corrupt (aren't they all?), but both of those are sort of shadowy dangers at best. The plot consists mostly of a lot of sneaking out of the hotel, bonding with oldest daughter Birdie, and remarking on all of the differences between Internment and the ground. There's so much space! They have all this open space! Wow, a graveyard is such a waste of space! It felt like sort of a cheap way to get in exposition about Havalais.

Speaking of which, I wanted to know more! I said in my review of Perfect Ruin that DeStephano got around her world building problems by making the world smaller. Here, unfortunately, those problems are on full display. How is Internment more advanced than the ground? I'm not sure if I should shelve this as dystopia or fantasy. Book one was pure fantasy, but by bringing the crew to the ground (which, let's be honest, probably had to happen), DeStephano opened up a whole new set of questions she doesn't seem interested in addressing. Is this alternative history, a la Queen of the Tearling? The fashions and slang and technology all certainly evoke the 20s. But there are mermaids, so we're clearly dipping a toe in the fantasy waters here.

We're told in Perfect Ruin that Internment was created as a punishment, that the city was carved out of the ground and placed into the sky by the gods over three hundred years earlier. But Havalais is basically a tourist attraction: it features a theme park where you can pay to look at Internment through a telescope. And the people on the ground are fascinated by the sky people, but we aren't told what *their* story is for this magical floating island. Pen reads a "sacred text" that bears a great deal of resemblance to the Christian bible. And while it's been a loooooong time since I did any bible study, I'm pretty sure I'd remember a story about God creating a floating city. It's like DeStephano can't quite commit to dystopia or fantasy, so we're stuck in this sort of no man's land with no explanation for the damned island in the sky!

The final book promises a war in which Internment will play a part, but I have to wonder how many of these questions will still be left on the table at the end of the series. I like the idea, but I feel like there's not much *there* there. The concept of Internment itself could have made a nifty short story, but all of the "ground stuff," as it were, needs some work.

I still enjoy DeStephano's writing style, and while I don't hate Morgan as a narrator, I kept wishing that the story were from Pen or Celeste's perspective instead. We're beaten over the head with what a good and proper girl Morgan is, which is completely true...which is why she's not terribly interesting. She's very blah, while Pen is off self medicating with gin and Celeste is falling in love with the king's advisor's son (who ) and Morgan is wibbling around feeling sad and out of place. Again. Some more. She and her betrothed aren't that into each other, and she'd really rather mack on Judas, but in the end she and Basil (ugh) just sort of shrug their shoulders and decide to be together anyway. I'm certainly not complaining about the lack of romance here, but the above interaction is indicative of the kind of character Morgan is. She's like "meh" personified.

That having been said, will I be back for book three? Of course. I just can't quit you, YA trilogies!
Profile Image for Cesar.
348 reviews237 followers
November 10, 2016
4 stars

This review will contain spoilers from Perfect Ruin. You have been warned. Also some minor spoilers for Burning Kingdoms

You know, when a series is beginning to expand in the world building and exploring new places and new people, it can make a series much better. It all depends if the author manages to create a unique world with interesting characters. For some, it’s either a hit or miss. I’ve read some books where the world building is great! And other times I’ve read some books where the world building is complete shit. And like I said, it all depends if the author can manage to do it right.

So does the same apply to Burning Kingdoms? Well, yes and no.

At the end of Perfect Ruin, Morgan and her friends have left Internment and are on the ground. They are in a new world with no knowledge of where they are. Things are going to be different for them and they have to adjust to their new environment.

This in itself sounds intriguing based on the idea of exploration and adaptation. Morgan came from a floating sky city and is now on the ground. So, it sounds promising.

And to an extent, it is, but I can see how some people have some issues about it. Myself included.
Before I get into the world building aspect, let me start off with my initial review of Burning Kingdoms.

Short answer: I liked it.

Long answer: I thought it was a good sequel, we get to see new places and people and the character development is great. Though, I did have a few issues with the world.

Lauren DeStefano has a way with words and writing good characters. Once again, the writing style is done beautifully to the point where I want her and Lauren Oliver to collaborate and write a book together. (IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN!!!)

And her characters are so, so great! Morgan is a favorite character of mine and the others are good. Aside from Morgan, I also like Pen based on her development from the first book and where she is now in Burning Kingdoms. We get to see them adapt to being on the ground and having conflicting thoughts on what is safe and what isn’t safe. Is the ground better than Internment? Or is it vice-versa? What is home to some people? And if it’s possible to go back home, even if it isn’t perfect? These questions are what made me like the plot even more!

