Review of Ruin, by Katie Mineeff

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Ruin is the second novel in the Cargo Trilogy, following the first novel, Cargo (which you can read my review of here: Review of Cargo). Like the prequel, I give this novel 3/5 Stars. It was quite interesting to watch the growth not only of the story and characters, but also of Mineeff and her writing. While many of the issues from Cargo (Pia’s emotions and internal narration detracting from the story; want for depth with minor characters) still remained, so did some of the positive aspects (great story and characterization of main characters). There are also a few new opinions I formed during this new chapter in Pia’s incredible life.

Cons:
– There was a slow start to Ruin. Learning about the world drove the early chapters of Cargo, but in this one the drops of early suspense sometimes fell flat, and the reader is left wondering where the story is going and how much longer they have to wait for it to get there. While it is fine for the characters to feel that way (which, I think, is exactly how they feel), for the reader it creates more boredom than suspense.
– Age is a big plot point in this series. And while it feels like a bit of a nit-pick, something that really bothered me was the concept of “The Committee”, an assemblage of people with authority in the communes. It felt really bizarre to me that they were, in all likelihood, younger than the characters of the novel. There was also never much explanation for why and how they got the power that they do. This same issue initially exists in the “refuge” where the characters spend some time, but it is resolved soon enough. It seems The Committee will feature prominently in the third of the series, and I hope this issue is resolved neatly there.

Pros:
– The lack of a clear antagonist in the first book was very palpable, although as a first in a trilogy, it was also understandable. I was worried this book would also fall short in that way, but then the last half of the book really made up for it. There was a lot of buildup for a villain, and just when you begin to think you would need to wait another book for the delivery, one comes through. It added a much needed direction and intensity with aplomb!
– The emotional intricacies of the characters, especially Pia, developed a lot in this book. While in the Cargo it felt like her go-to emotion was anger and she was keen to emotionally repress herself, in Ruin she embraces the emotions she previously pushed away. This allowed for growth and introspection that significantly cut back on her angst. It also lent to the already strong interpersonal relationships with other main characters.

 

Would I Recommend?

Yes! In my humble opinion, Ruin is an improvement and growth upon Cargo, and anybody who liked the first book will love this one. I look forward to having the pleasure of reading the third and final piece of the series.

Here is a link to the Amazon page: Ruin

Has anyone else read this book? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know, comment below!

 

 

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