TITLE: The Darkest Minds
AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken
Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Overall: ★★★★ (4.625)
“Book one in the hit series that’s soon to be a major motion picture starring Amandla Stenberg and Mandy Moore—now with a stunning new paperback look and an exclusive bonus short story featuring Liam and his brother, Cole. 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 got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. But when the truth about Ruby’s abilities—the truth she’s hidden from everyone, even the camp authorities—comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run, she joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp: Zu, a young girl haunted by her past; Chubs, a standoffish brainiac; and Liam, their fearless leader, who 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. While they journey to find the one safe haven left for kids like them—East River—they must evade their determined pursuers, including an organization that will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. But as they get closer to grasping the things they’ve dreamed of, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.”
Buy it HERE on Amazon!
THE CRITICAL POINTS
WRITING: Alexandra Bracken is a wonderful writer. She has a natural talent for describing things so perfectly that you can see, smell, hear, and feel everything as if you’re experiencing it firsthand. Her characters are fully developed, believable and relatable. Although there were a handful of typos throughout the book they weren’t distracting. Besides, as an indie author, I love seeing that even the big publishing houses have editing issues and types in the books they put out. We’re all just human and no one is perfect!
STORY: Bracken has taken an often-overused theme of ‘characters with powers’ and fashioned something completely new. The dystopian world she has created is terrifying and unthinkable. The story is gripping, leaving you eager to turn the page and find out what will happen next. With every twist and turn you become more and more invested in the characters and what their destiny’s hold.
As an author, I love a good cliffhanger, and Bracken does not disappoint. The heartbreaking cliffhanger at the end of book 1 will leave you wanting more! From page one to the end this book will keep you guessing and engaged.
CHARACTERS: In the beginning of the book we’re introduced to a number of characters and given just enough time to start feeling emotionally connected before they’re ripped away and out of the spotlight. Although irritated, and left with unanswered questions, the book’s fast pace and intense action doesn’t leave the reader disappointed for long. Ruby, one of the dangerous ones, and the primary character soon finds her tribe unlikely friends; Liam, Chubs, and Zu.
I’m a huge fan of back story, and for the most part The Darkest Minds delivers, but by the end of the book I was still left with unanswered questions and wanted to know more about each of the main characters. You’d think that was a bad thing but because I was able to go straight to the bookstore and buy the next three books in the series, I didn’t mind at all.
APPEARANCE: The cover is beautiful yet ominous. The mysterious glowing symbol on the front makes you wonder what to expect before you even break the spine. When you pull back the cover you’re surprised with a second full-color cover, and a quote from one of the main characters, “Time to carpe the hell out of this diem.” Very well done!
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