The plot and characters: Great.

Now, let’s talk about the world building.

If you’ve read my review on Perfect Ruin, you would know I said the world was leaning a bit to the sci-fi/dystopian genre. As it turns out, I was completely wrong. And no, it isn’t a fantasy. At least I don’t think so.

Turns out, it is, in my opinion, a re-imagining of the 1920s of the United States. Technically, it isn’t the United States, but there are silent movies, speakeasies, and even one of the characters said jake. Basically, 1920s in America.

Except, like I mentioned, it isn’t America. Instead, it’s a world with different countries that are living in the 1920s. That’s pretty much what I gathered from what I read.

Also, there are mythical creatures. Not mythical, but animals that aren’t common in the real world. There are also mermaids. Yes, mermaids. And to top it all off, the country Morgan landed on is at war with another country. Why they are at war is explained so at least we get some background about it.

As much as I liked Burning Kingdoms, the world building isn’t what I quite expected. It was good, but I wish there was more of an explanation about the world. And I for God’s sake, why isn’t there a freaking map! It’s the same compliant I had for Perfect Ruin and it’s the same for Burning Kingdoms. A map would’ve made things better. I keep expecting the Map from Dora the Explorer to pop up out of nowhere and show me a map of both Internment and the ground.

Still, I enjoyed my time reading the book.


Burning Kingdoms is a good sequel with vague world building but with great characters and plot. Definitely good.

Thanks for reading my review!

Profile Image for Serap.
675 reviews68 followers
November 5, 2019
Ne kitaptı ama🤔ergen muhabbetleri de vardı çok ağır toplumsal konularda...söylemesem olmayacak ,bu yazarlar aşk üçgeni muhabbetinden ne anlıyorlar bezdim vallahi😡
Profile Image for Sonja Gieren.
893 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2018
-Bloggerportal Randomhouse -

🌠🏙️🌠Flammendes Land🌠🏙️🌠
-Die Chroniken der Fallenden Stadt (2)-

Autorin: Lauren DeStefano
Verlag: cbj Jugendbücher
Preis: 9,99€, Taschenbuch, Broschur
Seiten: 368 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-570-31202-5
Alter: Ab 14 Jahre
Erscheinungsdatum: 14.05.2018

3 Von 5 Sterne ⭐⭐⭐

Entnommen von:www.randomhouse.de
Was passiert, wenn der Himmel auf die Erde trifft?
Morgan und ihre Gefährten sind dem Stadtstaat Internment entkommen – und erleben endlich selbst, wie das Leben auf der Erde unter ihrer schwebenden Insel abläuft. Morgan ist fasziniert von den neuen Möglichkeiten. Doch das Land befindet sich im Krieg – im Kampf mit dem Nachbarn um einen unschätzbaren Rohstoff. Der herrschende König hält dabei ein wachsames Auge auf Internment. Morgan gerät unversehens zwischen die Fronten, denn sie verbirgt ein brisantes Geheimnis …
Weitere Informationen:
(plus Leseprobe)
Hey ihr Süßen💕
Gerade habe ich den 2. Teil von Lauren DeStefanos *Zukunfts-Trilogie* "Flammendes Land" beendet.
Das Buch fängt dort an, wo Teil eins Endete. Was ich wirklich gut fand, so war der Einstieg nicht schwer und ich war sofort in der Geschichte drin. Auch das Cover ist wie beim ersten Teil wundervoll. Hier geht es nun weiter mit Morgan und ihren Freunden, dieses Mal aber sind sie auf der Erde. Man erfährt vieles über Internment und auch über die Erde, aber dennoch muss ich sagen, hat mich dieses Buch nicht ganz überzeugt. Ich fand es einfach teilweiße viel zu langatmig und jetzt wo es beendet ist, bin ich froh es geschafft zu haben. Das Buch endet mal wieder mitten in der Handlung, was nicht weiter schlimm ist, da der dritte Teil schon bald erscheinen wird. Ich habe das erste Buch regelrecht verschlungen, doch dieses habe ich immer mal wieder zwischen durch gelesen, es könnte mich einfach nicht überzeugen. Dennoch freue ich mich schon jetzt auf den dritten Und letzten Band dieser Reihe und hoffe das dieser mich wieder voll Ends überzeugen werden wird. Vielen lieben Dank an den Verlag für dieses weitere Buch von Lauren DeStefano.
Ganz lieben Gruß
Profile Image for Sully .
682 reviews16 followers
March 16, 2015
2.5 / 5 stars rating

This review is also posted at http://readingnookandcranny.blogspot....

