Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Book Review: Flawless Ruins

by Kieryn Nicolas

In Flawless Ruins author Kieryn Nicolas transports the reader to a future in which wars are a thing of the past. Society now belongs to women, who enjoy the best education, a challenging career, a perfect male “Like” to shower them with love and admiration. In fact, Morgan, has such an ideal life in such a well-manicured society, she never questions how all of it is maintained. When she accidentally discovers the cost of maintaining her world, she can no longer take pleasure in it. The more she knows about the lies behind the pretty walls of her town, the more certain she becomes she should expose them.
On the other hand, Neil’s life is completely different. He and his friend, Han, inhabit a walled city with none of the luxuries found in the women’s towns. Boys have become the service staff in 2238, with little hope of escaping the forced labor of their female overseers. Glimpses of the comforts forbidden to them have made them bitter. Worse, boys seem to disappear when they reach adulthood.

When Morgan and Neil meet, their two worlds smash into each other and disrupt both their lives. Morgan feels compelled to learn more about Neil and the others and suffers disillusionment with her unblemished civilization. Neil struggles against a lifetime of abuse to put even the smallest trust in Morgan.   

Kieryn Nicolas, herself a teenager, designed an entirely new social order as the premise for Flawless Ruins. The details she imagined were well thought out and integrated smoothly into the story. Her greatest skill, however, is her ability to bring her characters to life on the page.  The reader readily understands their motivations and becomes emotionally involved with them. As Neil and Morgan race the clock to avoid a disaster, the tension builds beautifully and keeps the reader involved until the very end.

Although I am not a sci-fi aficionado, I truly enjoyed this book. Kieryn Nicolas is a very talented young writer, and I think readers of all ages will enjoy Flawless Ruins.

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