Bright Ruined Things, Samantha Cohoe

Last year I read A Golden Fury and forgot to make notes while reading it because the storyline sucked me in. So when I saw Cohoe had a new book releasing, I raced to request an ARC. Yet again, Cohoe has sucked me in with a storyline so engaging that I made very few notes. So I’m just going to wing this review as best as I’m able. I will say that I haven’t read The Tempest, as this is a parallel. Out of the wide variety of books I read, Shakespeare doesn’t do it for me. So I’m glad I have nothing to compare this story to.

The characters are fairly shallow. They’re not too in-depth, but it helps to draw you into this incredibly dramatic storyline where you’re unsure what exactly is going on, but you’re compelled to keep reading. When I got about 3/4s of the way in, I felt I was reading a soap opera in real-time. There was so much drama, so many delicious secrets coming to light, that I looked at the clock, realized it was 5 hours past bedtime, shrugged, and kept on reading.

This story is so very addicting. You’re unsure who to cheer for outside of Ivo, but you keep reading because you don’t need to cheer for anyone. You just want everyone to spill the tea. I’ve read a few reviews where people were unhappy with the ending. I feel the same way. We went through such a dramatic story, where things worked out as they were meant, until they didn’t. So what was it all for? Sometimes a book needs an ambiguous ending, but this was not the book for it. So it was a bit of a letdown in that area. Overall though, this is such a fun read. Thank you, St. Martin’s/Wednesday Books, for sending this along!

Bright Ruined Things is available for preorder on Amazon, Bookshop, and B&N, it releases February 15th.

Read and like this review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

About the Book:
Forbidden magic, a family secret, and a night to reveal it all…

The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the island’s magic and its spirits. Mae longs for magic of her own and to have a place among the Prosper family, where her best friend, Coco, will see her as an equal, and her crush, Miles, will finally see her.

But tonight is First Night, when the Prospers and their high-society friends celebrate the night Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world. With everyone returning to the island, Mae finally has the chance to go after what she’s always wanted.

When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae realizes that things aren’t what they seem. And Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers – including a secret about Mae’s past. As Mae and her friends unravel the mysteries of the island, and the Prospers’ magic, Mae starts to question the truth of what her world was built on.

In this YA fantasy, Samantha Cohoe wonderfully mixes magic and an atmospheric setting into a fantastically immersive world, with characters you won’t be able to forget.


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