I have an interesting take on DeStefano that I developed while reading her Chemical Garden series, and this series only seems to solidify it. DeStefano is a talented writer, but she isn't a great novelist. That is, she has the words to make eloquent writing, but she doesn't seem capable of writing a plot that can keep me interested in a series. Perfect Ruin was interesting, but nothing special. It left a lot hinging on this novel to carry the series, and Burning Kingdoms was a disappointment.

I could get past the floating city in the sky, even though it didn't make much sense in the first novel. The novel still felt like a light YA sci-fi story. But now, on the surface of whatever planet this happens to be? We have mermaids floating around, trying to pull shining things underwater to collect them in their underwater caves. This series somehow did a full one-eighty, and we're fantasy now instead of sci-fi.

Burning Kingdoms is the same characters, but it's an entirely new plot and a completely different world. And with characters that spend a majority of their time getting wasted in a completely new world, that leaves pretty much the plot to pull my interest through since the characters just didn't have it for this one. And the plot of Burning Kingdoms is sloppy, and slow, and honestly, nothing really happens much at all. It definitely has the same flavors as her Chemical Garden series, where is seems the series just keeps unraveling the further into it you get.

It's still an okay read, but I tell you, it is hard to get invested in this author's series.
Profile Image for Roge.
2 reviews
Want to read
June 9, 2014



OH WELL!!!.......

Profile Image for Stacee.
2,671 reviews702 followers
February 13, 2015
Sort of a slow start, but I really enjoyed it.

For me, it lost some of the magic Perfect Ruin had once the characters went to the ground. There are some great new characters and some sweet swoons. The ending is a bit floaty and I'm not a fan of that. I need concrete endings and now I need book 3.

**Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Jessie Potts.
1,179 reviews103 followers
March 12, 2015
I liked it a lot! I think I"ll enjoy the audio version even more, I loved the narrator for Perfect Ruin and am currently reading the 1.5 installment and can't wait for 2.5!
Profile Image for Steffi.
2,854 reviews162 followers
Shelved as 'gave-up'
October 7, 2018
DNF @ 31%

Ich war ja schon vom ersten Teil nicht allzu begeistert, aber ich habe nach dem Ende wirklich Potenzial für den nächsten Teil gesehen. Leider kann dieses Buch mit meinen Erwartungen überhaupt nicht mithalten und es ist einfach nur langweilig. Im knappen Drittel, dass ich gelesen habe, ist einfach gar nichts passiert.

Ich war gespannt auf die Welt auf der Erde, aber hier gibt es überhaupt keine Erklärungen und so gut wie keine Beschreibungen. Die Welt ist irritierend und man kann überhaupt nichts einordnen.

Das macht mir alles leider überhaupt keinen Spaß, so dass ich das Buch nun abgebrochen habe.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,354 reviews176 followers
August 16, 2019
Morgan and her friends are now stranded on the Earth or the land below Internment. They have no way to get back either and must depend on the hospitality of the people they meet. Morgan tries to get used to life below Interment and finds that she could stay there. However, the guilt of dragging her friends, especially Pen with her is eating her from the inside.

I enjoyed seeing Morgan settle into life on Earth. She has a personality that is very easy to adapt to new situations. I loved how much she came to care for Birdie and the other Pipers. I loved seeing Morgan and Celeste develop a tense friendship that eventually became something real. Morgan has such a knack for knowing how to calm people and keep a situation from escalating. She'd make a great diplomat.

This book did suffer from middle book syndrome a little as well. We find out everything about Internment and leave it, only to find out that Earth isn't the utopia they thought it was. I kind of got whiplash from how the character's changed their minds about fleeing. I still am curious to see what will happen next and will be reading the last book when I get the chance.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
447 reviews204 followers
January 3, 2016
I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

First Impression: I didn't enjoy Burning Kingdoms as much as Perfect Ruin. It seemed a lot slower and very much anti-climatic. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it and love the female friendships.

Review: I really enjoyed Perfect Ruin. So much so that I hadn't even finished the first one before I requested the second.

Burning Kingdoms picks up immediately after Perfect Ruin, and the gang have just had their first steps on Earth. It's different, they're unsure and distrusting, Quickly, Morgan and her friends along with the others who escaped from Internment find themselves in the middle of a war. The ground is harsh and violent, and Morgan must try to save Internment, the only home she's ever known, from the brutality of the Ground.

