Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Book Review: The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

Pub. Date- 2013 Publisher- Hyperion Pages528   
- The Darkest Minds(1) Genre- Dystopian Rating5 Stars

"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."

The Darkest Minds is one of those books that has a lot of hype for good reason as long as you don't mind a long book that's pace isn't always the fastest. I would compare this plot speed to a lot of high fantasy series first books. It takes a while to form a solid plot and wanders a long world building and building relationships for a while, then ends with a big bang. When I was looking into this book to see if I wanted it, I saw it being compared to The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins very often and I understand in theory why, them both having plot-lines involving young children being put in disturbing situations but I never felt like I was reading a book I'd read before. The writing style in the two books felt very different and I didn't even think of the hunger games until I started writing this.

Now that's out of the way, lets move on to the characters that really make this story come alive and feel different from lots of other dystopian novels. The protagonist of this story is Ruby who is 'one of the dangerous ones' a girl taken away from her parents when she's 10 for a reason she didn't understand till later. Ruby as a leading lady did really irritate me at times, she always seemed to trust the people she shouldn't but take years to warm up to the good guys! This at times made me what to seriously facepalm myself. Other than having bad trust instincts Ruby was kick-ass in so many ways while still being vulnerable enough to make you feel for her and and add a realistic element. (If I'd been taken at 10 and put in a prison camp I'd be mote than vulnerable) Next up we have Liam the love interest and probably the most noble guy ever. All he wants to be the best leader he can be and make sure his friends are safe. He helps fix part of the broken side to Ruby that makes her stronger and more determined. My heart breaks for him over and over though-out the course of the story. There isn't much else I can say than I love him.

Chubs and Zu are characters that I really love for completely different; Zu some how manages to pull every heart string and become attached to your heart without ever saying a word. Chubs, the love I have for him is mostly because I can understand his way of thinking and look past some of his snarlier comments. All he wants to do is protect his friends that were left and find the mysterious leader of East River. Each and every character was so detailed and full that they came to life on the page.

Guilt and betrayal became very strong themes as the plot developed but they managed to never become repetitive or boring because of the different ways each character felt it. It held up well even in the dramatic events by adding weight and strength. 

This is a slow but wild ride that will have you going up and down so often it's crazy. I would recommend this to any dystopian lovers.

Will you add this to your tbr? Or have you read it already?


  1. Ohhh this sounds like a unqiue Dystopian books. Always looking for a new one of those, especially when it sounds different. The synopsis reads like Shatter Me but your review sets it apart! Adding to my tbr!

    1. Shatter me is definitely going higher on my tbr now! When you read this I'd love to see your review if you post one, maybe we will have similar thoughts on it.

  2. Your review has gotten me even more intrigued to finally read this book!

    1. I hope you love! I really really enjoyed and can't wait to read the novella In Time and sequel Never Fade.


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