This post contains affiliate links.
I don’t know how I feel about this book or this series. I was about halfway through reading Ruin of Stars and I wasn’t sure I was going to bother finishing it. Then I found out it was part of a duology rather than a trilogy or series and I thought I might as well finish it off.
Some parts were quite jumpy, but because I listened to it as an audiobook I can’t tell if those jumps were shown on the page with a space and the audiobook narrator didn’t mention them in the reading or if the writing really does just jump from one place to another with zero segue. Inconsistent writing is my bet because there were other sections where there was a leap in logic and little to know explanation.
Sal is super militant towards people that disagree with his/her life (Sal is gender fluid and changes pronouns depending on the day so I think him/her works best for this review). Obviously this is a dystopia so violence is a daily occurrence and attacking people who disagree with you is almost accepted. However, I feel like it sends the wrong message if the only reason Sal keeps choosing to kill people is because they try to fit him/her into a gendered box. I understand that forcing someone to conform is awful and should be fought against, but murder seems a bit extreme. In this book it felt like Sal’s revenge for the death of his/her family is forgotten in comparison to the crimes of disagreeing with his/her gender fluidity. This is just my opinion. In the first book it was much clearer that Sal’s fluid nature was simply a matter of life and that he/she had to occasionally argue to be accepted, but that it was not a big deal for the people that cared about Sal. That calm acceptance worked better in the story than fighting every single person who looks like they might say the wrong pronoun.
The narrator was pretty good throughout. There weren’t terribly done accents or poor sound quality. As far as the audiobook part went this was a fine book.
I loved the development of Elise and Maud. They truly become characters rather than good backdrops. The reader gets to see them as spies who are fighting for what they believe without letting anything or anyone stand in their way. They also both put Sal in his/her place by not taking any of his/her independent crap. Even Sal develops in some ways: he/she no longer sees the world as quite so right and wrong, Sal sees more nuance, but also doesn’t seem to think that nuance allows for any redemption. Sal, Maud, and Elise are definitely entertaining as they battle through tough situations.
The ending was pretty interesting though it could have been written much clearer. It definitely wasn’t a cookie cutter ending.
I would recommend this book for readers who care more about a quick plotline and a diverse cast of characters than flawless writing.Follow me on Instagram and Goodreads