The pace was much slower in Burning Kingdoms. It's not necessarily a bad thing, because DeStefano has such a beautiful and lyrical way of writing that it makes up for it. However, I think the world building was slightly lacking and seemed very disorientating because there were mermaids, but also speakeasies and black and white silent movies. It's interesting, but I think it could have been done better. Secondly, I the characters are a lot more developed and I love the female friendships in Burning Kingdoms. First there is Pen and Morgan who are best friends, and who are completely devoted to each other. Then you see the development of Celeste and Morgan who begin a friendship, even if it is a rocky one.

Whilst the ending seemed a little anti climatic, I think it's a good opening for something big and explosive in book three that I'm very much looking forward too.

Overall a very good follow-up to Perfect Ruin.
Profile Image for Giedre.
217 reviews24 followers
May 16, 2016
Book was quite disappointing in terms of slow development and too much unnecessary situations. I had high expectations for this book. Anyhow, last few chapters were really good so I am off to read the third installment.b
Profile Image for Carys.
222 reviews6 followers
October 18, 2015
Soooooooooo, I have a lot to say about this book.

Let's just start by clarifying the reason I gave it 2 stars. The plot merited it a good solid 1, but I felt obliged to give it another because Lauren DeStefano's writing was still as beautiful as ever, despite the not-so-beautiful story.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Perfect Ruin. I thought the plot was more or less good, but it was the characters that really got me. They all felt so real and raw and exposed, and I appreciated that. Nowadays, most YA books consist of cookie-cutter characters taken directly from other books.

But in this book, I felt as if the characters retrograded into duller, less interesting versions of themselves. I mean, the entire book pretty much consisted of Morgan and Pen going off and getting drunk and complaining about stuff. I really just honestly wanted to put the book down about half-way through and call it quits, but I pushed through, more out of appreciation for Lauren DeStefano's writing than for actual entertainment.

I just really did not enjoy this book. By making Perfect Ruin a trilogy (and I thought it would've been fine as a stand-alone, despite the cliffhanger ending), DeStefano had a chance to build upon the characters and make an adventure out of the ground world. Instead, we barely visited the ground at all - the whole book, our characters were cooped up inside some hotel. I would've liked to experience more of the ground and had more information, because I can barely even visualize it in my head. Even though I have a lot of admiration for her writing, DeStefano did not do Perfect Ruin justice with this one. Because of my experience with this book, I doubt I will finish the series. :((
Profile Image for La La.
967 reviews127 followers
January 30, 2016
When I first started reading I had high hopes that this book was going to be five stars, but then insert one mythological creature. Really? In a story like this? It is almost like putting a werewolf in the Divergent series. I kept waiting for an explaination that they were just misidentified animals, but no explaination came. What makes it even worse (cheesier) is that they are the latest popular mythological creatures for YA stories. This book basically tanked in the last 40%. Also, I don't know how many times someone "crinkled their nose", almost enough times for it to become an inibriating college drinking game. There was such a forced use of large vocabulary words that some of the definitions had to be severly twisted for them to fit within the meaning of the sentence, and others were just plain wrong, like using insensible as opposed to unsensible for a pair of shoes. I was relieved when it looked like the easy predictable outcome was nowhere in sight, but then got slapped in the face with it in the end. This is a very early eARC so I am hoping that the finished version removes redundant words and fixes a couple of clumsy tenses that might be correct in a convoluted way, but just don't read right. It was almost like the author was trying so hard to sound of superior intelligence that it just sort of went off kilter. I won't be reviewing this novel on my blog because I don't review anything under four. I was approved for this eARC on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,534 reviews157 followers
May 5, 2015
"How is it that there are two worlds - one in the sky and one on the ground - and I forever feel that I have nowhere to go?"

This was an amazing sequel. I read it in just a few hours and could not put it down. I stayed up way to late and hung on every written word.

There is a feel of the author's other series here, but just barely. This story definitely stands well on it's own. I don't know what it is, but I absolutely love Morgan and Basil. Pen and Thomas equally make me angry and everyone else is a little fuzzy, the names seemed to come and go. I have barely any memory other than the basics from book 1, but I loved jumping right back in.

I can't wait to read the next one!
Profile Image for Desirae.
1,901 reviews139 followers
June 15, 2015
6/15/2015 ---

I'm not saying I won't finish it, but I've been trying to get past chapter three for nearly four months, so...

on hold for now...

I do feel like Lauren DeStefano has lost her creative edge, and she's trying way too hard to be like other contemporary YA authors by creating series with ideas that have already been done.

