A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Ruins takes pains to be scientifically plausible as it continues to chronicle the last bitter struggles between humans and genetically engineered Partials. The ecological forces that have reshaped North America are presented logically. The novel raises interesting questions about bioethics, civil rights, and environmental change.
Ruins emphasizes that the worth of an individual has to do with who they are on the inside rather than their genetic makeup or upbringing. There are often no easy answers, however, when the good of the many has to be balanced against the welfare of a few. As one character notes, if you want to survive in this world, you need to stop asking why people work together -- and just start working together.
Positive Role Models
Kira, Samm, and Marcus each struggle with loyalties to friends, family, and species. Deep down, they want to find a way for humans and Partials to coexist, but sometimes the obstacles facing them seem insurmountable. Their bravery and compassion are tried time and again throughout Ruins, but they manage to maintain their basic decency.
Violence & Scariness
Ruins contains many scenes of violence, which range from hand-to-hand combat to gunfights to a showdown with nuclear weapons. The violence is usually not described in graphic detail, but there are a few exceptions, especially in scenes concerning the "Blood Man," a maniac who cuts up his victims for biological samples.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The level of sexual content in Ruins is fairly low. The characters are too busy staying alive to have much time for romance, although Kira professes her love for both Samm and Marcus. Love scenes do not proceed beyond passionate kissing and hugging.
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A handful of instances each of "damn," "bitch," and "s--t." "Hell" and "bastard" are used around a dozen times.
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Products & Purchases
There is no consumer-related content in Ruins.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Samm gives a Partials general a bottle of whiskey but does not share a drink with him.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dan Wells' Ruins is a suspenseful, engaging continuation of the science-fiction adventure begun in Partials and continued in Fragments, about the struggles between humans and genetically engineered Partials. Although set in a dystopian future, the novel takes pains to be plausible and raises interesting questions about bioethics and civil rights. There are a handful of instances each of "damn," "bitch," and "s--t." ("Hell" and "bastard" are used around a dozen times.) Alcohol is consumed in one scene. Sexual content is low, and scenes of romance progress no further than passionate kissing and hugging.
Is It Any Good?
Ruins provides a rousing ending to the Partials Sequence series. Author Dan Wells piles on the plot complications, maintaining a high level of suspense without unduly stretching plausibility. There are surprising plot twists, satisfying reunions, and a sense of well-earned completion. In a market where so many dystopian sci-fi sagas sputter out after a volume and a half, Ruins demonstrates how to keep a complicated story on track for nearly 1,500 pages.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.