Bright Ruined Things by: Samantha Cohoe

Bright Ruined Things is a YA retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and had such an incredible premise that I was excited when I got it and dove into it.

The story premise is let down by weak characters and a plot that is easy to see coming.

Our main character, Mae is a weak willed, gullible girl is who is living with and off the generosity of the Prosper family. She knows that her way of life, for what it is, is at risk when the story starts because she’s come of age.

Lord Prosper promised her father Mae would be taken care of until she came of age and now she’s hoping no one notices she has since they don’t take much notice of her as it is.

The Prospers’ wealth comes from aether. Magic only exists in the archipelago where the family lives and only the Prospers seem to be able to really control it. And only the males of the family.

And every member of the family is coming for First Night.

Instead of human servants, there are spirits and they’re all bound. They don’t speak and just do as they’re told. Then Mae sees a spirit that looks like it’s dead which is impossible.

Spirits can’t die.

From there we’re thrown into the story when Mae’s best friend Coco shows up along with Miles, the boy she loves and one of Coco’s cousins.

This story was not very strong. None of the characters really stood out and our main character is so weak and gullible, I didn’t root for her. Why when she wouldn’t live up to it?

And she knows she’s weak too. It was honestly infuriating.

The romance was weak and felt rushed. Honestly the entire story felt weak and I was uninterested the entire time. As the story went on my enjoyment waned. At the end, I simply didn’t care any longer.

No to mention, the writing, while enjoyable, didn’t always hold my interest.

This book gets two (2) stars from me. I wanted more and there’s potential so I’m not writing the author off yet.

More diversity however, would be nice. Just a thought.

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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