Thoughts from before I started reading, way back when I was excited to read this ---

First the freakishly long wait after book 1's publication, and now the cover design won't match.

Profile Image for Brandi Kosiner .
995 reviews295 followers
September 4, 2015
I wanted to read Burning Kingdoms because I enjoyed the characters in the first book and wanted to know what happened to them.

Karen at For What It's Worth and Mary at The Book Swarm occasionally post twitter-style reviews. Karen calls hers Short and Tweet, and I am going to borrow that review style here.

Tweet Review:

Slow at times, but still featured the characters I love and introduces new ones. Will be continuing.
3 reviews
December 26, 2013
lol just finished the fist book like two hrs ago, so i was searching for the second book online only to find it didnt come out yet.... haha
Profile Image for Alexa.
781 reviews
July 27, 2015
Lauren DeStefano weaves magic with her words, is what she does. I am seriously so in awe of how eloquent she is. Her writing style is simply so smooth and beautiful, nothing else — no one else — can compare.

We collect a few stares from passersby, but they mean nothing. We are young and enchanted and clattering with beads. We are untouchable.

“We can't be kings,” I tell her. “We're girls.”
“So what, we're girls?” Pen says. “We can be anything we want, and tonight I want to be a king of this mad world.”

And so I really, really love these characters to bits and pieces. I am sure that lots of people will find some faults with the heroine, Morgan, but to be honest, I identified with her a lot. In a way, she is a bit passive, yes — especially in comparison to her fiery, adventurous friend Pen — but I loved her thoughtfulness, sensibility and rationality. She went things over, and while she did have impulsive outbursts, she strove to make her words and actions count in any way possible. Morgan is such a refreshing, unique protagonist to me that I can't help but adore her so much.

The same is true for most of the other characters. Pen is reckless and doesn't ever hold back, Celeste is bold and unafraid, Alice is kind and sweet, Amy is clever and deep, Birdie is dainty and defiant; just the sheer amount of so many diverse female characters was astounding. The only thing missing was racial diversity, because all of them are white, but in character at least, they were all so vastly different from each other and you could discover something new about any one of them any given time. This book was so pro-feminist, and that alone already made it great. But it's also simply the fact that DeStefano works so well with all these different types of characters and breathes so much life into them, I ended up caring immensely about them.

And let's not forget the beautiful, amazing and lovely lady friendships that the author has created in this world. Seriously, possibly the very best thing about this book, aside from the writing of course, is the huge amount of different kinds of female friendships. Pen and Morgan's is the most prominent, obviously, and most developed, but there are others as well. Morgan and Amy come to a sort of understanding, there's Morgan and Celeste, and Birdie and Pen and Morgan, and even Celeste and Pen, who don't get along and are constantly bitching at each other, but it's nothing bad. They aren't fighting over boys or talking each other down because of any shallow reasons, but there's actual substance to their dislike which makes their relationship an interesting one as well. As I said, however, Pen and Morgan really do take the cake here, I cannot tell you how much I adore their friendship, which is probably the primary thing the book is about. Romance? Plays a very minor role, if any, but friendship and loyalty are some very important themes of the novel.

As we grew up, Thomas and Basil teased Pen and me about the way we cared for each other. I've always suspected there was a bit of jealousy under all of it, that each of the boys knew they had to share the girl they loved. What Pen and I have for each other isn't a threat to our betrothals, but we have each other's hearts just the same.

And, I already mentioned, Celeste and Morgan, too. Their budding partnership and later developing into a steady, solid friendship is an extremely intriguing part of it as well, because it seems so feeble and fallible at first, but as Celeste grows more and more into a trustworthy, mature character, so does her friendship with Morgan. They support and trust each other in the end, and they have come such a long way since the day Celeste kidnapped Morgan.
I put my arms around her, and she tenses, surprised, before she embraces me. “Look at me,” she says miserably. “falling to pieces like this.”
“Anyone else would have fallen to pieces long before this,” I say. “I've lost my wits about a thousand times since we've touched the ground.”
She draws back just enough to look at me. She shakes her head. “You could have been royalty,” she says. “You have the steel of a king and the heart of a queen.”
(...) Celeste puts her forehead to mine. “We haven't seen the last of each other,” she says.

I'm not done talking about great relationships yet though, because this book is full of them. Seriously, it has it all. The relationship between the five Piper siblings, for example, is also so well crafted and raw, or the way Judas takes care of Amy, and Celeste constantly being worried about her brother Azure. Taking the cake this time, however, has to be Lex and Morgan. Their familial relationship has always been extremely difficult and I believe that it's been a hard one to put into words for DeStefano, because every single word counts, and it could make or break the chemistry between them. Things have been tense between them over the course of the whole books, but it hasn't always been obvious. And things came to a finale in this novel, with the appropriate repercussions following.

