Kings of Ruin by Sam CameronPublished by Bold Strokes Books
Blurb: Danny Kelly cares only for rock 'n' roll and fast cars. Too bad he's stuck in the capital of country music and he's banned from driving until he turns twenty-one. Plus he likes other boys, a secret that he's vowed to keep until he graduates high school. When his stepdad's new truck roars off on its own, Danny discovers a secret that is endangering cars and drivers across America. It almost kills Danny, too, until he's saved by seventeen-year-old Kevin Clark. Kevin's gay, handsome, and confident, but working with his dad's secret government organization has left him lonely. It's going to take a weekend of car chases, fiery explosions, and country-western singing to save the citizens of Nashville from certain death—but can Danny protect his heart and secrets as well?
Review: This book has definite science fiction elements. The Ruins are a sort of alien being that come and enter engines to take over them. The Kings are the biggest of the Ruins and are set on having fun and do not care about destruction. Well, they care about it in a way. They like destruction.
I loved the characters, both human and Ruin. Danny is a great character because he's flawed but trying to do his best to improve after some serious mistakes in his past. He is gay, but he so desperately wants to hide that part of him. When things get strange and he meets Kevin, who is open about his sexuality (and part of a top secret organization), he almost blows his chance at having something special.
The author included great non-human characters. Even though they didn't speak and weren't on the page for long, I completely fell for FIREBUG, 2KEWLE, and CHOPR. These Ruins were tiny and resided in toys, but they had very human reactions to what went on around them. I hope this book will have at least one sequel if not become a full series because I want to see them again.
The book is filled with action and drama, both real and science fiction based. It might be the book that bridges the gap for some kids who aren't sure whether they like science fiction novels or not. This is definitely a book worth having on your YA shelf!
Review by Jennifer