BRIGHT RUIN brings to an end the DARK GIFTS trilogy which began with GILDED CAGE back in 2017. This series delivered on nearly every promise it made back then, resulting in an extremely satisfying experience for this reader.
We're back with all the same characters, (well, the ones that are still alive), and resuming their individual dramas in an unsettled London, dominated by Equals. In this series, Equals are born with special powers, magical powers even, which allow them to control all sorts of materials and energies. As such, this world Vic James has created allows those rich in these powers to control and enslave those who are not. (Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and all that.)
But what James has so Skillfully done, (Skill being the name given to these "powers"), is that she's woven in political commentary that is eerily on point with today's events all over the real world. Ruling classes and/or class warfare? Check. Political parties scheming and planning to keep the unSkilled quiet and working- with their noses to the grind? Check. Those rich in Skill, (or in our world, dollar bills), easily gain more wealth, while holding their feet to the throats of the those not so blessed? Check. Using fear to keep the masses afraid and not too interested in what's REALLY going on? Check.
"Fear was the superpower they all possessed. And unlike Midsummer’s monsters, there was no limit to the number of people they could control with it."
What Vic James has done here and done in a timely manner, (I'm looking at you, famous fantasy writers whose series' remain unfinished-you know who you are), is deliver a trilogy that has something for everyone. Even though it's categorized as YA, I would be wary of recommending this to the super young YA crowd, as many of the political points would go over their heads, (and possibly bore them), but also because there are extremely dark themes and violent scenes. That aside, I would recommend this trilogy to everyone else-fans of dark fantasy and horror most especially.
My only issue with this final book is that everything seemed to wrap up rather quickly-the denouement came fast and furious, and it seemed like one big blow or discovery after another-rapid-fire style. Not that I'm complaining, but I think I wanted to savor events just a wee bit more.
Vic James has proven herself to be an author to watch and I know that I will be watching closely for anything she puts out. If she can make me,(a die hard YA avoider), read and enjoy an entire YA trilogy, than who knows what else she may be capable of? I can hardly wait to find out!
In the meantime, I highly recommend this book and the entire trilogy.
*Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*