Jo Ladzinski's Reviews > Ruin of Stars

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller
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really liked it
bookshelves: library, audiobook, physical-copy

Read as audiobook

Ruin of Stars picks up right where Mask of Shadows left off. Sal is Opal, the queen sucks, everyone sucks, and the shadows are still a problem. There is so much world-building in this sequel that fleshed out so many details we only got from Sal in one-off anecdotes in the first book.

The plot, though with actual world-stakes this time, felt so focused. Sal had their list of people they were going to stabby stab and stab they did. It's raw, there's conflict, there's emotions, there is so much to love about each assassination. Opal and Emerald's relationship was such a great balance of revenge versus what's best for the countries. Sal retained full agency, but there were enough people calling them out on questionable decisions that it was well done. In addition, it was really great to learn information as Sal learned it. Having their unfiltered reactions to the reveals around their family and the shadows really drew the reader in and raised the stakes to such a personal level.

Of the various villains, Riparian was so good. Thoroughly manipulative, such an angel to start. So many good beats in terms of being a villain to the world and being a pain in Sal's ass. The reveal of who they were towards middle-end was so good and I found myself cheering for their execution (and the book delivered).

There were two weaknesses with this one that didn't quite make the duology a 5-star read for me. I feel like somewhere since Mask of Shadows, Miller got several critiques that Sal being genderfluid wasn't quite salient enough. It was referenced so many times in so many similar ways throughout the book, it was a little distracting. Most detrimentally, these additions weakened the impact of an argument in later chapters, during which Sal's gender was important. If it hadn't been explained so many times leading up, there would have been a stronger punch to the feelings.

The other weakness was Elise as Sal's love interest. In the latter half, she just sucks at times, in ways that made me feel bad for Sal for being so devoted. They deserved better, in my opinion.

Overall, full of good murders, political intrigue, deadly magic, and flirting to boot, Ruin of Stars is a great end to a duology which hit so many notes for me.
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Reading Progress

January 8, 2018 – Shelved
January 8, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
October 29, 2018 – Started Reading
October 29, 2018 – Shelved as: library
October 29, 2018 – Shelved as: audiobook
October 29, 2018 – Shelved as: physical-copy
October 29, 2018 –
7.0% "Listening to the audiobook. Love that there is so much more world-building"
October 30, 2018 –
40.0% "What a good explosion"
October 31, 2018 –
67.0% "Another example of a book that is excellent when it slows down a bit and we breathe in between action sequences"
October 31, 2018 –
87.0%
November 1, 2018 – Finished Reading

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