23 January 2014

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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.
 *This is a mini review*

Alexandra Bracken's work first hit my radar when I picked up and loved her debut, Brightly Woven.  But I was pleasantly surprised by how much her writing and storytelling abilities had been significantly upgraded in The Darkest Minds.  It was edgy and compelling in a way I hadn't expected it to be.

The main character, Ruby, was solid if a little melodramatic about her powers.  (Gain some perspective, darlin, everyone thinks their power is the worst.)  But I liked how Alexandra Bracken didn't go easy on Ruby.  Ruby had a lot of problems to sort through, and nothing that I would consider "mainstream."  By having the problems be character-specific, it heightened my respect for the character when she was forced to make a choice.

The world was excellent.  I understood every aspect that was being presented, which I admire because more often than not, in stories like these, I haven't the faintest idea why the government is doing what it's doing.  The suspense was heightened because I knew the stakes.  It made the action scenes really come alive.

The characters themselves were amazing.  All were endearing in so many ways.  I love how dynamic the group of them were.  I also love how they weren't static.  They each had their own story that progressed through Ruby's own.

I was very satisfied with The Darkest Minds and, especially with the way it ended, I am psyched to get my hands on the second one.

Book Info

  • pages - hardcover, 488
  • published - 2012
  • publisher - Disney Hyperion
  • genre - dystopian
  • received via - iBooks
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - The Darkest Minds
    • The Darkest Minds
    • Never Fade