Book Review: Ruins by Dan Wells

Posted April 21, 2014 by Kara in book review, Kara / 0 Comments

Book Review: Ruins by Dan WellsRuins by Dan Wells
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 11th, 2014
Genres: dystopia, young adult
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

It’s no secret that this trilogy has been one of my favorites for a while now. I really enjoyed Partials, but it wasn’t that book but the following, Fragments, that truly hooked me. Don’t get me wrong, the first book was great, but the atmosphere and story arc in the second book is what really made me recommend this series to everyone. Now that I have finished the trilogy, I still claim Fragments as my favorite book in the trilogy, but I did enjoy Ruins and do think the series wrapped nicely.

I think, like all books in a series, it’s easier to read them one right after the other. As book bloggers, this is rarely an option for us, and don’t get me wrong, I adore those early copies, but I do feel like I miss out on stuff sometimes by not being just a reader. I know I would have enjoyed this trilogy more. Especially with Ruins, since it took me some time to get back into it with the characters and remember who everyone is/was. The story is summarized nicely for the reader so you know where everything left off without the narrative being bogged down, but it still took me awhile, regardless.

As a result, I was not nearly as attached to the characters as I could have been. I can tell you that characters I disliked in the beginning of the trilogy developed well and I ended up liking some of them in the end, particularly Marcus. I hated him in the first book. By the third, I was a fan. He just goes through a lot of changes–changes that I approved of. I didn’t love how Samm spent much of the book on the other side of the country; to be honest, he really wasn’t in the novel much at all. So if you are a Samm fan, prepare to be disappointed. Kira’s scenes were fantastic and action packed though. These were perhaps my favorite moments in the book. 

The ending itself was just average for me. It concluded itself nicely but somehow ended up feeling a bit anti-climactic. Maybe everything just came about too easily. It didn’t feel like there was much of a struggle for anyone. Expect some death and dismemberment, but thinking back to the end of Ann Aguirre’s trilogy and how The final book, Horde, absolutely freaking destroyed me, well, this left me feeling kind of emotionless. Fair warning: I will judge every dystopian series by Horde until something else bowls me over in a similar manner.

Like the other two books in the trilogy, where Ruins excelled was definitely in its world-building and construction. There is just so much science that makes sense, and it feels like every single detail is fleshed out without being boring. I will admit that the beginning of the book was a little info-dumpy and perhaps took too long to get going, but I am always the type of reader to really be invested in information that makes sense and makes me want to find out more. This entire trilogy did that. It is loaded with atmosphere and character interactions/reactions that make sense. If there really was a war between genetically engineered people and humans, it would go down like this. Dan Wells nails it.

So all in all, not a perfect book or a perfect trilogy, but one that is a whole lot of fun and enjoyable for the reader who likes to immerse themselves in a setting that makes absolute sense. Not to mention, super strong female lead that still manages to remain feminine while kicking ass. 

This review checks off the “Starts with S, P, R, I, N, or G” square for Bookish Bingo.


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