(I thank Netgalley and Another World Press for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)
It wasn’t a perfect read but still a very good one!
The characters are rather classic and functional, except for Finn, who’s particularly interesting and touching. It’s quite unusual in YA /romance to find a character -especially a male one – who is weak, power wise. I loved his humour and his philosophy of life, and the alternative point of view (his and the main feminine character’s one) was a shame in my opinion. I know that it’s a favourite technique for readers and writers, especially in romance stories, but it’s also a narrative facility which frequently weakens the story.
However, the story was great. I really appreciated that the drastic situation was credible. In many recent YA books, even much acclaimed ones, I’m disturbed by the incoherence of the dystopic or pseudo dystopic situation, which is clearly artificial, established to make the story possible (in all its excruciating details, even). I know that it’s fiction but still it must be plausible for me or I get frustrated or even sickened. In Ruthless Magic the plot, that we discover point by point, was clever and surprising, hard sometimes but never unbearable, and I loved it! In fact a good part of the story is pretty awful, but nothing is gratuitous and the author never unhealthily insist upon the most horrible situations.
The treatment of magic is also quite good. I find difficult in general to visualise something that doesn’t exist, but Megan Cress manages it well. The Exam atmosphere is also very efficace and reminded me Brussolo’s Peggy Sue books. The revelations were clever and astonishing, I was impressed 🙂
I hope that the book will be translated in French as I’m sure that it’d be a success!
So in the end a very good book, I’m looking forward reading the sequel, which is quite rare nowadays. I have only one regret: the cover, which is not bad, but rather obsolete, very déjà vu. I also believe that most young readers don’t favour anymore faces in their book’s covers. Well, in France I’m rather sure about it.
Another World Press
Excepted publication 30 mai 2018