Ruse by Cindy Pon: A Thrilling, Heist-Filled Sequel to Want (Want Spoilers Ahead!)

4.5 stars

Jason, Lingyi, and their friends might have scared Jin Corp away from Taipei, but now Jin has his sights set on Shanghai. When Lingyi’s friend Jany, an engineer of a new, better filtration system, dies by Jin’s hand in order for Jin Corp to sell the filters only to the wealthiest of citizens, Jason and his friends must try and stop him and avenge Jany’s death.

But the situation complicates itself as Jason begins to doubt his girlfriend Daiyu–who also happens to be Jin Corp’s heir–and as the death of Victor continues to haunt Lingyi and the rest of their friend group. Jason and his friends will try to prevail in this near-future world where clean air is not a right, but a privilege.

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I loved reading Want so much in 2017 during the December “one read a day” promo on Riveted Lit, that I went out and ordered my own copy of Want a few weeks later!

And now, I am so so so happy to have been able to read the glorious book that is the sequel Ruse and it was just as amazing as Want.

The concept is no less exciting and Ruse is still filled with all the heists and big corporation takedowns that I loved reading in Want–but this time with even spicier dynamics!

It was so fantastic and I am so happy to have been able to read about some of my favorite characters once again. Seeing Jason and Lingyi and Arun and Daiyu again was so wonderful and I love them all and will miss them very very much.

It was really refreshing to read about all of them, and they were also still very dynamic throughout the book (despite it being a sequel) and they grew and learned–especially in reaction to Victor’s death from the last book.

Something I definitely wasn’t expecting was the commentary about grief, but that’s what really bumped this book up a half star–the analysis and incorporation of the characters grieving over Victor’s death. I think Pon did a really great job of showing how this impacted Jason and Lingyi especially, and their friend was not forgotten in the sequel.

Plus, there’s some spicy relationships going on between Jason and Daiyu, and as much as I hate one of my fave couples being broken up, I relished in seeing how this all made them stronger.

And yay for taking down big corporations and saving the environment! We love good near-future environmental-focused novels and Ruse, although it didn’t need as much of an introduction as Want did, still focused on the setting & environmental themes and continued to build on it, especially with a new country as part of the plot.

Honestly, I enjoyed so much about this book and am so sad to see the series end (I think?). It’s a fun, highly entertaining read, and I can’t wait to see what Cindy Pon brings us next.


I do think that y’all should note that although Lingyi is loud and proud on the cover, this book is still mostly centering Jason and he narrates the majority of the story.

I do think a lot of early readers were misled by this and were hoping for Lingyi and her relationship with Iris to be front and center, but that’s not necessarily the case. They’re still very present, but this is still mostly Jason’s story and he’s the only first person point of view in the book.

So just keep that in mind! Lingyi, Jany, and Daiyu all have their own third person chapters (sometimes multiples), but I’d say at least half of the story was narrated by Jason.

Overall, Ruse brought to the table everything I was looking for and a little more on top of that. I would wholeheartedly recommend this series to everyone, and really hope you pick it up!

Thank you so much to Cindy Pon for sending me one of her ARCs in exchange for an honest review! Still sobbing over this wow

What did you think of Want? Are you excited to read *Ruse*?

6 thoughts on “Ruse by Cindy Pon: A Thrilling, Heist-Filled Sequel to Want (Want Spoilers Ahead!)

    1. ugh, i know! it thought so too and it was a little disappointing, so I feel like when people know, they’ll be more prepared! I hope you enjoy reading!!!


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