“Don't confuse my philosophies for yours, Little Sister. I'll go on hating everything, and you'll go on finding the good in things that don't deserve it. And we'll never agree, but we'll both be right.”
(...) “I have scars from that day too, Lex. You didn't take a plunge off Internment's edge alone, you know. You took us all with you. Mom, Dad, Alice, and me. We've all had to watch as it took over our lives. That day you crossed the tracks, you didn't think about what would happen to us, not at all. You didn't need Mom and Dad anymore, but I still needed them.” My voice has gotten louder, but it cracks. “I needed them.”

I swear, this has got to be the most heartbreaking scene in all of the book. I cried, I really did, and it was gut-wrenching.

Still not done, however. One last item needs to be checked off the list, and that's romance. I've said it doesn't play a huge role, but it is still there on the sidelines, but I have to say that I'm so damn glad that it took a backseat, because it truly wasn't needed at all. The friendships and familial relationships and everything else already turned this book into enough of a sob fest and emotional rollercoaster, so it didn't need to add anything else to it. Nevertheless, I loved the fact that DeStefano included what she did, because it tells the tale of how a boy and a girl can care so much about each other that they'll always be there for each other, but don't love each other. It tells a tale of how you don't have to end up with someone who understands you completely, even if people tell you to.

When I read the first novel, I really thought I'd be in for a love triangle along the likes of the one in Matched. Because Basil and Morgan have been betrothed when they were born, and it seems to our modern standards that you couldn't ever grow to love someone who was chosen for you, and there we have a boy who doesn't have anyone laid out for him anymore (much like Ky) and is "available." It seemed natural that Morgan would realize she doesn't have feelings for Basil and fall for Judas instead. That never came though, and she was content and happy with Basil. Still, something changes in this second book and I liked the transition. The thing with Judas came a little fast, I'll admit, but the slow drifting off from Basil? Perfect. Just perfect. And it's not really "drifting off" anyway, because they're still close. Just not anything more. I liked that.

“But I see now that we can't have what other people have. I don't want us to. I've grown up feeling my own way for you, and it's just something that's in me, and I've always known it, [...]. I love you in a way that I've felt never needed to be said. [...] I'm still here when you need me.” [...] We spend the rest of the afternoon at each other's side, [...] but something has changed between us.”

So. After all this gushing, I feel that I have to admit the one thing that has been weighing on my mind the whole time, however. Because, beneath all the great characters and fascinating dynamics, there has been a considerable lack of actual plot. The first half of the book, or at least a good chunk of it, is exclusively nothing plot-relevant. It's just building up characters, relationships and their development, nothing more. It's fun to read, yes, because it is entertaining in some way, but to be perfectly honest after a while something was simply missing. A little bit of action, or an end goal, something to keep me wondering what was going to happen next. And that's why, in the end, I didn't end up loving this one as much as its predecessor.

Still, I feel the need to point out again how much I adore the writing. To drive my point home, and because I obviously haven't quoted enough yet, let me quote some more. I'm sorry, but I have just highlighted so many beautiful, lovely passages that I feel I have to post them all, or at least my favorites. And I have many favorites, so I can't choose between those as well which ones to post. Bear with me.

I've recently begun to believe that love is synonymous with madness. It can't possibly be an act of sanity. It is restless and always in pursuit. It will fall from the sky to have what it wants.

Outside, the smell of damp earth and the singing of crickets go on uninterrupted. The basics of nature see no cause to be still for the likes of us.

This review also appears on my blog.
Is this some kind of joke? I mean, look at that. Look at that cover. I think this is the singular most breathtaking cover I have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on. Oh. My. Goodness. Seriously. What the hell.

Then again ... I guess it is some sort of sick, twisted joke. 2015?! Why?!
October 7th. I'm looking at you. I'm actually kind of wary of this one, because it could make or break this series. It could blow my mind and be awesome, or be extremely horrible. Anything could happen in this one, truly.
Profile Image for Jenny.
295 reviews13 followers
September 1, 2018

Nachdem Morgan und die weiteren Flüchtlinge auf dem Boden gelandet sind und den Machenschaften von Internment entkommen sind, finden sie sich in einer Welt wieder, die anscheinend noch mehr Gefahren birgt. Zwei Könige befinden sich im Krieg miteinander und das überhaupt Menschen aus der fliegendes Stadt zu ihnen gekommen sind, wird völlig unter Verschluss gehalten. Während sie sich versuchen dort einzugewöhnen, wird ihnen schnell bewusst, für was sie damals mit ihrer Freiheit auf Internment bezahlt haben und wie schwierig das Leben auf der Erde ist.

