Static Ruin takes us to the end of the Mars Xi trilogy, complete with explosions, betrayals and a startling realization that changes everything we know about our main character. White’s writing is entertaining and intriguing to read, with solid pacing and epic conclusions that will leave you both stunned and satisfied. It’s a series I’ve loved from the beginning, and Static Ruin is a fitting end.
From the beginning, Mars has been a heroine towing the line between dark hero and terrifying villain. This final entry leaves her in that same space, giving readers the opportunity to decide for themselves how Mars should be judged. Static Ruin has a few zingers here and there, and one part that caused me to audibly gasp. It’s a quick read that will keep you tethered to your seat, and it might just inspire you to read through the series again. Here are a few things I loved about the book:
Mars is a protagonist who was forced into her place in the world. Any remorse she feels for her actions is tinged by the wrongdoing of those chasing her. She’s done some horrible things, but in a universe filled with bad people, does that just make her fit in?
After the second book, I was left flabbergasted at the sheer power Mars held. She destroyed an entire planet. With her mind. If that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is. Throughout the series, I keep expecting all of it to come crashing down, for her to atone for her actions and become a different version of herself. It never happens, and that’s a credit to the author and his vision for her character. Her persona has been explosively developed, her anger quickly growing throughout the books, and nothing could cause that lifetime of rage to quiet down. She’s herself until the end, and it makes the book feel authentic.
The void witch universe is complex and expertly detailed, filled with technologies to delight any dedicated sci-fi reader, characters who go beyond the norm, and fascinating worlds light years from our own. White paints a vivid picture, depicting settings without overextending the space used to do so. Place is a strong character when used correctly. It gives you a way to anchor to the story, to experience the plot as it progresses. White’s use of place creates a living story that makes its way into a memory instead of a brief experience.
Static Ruin is the novella that gives us answers about how Mars got her powers and where she came from. Nothing is happy skies for Mars, and the learnings are both startling and devastating as you realize what she is and what her abandonment to MEPHISTO means. You’ll understand her fury after these developments and her desire to free herself from this world that would only use her powers for evil. The reveals were perfect for a final book, fueling the remaining plot and expanding our knowledge of Mars and her history.
SPOILERS FULL STEAM AHEAD! STOP IF THEE BE UNWILLING!
I was frankly amazed that this book ended with a universe still standing. I half expected Mars to fold time and space over into itself to implode every living thing. That didn’t happen and we’re left with an open ending that could result in a number of further books. It’s a fitting conclusion and she’s finally able to escape her past to become a new person. Whether or not she deserves that after her horrifying actions is another matter entirely. She is, after all, the ultimate anti-hero and it’s hard to figure out what she deserves in the end. I honestly hope White is able to continue her story one day.
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