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Kings of Ruin Paperback – March 19, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Danny and Kevin are teenagers with one big thing in common: they each lost someone they loved in a car crash. Otherwise, they have some differences. Danny won't admit that he's gay, and has a girlfriend to keep up appearances. He doesn't know the truth about how his father and brother died. Kevin is proudly out but single because of his job -- he and his father are part of a team from the Department of Transportation who hunt down Ruins all over the U.S. Kevin's mother died in a crash caused by the Ruins. Think of Ruins as malevolent spirits that take over cars because they like killing people and creating chaos.
The characters were one of my favorite parts of the book. Aside from Danny and Kevin, there's the rest of the Ruin hunting team, and I got the feeling they all had interesting back stories of their own. In particular, I liked Mrs. Morris, and the way Danny thought about her when she fills in for his physics teacher: "She was easily the most beautiful woman Danny had ever seen. If it weren't for the whole gay thing, he might have fallen a little bit in love with her right then and there (p. 17, ARC)."
Some of the other characters that shined were 2KEWEL, FIREBUG, and CHOPR. I don't know if they would appreciate being described as cute, but they were! The author infused personality into the toy cars and helicopter, and they were an important part of the story even though they couldn't talk.
I had fun reading KINGS OF RUIN, and I hope there will be another book to continue Danny and Kevin's story. As you can probably guess, a spark pops up between the two boys. I liked how meeting Kevin made Danny re-evaluate keeping his sexuality a secret. And, although both boys are gay, KINGS OF RUIN isn't a coming out story. It's just part of who they are.
I only wish the book had been longer. I thought there could have been more explanation about the Ruins, as I had some questions about them (how does the government know about them? what happens to Ruins after they're zapped? etc.), and I would also have liked to see some more romance between Danny and Kevin. However, the hints of romance in the book were realistic, and I was happy that they didn't fall instantly in love and ride off into the sunset together.
KINGS OF RUIN is a well-written YA book full of adventure. I'd recommend it for guys, because there's a lot of car talk and both main characters are guys, but I think anyone would enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the characters, both human and Ruin. Danny is a great character because he's flawed but trying to do his best. He is gay, but he so desperately wants to hide that part of him. When things get strange and he meets Kevin, who is open about his sexuality, he almost blows his chance at something.
The author included great non-human characters. Even though they didn't speak and weren't on the page for long, I completely fell for FIREBUG, 2KEWLE, and CHOPR. These Ruins were tiny and had very human reactions to what went on around them. I hope this series is going to be a sequel because I want to see them again.
The book is filled with action and drama, both real and science fiction based. It might be the book that bridges the gap for some kids who aren't sure if they like science fiction novels. This is definitely a book worth having on your YA shelf!
The characters are relatable, and well drawn. I felt like I was able to understand their fears, and motivations, and it was nice to read gay characters where their sexuality, while an important part of the story, wasn't the entirety of the conflict, and plot. The secondary characters were interesting, and diverse, and I was glad to see that characters you didn't like weren't restricted to the role of villains.
Overall an enjoyable read. I look forward to reading the rest of the series especially after that ending.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley. My thanks to everyone involved for allowing me to read, and review it.
I really enjoyed the paranormal aspect of the book, even though there were similarities to Maximum Overdrive, Cameron put enough of himself to make it his own. I liked the fact that not all the Ruins were evil, that some even became friends with Danny.
So if you are looking for a fun action adventure with a hint of romance this is a good book to read.
I received this book from NetGalley, thank you for letting me read, and review this novel.