The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken


TITLE: The Darkest Legacy
AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)


The long-awaited new novel in the New York Times best-selling Darkest Minds series, now a major motion picture.

Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume “Zu” Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn’t trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country’s recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a harrowing story of resilience, resistance, and reckoning that will thrill loyal fans and new readers alike.

Buy it HERE on Amazon! 

I was bound to read The Darkest Legacy at some point. I LOVED the first four books in the series and was just waiting to get through a stack of other “to read” books on my desk before I cracked the spine on this one… also, I didn’t read much in November since I was busy with NaNoWriMo. With that said, let’s get into the book…

WRITING: There is no doubt that Bracken is a talented writer. She has an amazingly creative mind and she is successful at painting a picture with her words. With that said, I think that this books felt a bit rushed… not as much detail… in some spots and too much mundane detail in other spots.

STORY: I had a hard time accepting that the final book in the series was from a completely different perspective. The story didn’t seem to have a really driving force. Zu is a speaker for the government, there is a staged bombing set up by who knows who, Zu goes on the run with two completely new to the reader characters and along the way discovers that Ruby and Liam are missing. Zu’s focus becomes finding Ruby and Liam… even though they haven’t been in the book at all. MORE HERE

It was around page 300 that I started caring about what was going to happen in the book, but not until the last six or seven chapters that the book really started to have the same feel as the previous books in the series. It was those last few chapters that pulled at my mind, tugged at my heart-strings, and made me remember exactly why I loved the series and why I’ll probably pick up anything Alexandra Bracken writes just to see what she comes up with next. No, it wasn’t my favorite of her books, but read it for the ending… I wasn’t disappointed and I don’t think you will be either.

CHARACTERS: I’m not going to lie, I missed the interaction between the main characters within the previous books on this series. It was hard to get into reading from Zu’s perspective at first and I didn’t really feel anything toward Zu, Priyanka, or Roman at first. It wasn’t until about 300 pages in that I actually started caring for the characters, what was going to happen to them, or how their story would end. That isn’t to say that Bracken didn’t do a good job with character development, she did. I just think there could have been more relationship development to make the reader really invested in the characters more.

APPEARANCE: Like the other books in The Darkest Mind series, I think this one is beautifully done. I wish she had kept with a similar style, but seeing as she changed voices from Ruby’s perspective to that of Suzume “Zu”, I suppose a change in look was needed as well. It isn’t my favorite of the covers, but it gets the job done. Even if I hadn’t already intended to read it, I would have picked it up at the books store and at a minimum checked out the back blurb.

“I was still on my feet. There was still breath in my lungs. I wasn’t fine, but I was strong. And I was going to use every ounce of my power to get us the hell out of here.”

“I’m going to remind you that heroes frequently die, but the morally mediocre people almost always live to see another day. Don’t do anything that’s going to piss me off.” ~ Priyanka

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

Through The Dark (A Darkest Minds Collection)

Through The Dark

TITLE: Through The Dark
AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★
Characters: ★★★
Appearance: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★ (3.75)

Don’t miss this breathtaking collection of stories set in the world of the best-selling Darkest Minds trilogy, now in paperback:

A desperate young man is forced to make a terrible choice between his own survival and the future of a little girl who won’t speak, but who changes his life in ways he could never imagine.

A spark of light brightens a brutal world when a girl named Sam encounters her childhood best friend at the government-run “rehabilitation” camp, Thurmond. Lucas and Sam form a risky escape plan, but sometimes even love isn’t powerful enough to overcome unspeakable cruelty.

The camps are closed. A tyrant president has been deposed. But for many Psi kids living rough, there is no home to return to, no place for them in a country devastated by the past and anxious about the future. Every day is a struggle for Sam, who knew all the rules at Thurmond and has been thrown into a terrifying and uncertain new life. But there’s more at stake than Sam’s own survival. She once made a promise to someone she loves, and the time has come to fulfill it.

From New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a collection of three hauntingly beautiful novellas set in the world of the Darkest Minds series. In the most harrowing of times, it takes a ferocious strength not only to survive, but to stand up for those who cannot fight their own battles. The characters in these stories–some new, some familiar–face impossible missions, and the hardest of all may be protecting the last flicker of hope in a seemingly endless night.

Buy it HERE on Amazon!


WRITING: Overall the writing in this set of novellas meets the level you would expect from a Bracken story. She is a wonderful author, one of my new favorites. Definitely one of the newest authors to join my list of “I’d buy their book even if I didn’t know what it was about.” The only reason this book is getting a lower overall review rating is because of the third novella, Beyond the Night. I just didn’t really care for the story… or maybe it was the Character Mia. I just didn’t feel like her character was that fleshed out. Compared to all the other characters in the series, I just didn’t care for Mia.

