Saturday, May 21, 2016
RUINED by Amy Tintera
A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.
But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.
In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.
Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
My thoughts on the book:
I'd read mixed reviews about Ruined, so I was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed it. Both Em and Cas are easy to sympathize with. I really enjoyed getting to know them and watching them grow over the course of the book. The plot was fast-paced and full of suspense. The world-building was fantastic, and the writing was well-done. There were quite a few passages that really grabbed me. This book definitely stands out in the YA fantasy genre.
Em was a very angry character, for good reason. She was easy to sympathize with, even though her anger was sometimes a bit much. I could still relate to her, even though I thankfully haven't lived through what she did. As she evolved over the course of the novel, she became even easier to relate to, and I ended up liking her a lot. Cas was kind of gullible and self-absorbed at first, but he also grew throughout the novel and became quite likable. He had a good heart, and he was a really good hero. Both he and Em were flawed, but they were also very resilient. I'm looking forward to seeing more of both of them in the upcoming books. The side characters also stood out, though they weren't around enough for me to really get to know them. Galo seemed like a loyal friend, and Iria was also intriguing. I had mixed feelings about Aren, but he was also interesting, if also mysterious. None of the characters felt like filler. They each had their own personality.
The novel started out quickly with action and suspense and did not slow down until the very last page. I flew through the pages and couldn't wait to see what happened next. There were some twists and turns, though there weren't any real big surprises. This book was still full of emotion and tension, though, which kept me reading. I really loved the writing. Some of Tintera's passages were absolutely beautiful. The world-building was clear and made sense. It wasn't overly described, but the author gave us a good understanding of how things worked. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended on a cliffhanger. That's what made me give it a B instead of an A. I really hate cliffhangers, and this one was a doozy.
Overall, I'd recommend this to people who are looking for something a bit different in fantasy books. It's just different enough to hold your interest while still holding onto the best parts of the genre. I can't wait for the next installment.