Ich muss zugeben mir hat der zweite Band nicht so sehr gefallen. Es war schon interessant zu sehen, wie in diesem Buch unsere Erde aussah, aber mir hat die Spannung gefehlt, die erst die letzten 100 Seiten eingetreten ist. Mir ist bewusst, dass die Charaktere erst diese Welt kennenlernen möchten, das haben sie nun auch getan, aber das hätte meiner Meinung nach auch viel schneller passieren können. Zu den Charakteren merkt man wieder das Morgan der Ruhepol der Gruppe bildet. Doch das heißt nicht, dass sie nicht in Konflikten mit dem ein oder der anderen geratet. Während sie Freundschaften schließt mit den Enkelkindern des Königs, findet sich Morgan mehrere Male im Zwiespalt zwischen Celeste und Pen wieder, die sich die Haare raufen. Und für sie bedeutet das öfters, dass sie eine Seite wählen muss.

Zusätzlich erfährt man viel mehr über die Charaktere und ihren Hintergrund, was einiges im Vorgänger besser nachvollziehbar machen lässt. Aber ich muss zugeben, bei einer bestimmten Liebesbeziehung die sich zwischen zwei entwickelt, kann ich sie nicht ganz nachvollziehen, weil ich diese gewisse Art von Anziehung nicht wirklich wahrgenommen habe. Deshalb kam sie für mich plötzlich aus dem nichts. Und ich weiß nicht, ob sie unbedingt nötig ist.

Zu der Handlung, wie schon erwähnt, bleibt die Spannung ziemlich auf der Strecke. Während der erste Band von Mysterien gespickt war, wurde mir hier viel zu sehr auf den Alltag, durch das Wetter eintretendes Fieber und das hinhalten des Königs erzählt. Ich hätte mir da etwas mehr gewünscht. Denn dieses in der Nacht hinausschleichen um vielleicht etwas zu feiern, erinnerte mich mehr an einen Teenagerfilm als ein Buch das das in einer zerrütteten Welt in der Zukunft.

Der Schreibstil war dennoch sehr angenehm. Man kommt sehr schnell durch die Seiten, was wenigstens die fehlende Spannung überbrücken lässt. Im ersten Band habe ich sehr die Phrasen am Kapitelanfang gefeiert, aber leider gibt es diese nicht in diesem Buch. Trotzdem bekommt man viel von dem Zustand auf der Erde mit und wie der Heimweh die Protagonisten plagt.

Das Ende habe ich zumindest etwas vorhergesehen. Ich bin gespannt wie es im finalen Band der Trilogie enden wird und was genau aus Morgans Liebesleben wird. Ich habe das böse Gefühl, dass der letzte Band eventuell einige Opfer beanspruchen wird.

Leider war der zweite Band dieser Reihe etwas ruhig und die Spannung erst im letzten Drittel gegeben. Dennoch hat es mir gut gefallen, vor allem mehr über den Hintergrund der Charaktere in Erfahrung zu bringen. Ich bin schon gespannt wie es im finalen Band ausgehen wird und ob Morgan die Möglichkeit hat wieder hoch in ihr altes zuhause zu können oder ob sie weiterhin als Flüchtige auf der Erde leben muss.

3 von 5 Sternen
Profile Image for Cassie.
308 reviews
May 10, 2017
3.5 Stars

Why the cover change?? The cover for the first book was beautiful... these covers for the 2nd and 3rd make no sense to me, but whatever, it's what on the inside that counts most of all.

So.... this book. I was thrilled to go back into this world, even though throughout the whole book as a whole I dealt with some issues. I will admit, when I started the second book I had some HIGH expectations. Such as, Morgan having more personality, the world on the ground being developed more and described, etc. But let's start off with this, DeStefano's writing is simply memorizing and in this book I came to really appreciate it. The way she had described people and things going on, was absolutely stunning. But even with it, the MC Morgan still lacked personality and depth, to me at least. I can say she is slightly better in this book than in the first one, but still she seems SO flat to me. Maybe it's just me, but I can't seem to when I think about it, to describe her personality aloud. While on the other hand, Pen is still my favorite character, she has spunk and confidence.

Here comes the biggest issue I had with this book, it literally had no action for most of it, instead being a lot of dialogue. Plus, you never really get a clear picture of what the world on the ground really looks like, I've tried numerous times to picture what the map would look like in my head, and I've come to blanks every time. I literally have no idea what the heck it is supposed to look like. The only action was basically when Birdie, Pen, and Morgan went out at night. And that brings me to another thing I can't seem to fathom. Pen and Morgan's friendship. I'll be frank here, and before I state this, please do not think I'm against homosexuality, I support those who are part of that and I see them as equals. BUT PEN AND MORGAN SEEM TO NOT JUST 'Like' EACH OTHER AS FRIENDS. So many times in this book it seemed like they were more in a relationship with each other rather than the people they are betrothed to. And then that whole thing with Morgan and . I mean I secretly ship that, but still?! Amy and Judas, and especially the professor had basically no role in this book! Nothing of importance happened at all to them, and they were basically never mentioned unless the author just decided to plop them in at random scenes. I was annoyed with this because those three are higher up on my favorite characters in this trilogy rather than the MC herself!

The reason this book got 3.5 stars from me instead of 2.5 (which I was originally thinking of doing up until the last chapters) was because in the last 50 or so pages it started to get real and had a lot of action and plot. I will of course continue this only because I NEED to know what happens, but compared to other series/trilogies I've read that are dystopians, these books fall a little short. Which is sad, since I believe this could have been probably one of my favorites, considering how much I seriously LOVE this world even with its faults.
Profile Image for Letanna.
1,478 reviews37 followers
May 20, 2018
*Achtung, enthält Spoiler, da es sich um einen 2. Teil handelt.*

Nachdem Morgan und ihre Freunde die schwebende Insel verlassen haben, sind sie auf dem Festland unten ihnen angekommen. Nur ist hier nichts so wie erwartet. Es herrscht Krieg und der Grund dafür sind Rohstoffe. Morgan und ihre Freunde sind sehr unglücklich und würden am liebsten wieder zurück nach Internment. Es scheint eine Möglichkeit zu geben, aber dafür müsste Morgan ein Geheimnis verraten, dass ihre Heimat in große Gefahr bringen könnte.

Nachdem der 1. Teil mit einem echt fiesen Cliffhanger geendet ist, geht die Handlung nahtlos weiter in Teil 2. Die Charaktere haben die schwebende Stadt verlassen und befinden sich jetzt unten. Natürlich ist alles nicht so rosig, wie sie sich das vorstellt haben und die Charaktere müssen sich jetzt mit anderen Problemen auseinander setzen. Wie beim ersten Teil ist die Handlung ist die Handlung eher ruhig, es wird viel Gerede und die Gefühle der Charaktere spielen eine sehr wichtige Rolle.

Mich konnte auch der 2. Teil wieder begeistern. In der Welt unten ist es ebenfalls sehr ungewöhnlich und Morgan und ihre Freundin Pen stellen Nachforschungen zu Internment an und kommen hinter so einige Geheimnisse. Als Leser erfährt man einige interessante Dinge, was mir sehr gut gefallen hat. Morgan und auch die anderen Charaktere werden durch ihren Aufenthalt auf dem Land unten verändert, manchmal nicht immer zum Positiven. Auch hier gibt es einen König und die Freunde werden in die Intrigen und Machenschaften involviert.

Wer den ersten Teil mochte, wird auch den 2. Teil mögen. Von mir gibt es wieder die volle Punktzahl.
Profile Image for Marie.
246 reviews3 followers
August 11, 2020
My love for the protagonist Morgan and for Lauren DeStefano’s writing style almost made me give this book 4 stars. I wasn’t as bothered as most people were with Morgan not being the center of the action of the story, and somehow I liked the way the series was so character focused, even if it was at the expense of the plot sometimes.

But what I COULD NOT excuse was Chapter 20. I honest to God almost DNFed this book even after making it 80% through and being genuinely invested in the story. There was no denying the fact that that was bad storytelling on DeStefano’s part and one of the weakest attempts at building romantic tension that I have ever seen (if you could even call it an attempt).

I wasn’t planning to read this trilogy’s conclusion but I found out that the plot line established in Chapter 20 is going to pushed aside completely, and at least that (even if it leaves a huge gaping plot hole)—I can tolerate. I’ll be jumping into the final installment right after this one.

P.S. Perfect Ruin was the prettiest book I owned. Seeing this cover change makes me want to cry and scream at the same time.
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