Monday, May 25, 2015

Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
Sadly, I did not like this one nearly as much as the first book in the series. It started with the awful cover re-design. Why mess with the beauty that was the cover of the first book? Really, a statue? It has nothing to do with the story at all.
The beautiful writing I have come to love and expect from this author is still there. Some of the descriptions read like poetry, and I would literally pause in my reading and re-read certain descriptions just to soak in the pretty words. The characters I loved are all still there. And there was actually a ton more character development in this one, which I love. The people seemed more real.
So what didn’t I like? There were two things that bothered me. One was the eternal question of: is this our world and if so what time period is it? This is never answered, nor even remotely addressed. And while sometimes this doesn’t bother me (like in book 1), sometimes it does bother me because it takes me away from the story to keep asking the question. Is it a totally made up world beneath the floating island? If so, why do the amusement parks have twirling teacups? It felt sort of like a mix of the 1920’s flapper life with World War II warfare with some modern day attitudes. And while I get that one can create their own world that is all these things, I guess I’d like some hint letting me know it is a created world, so I’m not always trying to guess at things. A year would be nice.
The other thing that I didn’t love: nothing happens. Literally nothing happens until the very end of the book. It’s a lot of not knowing what will happen, trying to plan what to do when something does eventually happen, and sneaking out to see the world while waiting for something to happen. It took me 2 weeks to read it! I kept waiting, hoping that something would indeed happen.  I almost gave up on the book twice. I need a little more plot with my novels. Some kind of action before the final chapters would have been nice.
There’s a lot of character development and things learned about our friends from the first book. However, this just wasn’t enough for me. I like where things ended. And wow, did this book become intense in those ending chapters. There’s death, depression, explosions, hospitals, and major goals accomplished by the ending chapter. I just wished some of it was dispersed throughout the whole thing. All in all, I give this one a 6/10. The writing and characters were beautiful. But, I needed so much more than that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to see that this book didn't exactly live up to your expectations. I've been wanting to check out this series for a while, so I will probably give this series a read anyway.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian