REVIEW: Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

burningkingdomsBurning Kingdoms (Internment Chronicles #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

Previous Installment: Perfect Ruin

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?

mythoughtsBurning Kingdoms leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, I got through it fairly quickly, so that meant it was enjoyable. On the other (and more prominent) hand, I couldn’t help but feel that literally NOTHING happened almost the entire 312 pages. So that makes this book really hard to review, because there really isn’t anything TO review. Does that even make sense? Considering that I finished this book nearly two weeks ago, I am still as confused as to what I actually think about it as I was upon getting that 100% complete message on my Kindle. So here’s some basic – and fairly brief – thoughts.

  1. This series is slow. Like, SLOW. Book one contained a lot of world-building and introduction of the various characters, and not a lot of action. Book two continues this, although there’s more character “growth” than introductions, since we already know most of them. I use quotation marks because I honestly feel like hardly anyone underwent any important growth or change; they all seem pretty stuck in the same place they were at the start of the book, even if something horrific happened and should have effected change. But I just didn’t feel it.
  2. Morgan kind of irritates me. She’s the main character, so we’re seeing this entire story through her eyes, and we’re also privy to her thoughts. However, she doesn’t really know what she wants, so that makes the reader kind of uncertain as well, and just makes for a rather messy narrative. I also don’t like the “special angel” vibe I get from her at times; the others all think she’s amazing and that gets kind of old really fast. Just like with the book itself, I just really don’t like her like I want to.
  3. It took until 60% or so for something worthwhile to HAPPEN. That’s just TOO LONG to drag your reader along. And yet, it wasn’t that the book was boring; it just wasn’t very action-packed. Again, conundrum!
  4. Lauren DeStefano has a gift for writing really beautiful prose. She does NOT have a gift for writing edge of your seat excitement. This book could have easily been cut down and combined with the upcoming third installment for all that happened.
  5. Even though I felt like the book took too long to get to a point, I am now too invested in the overarching story line to give up on it. So I shall be reading the final part of the trilogy when its released. After two books I’m fairly certain I know what to expect, so hopefully the third time will be the charm.

If you enjoyed Perfect Ruin, you’ll most likely want to read Burning Kingdoms, even though the plot drags. Morgan and company definitely have themselves in a bit of a mess, and I’m curious to see how everything’s going to shake out!


An e-galley was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


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3 Responses to REVIEW: Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

  1. Have you read her other series: The Chemical Gardens? I found the first book was fantastic and had me on the edge of my seat but the sequel left something to be desired. As you said, it was slow and a huge disappointment to me. I have yet to read the final book in that trilogy though and part of the reason was that the heroine started to irritate me a bit since she too has the “special angel” complex.
    I was looking forward to this series but now I know that I might need to prepare myself for a long hull and lower my expectations slightly. So thanks ;)

  2. Briana says:

    I thought nothing happened in PERFECT RUIN so was strongly debating whether reading the rest of the series was worthwhile. I guess my question has been answered! I really think this series would have worked as a standalone.

  3. Pingback: March & April in Review | Read and Reviewed

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