I’ll take this section one story at a time…

• In Time
If you were to read these stories in chronological order, In Time would come right after book one. However, having read the first three books in the series before picking up this one, it is my recommendation that you read the novellas after you read the first three books… Why? Because in order to truly appreciate the story of Gabe, a want to be skip tracer, you really have to have a deep hatred for skip tracers in the first place.

Gabe is just like all the other adults living out in the world Bracken has created for us. Those too old to be afflicted by IAAN but those not pulled in to work for the government at the “rehabilitation” camps. He is struggling… hungry… down on his luck… Basically, he is just barely surviving. He sees becoming a skip tracer as a way to turn his luck around. Through his struggle… his journey… we, as readers, get to see a completely different side of the story. We get to sympathize with “the enemy” in a why we never could have only reading the main books of the series. Bracken does a wonderful job telling Gabe’s story, and even though I didn’t want to, it was hard not to understand his decisions.

On its own, I would give this story a ★★★★ (4 star) rating.

• Sparks Rise
This was my favorite of the three novellas. I LOVED glimpsing into the mind of Lucas (a RED) and learning more about Sam (a GREEN), who we only briefly meet in book one. I loved the tragic love story Bracken introduced with these two characters. Their struggle… their pain… their anger… their innocence. Everything about Sam and Lucas feels right and yet… Well, I won’t tell you what happens, but if for no other reason, you should pick up Through the Dark to read this story.

Well done, Bracken. I would give this story a ★★★★★ (5 star) rating.

• Beyond The Night
I didn’t love this story. I didn’t hate it either, but comparing it to everything else in this series, it just feel flat. Although I love the characters of Sam and Lucas, Mia just fell short for me. She seemed like an afterthought… as if her character wasn’t fully fleshed out. Mia felt to young and yet to mean-spirited for her age. I’m not really sure that is what Bracken was going for, or maybe it was. I didn’t believe Mia as a stand-alone character, but instead felt like she was pieces of other characters pulled together haphazardly to form one.

This story started on page 217, but it wasn’t until page 289 that I feel like the character issues I had with Mia finally started to fade away and I actually started to enjoying it. If this had been a Stephen King novel that wouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was a 183-page novella not a 500-1000 page mega-novel. At page 289 the story did get good and I quickly finished after that, turning page by page eager to find out how it would end. And end it did, beautifully.

On its own, I would give this story a ★★★ (3 star) rating.

If this had been the last book in the series, I would have been satisfied, but it isn’t. The Darkest Legacy is up next… Not sure I will read it right away as I have a number of other books on my list, but I’m sure that I will eventually get to it.

CHARACTERS: I gave characters a 3-star review… only because 2 out of 3 of the stories had excellent character development. 2 out of 3… That third story, Beyond the Night, just didn’t meet my expectations for what I have become accustomed to when reading Bracken.

APPEARANCE: Beautiful! Stunning! Breathtaking! I’m sure you’ve learned by now that I absolutely love Bracken’s covers. This one is no different. You can almost feel the fire burning just beneath the cover. The character quote for this one is, “I want to feel every ounce of pain and happiness life can serve up, because it’ll mean I’ve survived.” When I first read the quote, before reading the book, I though I knew who would have said it… and maybe that character would too, but I was wrong. I was wrong in such a good way. Hold your breath… wait for it… You’ll be glad you did!

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review here:

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In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)


TITLE: In The Afterlight
AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken

Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the government’s unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Buy it HERE on Amazon!


WRITING: minor editing issues peppered throughout the book, just like the first two, but editors are only human. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where there weren’t at least a few editing issues. Bracken is a wonderful writer, and minor editing issues can’t distract from that.

STORY: I loved book one… I enjoyed book two… but, I think this one is my favorite. I was on the edge of my seat reading the whole time. I cried. I was shocked. I was afraid for the characters. Bracken made me care about the characters so much that I was afraid for them. On page 417 was when I knew something terrible was going to happen. I won’t tell you the what happened just before or even after but lets just say my world turned upside down on page 417 and it wasn’t until much later that what I anticipated came true. Well done, Bracken.

CHARACTERS: Being the third book in the series, Bracken has already fully fleshed out the characters for us. We know them well enough to guess how they will react in different situations and to feel their hesitation, fear, pain, excitement, and sometimes – not often – their joy almost before they do.

APPEARANCE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now, Bracken’s covers are beautiful. I wish I knew who designed them because I would hire him/her to do mine. My favorite part of all the covers is the second full-color cover with the character quote. The quote for this book, “They don’t burn, do they? Not like us.” It was an unexpected character who said this one… and I loved it.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review here… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

I am still new to this YouTube things, so please be patient with me while I figure it all out. I promise my videos will get better. lol