Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
War rages everywhere and Morgan is caught in the middle in the haunting conclusion of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.
The city is falling out of the sky…
Morgan always thought it was just a saying. A metaphor. The words of the dying. But as they look up at the floating island that was their home, Pen and Morgan make a horrible discovery—Internment is sinking.
And it’s all Morgan’s fault.
Corrupted from the inside by one terrible king and assailed from the outside for precious resources by another, Internment could be destroyed because Morgan couldn’t keep a secret. As two wars become one, Morgan must find a way to bring her two worlds together to stop the kings that wage them…
Or face the furthest fall yet.
Whenever I finish a book/series, I have this habit of reading other people’s reviews after I finish it. This is partly because now that I know what happens and cannot be spoiled, I want to read why people both did/did not like the book/series, and be able to read their points and arguments and possibly counter them in my own review, and partly because I’m super nosy.
This is one of those times where I look at this book and read not-so-great reviews, and just have to wholeheartedly disagree.
I loved this series. The second book left something to be desired – honestly I can’t even really remember it – but the first book – that glorious first book of the series with that original beautiful, perfect cover (that I also own, thank goodness) – inspired me. In every way.
Even reading this last book of the series, I have to say this is one of those few books that I read, and I get so submersed in the plot and characters that I just have this itch to go write something myself.
And this – this storyline, these beautiful characters that could not be 2-D if they tried.
A city in the sky? A train around the edge, jumpers who have tried to get to the ground but have become mutilated or dead in their attempts, betrothed matches given out like offerings whenever someone is born?
It’s so hard to find characters that can fist their hands around my heart and pull like Pen and Morgan can. With their secrets and whispers to each other, this unabashed love between them, that may not shield them from hurting each other and maybe even betraying each other with the best of intentions meant, but a love that can surpass that without girlish jealously and forgiveness. There would never be someone else – no boy or anyone else – would would come before the other.
DeStefano has this way of making characters that are charming and lovely in their own way, and it would be enough as they are, but then something is subtlety snuck in.
Morgan, with her faked persona of never toeing the lines of Internment, never stepping out of line or being anything other than ordinary, but keeping hopes high and dreams large.
“I do question everything. But I want to have my questions. I want to have more thoughts than my mind can hold, so many that I have to write them in fragments like a madman.”
Pen, with her genius mind and blunt attitude and hurt past. Who only wants something safe and calm and reliable, but is too scared to take what may be so plainly offered.
Even though both girls have their betrothals – Basil for Morgan, Thomas for Pen – neither hate their match. It had been destined since they were born that they would marry that specific person.
And when they get to the ground below and suddenly they don’t have to marry that one specific person, what choice do they make? They’ve always been with this one person who has been destined to be their match, and even if they’ve not been romantic with each other, they’ve been friends. They’ve accepted they’ll marry and eventually have children together, and that was never an unhappy thought.
But now they have the choice.
I love that DeStefano didn’t make this series into a love triangle. Judas plays a role in the first book, somewhat in the second, and then I think he had all of a couple of lines in the last book. He wasn’t in the series to be a part of a triangle; he was there to be part of the catalyst to get them all to the ground, and then to be a part of Morgan’s life in showing her that even though he’s something different, something a bit mysterious, she’ll always love Basil, with or without someone telling her he’s her perfect match.
And the romance doesn’t even play all that much of a role in the series. The reason I love Morgan and Basil so much together is that even though they’re in love with each other – have always been in love with each other – they’re best friends first.
Basil has no desire at any point to tell Morgan what to do, or dissuade her from doing things her way. And when Morgan makes a mistake, he might be upset, but he never leaves her. Never tells her he needs room. He’s her best friend first, and if Morgan suddenly tells him she’s going to go journey across the world, he’ll say okay and decide if he wants to come with her or not. But either way, they love each other.
Pen might be one of my favorite female characters of all time. She’s sassy and blunt and has a mind eager to learn everything. So often I read about these female characters who favorite pastime is painting or drawing, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I love seeing Pen, who’s perfect at painting but who also loves physics and math and learning absolutely everything. She has an engineer’s mind.
“A girl should never stop thinking,” she says. “Otherwise we’ll become what our world thinks of us.”
Add into that that all these characters somehow has these very subtle layers underneath them. There may not be some great backstory about them, but there’s enough added in to get the picture.