Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

ThedarkestmindsSource: Purchased
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Edition: eBook, 488 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Science-Fiction Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon  / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

I’ve had The Darkest Minds sitting on my Kindle since it was free on Amazon back in November, and I had totally forgotten all about it until my partner for a TBR Pal group chose it for my April read. I’m glad someone nudged me in its direction because it turned out to be a great read.

The Darkest Minds reminds me a bit of a darker, grittier version of X-Men, where instead of having someone teaching you how to use your gifts people fear you and choose to imprison you (which does happen in X-men on occasion). Ruby is one of those with gifts, and at the start of the book she is stuck in one of those imprisonment camps, where she has learned to go unnoticed as much as possible in order to survive. I really love the whole idea of powers and that instead of their being a ton of different abilities there are about 5 types that manifest, and though they are basic in ideas the characters make them seem incredibly cool. I really love the struggle Ruby has with her powers, and how instead of completely feeling at ease with them she sees it as something to avoid using. I know I personally would be ecstatic, but it’s awesome to see a character who actively fights it but has  to come to terms with it eventually. Despite her willingness to stand out or use her powers Ruby is still a fighter and purely independent , and I liked that she felt confident in her ability to protect herself and others.

I fell in love with the other three main characters as well. Suzumae (Zu) with her rubber gloves and infectious personality, Liam with his upbeat and quirky conversations, and Chubs…who is basically me in book form. He’s probably my favorite in fact. I love his intelligence and his sarcasm, I’m even fond of his lack of trust in others…because I totally understand that. There was one character I hated immediately, but I won’t say his name because of the risk of spoilers. I wanted to kick him…hard…probably numerous times just to get the point across…such a creep.

The pacing of this is fairly quick and quite the page-turner, with only a few slow moments here and there to help set a scene or give the characters a bit of time to breathe and recoup. I really like the way the story is going, though oddly enough I don’t really know what the overarching story is going to be for the series, so it should be a lot of fun to continue this one.

4 stars

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2 Responses to Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

  1. I enjoyed the plot and characters as well

  2. I have had it sitting on my Kindle, too. I also won the second book, Never Fade, a while ago. I am glad that it is fast paced. It sounds interesting. I was going to put Never Fade in with my giveaway books until I realized Darkest Minds was the first in the trilogy. I will probably get around to it this summer. Thanks for another great review. 🙂

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