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Title: Bright Ruined Things
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Page Count: 342
My rating: 3 stars
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.
Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe is a standalone young adult historical fantasy novel. The story in Bright Ruined Things is a retelling of Shakespeare’s classic play of The Tempest set in a magical world.
Mae has grown up an orphan living on the isolated private island of the wealthy Prosper family. Surrounded by magic Mae doesn’t have any of her own and is worried of her future when she turns eighteen.
Mae doesn’t want to leave the island when she’s of age being the only place she knows and where her best friend and her long time crush live too. When spirits start dying on the island Mae finds herself caught up in the mystery of what is happening around her.
First, I’ll note that I am not familiar with The Tempest and cannot say how close to the original Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe actually turned out to be. I picked this one up having read the author before and enjoying her book, A Golden Fury. While I did enjoy this one I felt I found myself wishing for a faster pace as I often do in fantasies. I did enjoy the character and the magical island so this one was just alright for me in the end but others seem to enjoy it more so I’d say give it a try for yourself if it sounds interesting to you.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Samantha Cohoe was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She attended Thomas Aquinas College, a Great Books college in California, and graduated with a BA in liberal arts. After studying Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, she decided academia wasn’t for her, and rediscovered her love of writing stories brimming with adverbs. In 2011, she moved with her family to Denver, where she currently divides her time between teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. She writes historically inspired Young Adult Fantasy. Repped by Bridget Smith of JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc..