‘The Darkest Minds’ by Alexandra Bracken Book Review

Format: Available for paperback, eBook, hard cover
Series: book 1 of 3 of The Darkest Minds trilogy
Rated: 15+ for language, action/violent sequences
Genre: New Adult
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10576365-the-darkest-minds?from_search=true
The story is about a young girl named Ruby who gets sent away to a camp that specializes in helping kids with ‘special’ abilities when she is 10. Ruby is extra-special with her ability to go inside of people’s minds, but she doesn’t want anyone to know.At the camp, Ruby is able to convince the sorters that she’s not dangerous and she hides out with her best friend, Sam. Over the next 5 years, Ruby continues to fly under the radar, trying not to bring attention to her. But one incident with a guard forces her to lose her best friend as she can’t face her fears.Ruby remains in silence, feeling guilty for what happened with Sam. One night, one of the doctors, named Cate, figures out who Ruby really is and comes up with a plan to break her out along with another boy named Martin.Once they are out, they meet up with Cate’s boyfriend, Rob. Ruby sees that Rob can’t be trusted, so she runs from them and joins a group of kids (Liam, Chubs, Zu) on the run from PSFs (people look for kids with special abilities).Liam and Zu take a liking to Ruby, but Chubs is more reserved because he knows that she’s holding back information from them.

They go on a journey looking for the Slip Kid, who is a kid that escaped the camps 4 different times and set up a furlough for those kids hiding from the government.

When they find him, the Slip Kid gets interested in Ruby and tries to help her control her powers.

What I like about Ruby is that she is different than the other heroines that are popular now. She is not just naturally brave. In fact, she is naturally afraid of everything. It’s not until she meets up with Liam, Chubs, and Zu that she starts to find her courage. And it’s her relationship with Liam that really shows it because she finds him so brave.

As time passes, Ruby sees that the Slip Kid is not who she expected him to be, but forces her to see that she needs to learn her abilities before it hurts the people in her life, including Chubs and Liam.

This book reminds me of X-men in the sense where there are kids who have special abilities that the government tries to control, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

I like the realism in this story. They make references of things that do exist so it gives that illusion that something like this could happen, and for me that’s a major plus in a book.

It’s a suspenseful beginning to a trilogy that will keep you reading until the end. You learn bits and pieces of Ruby’s abilities and the abilities that others could have throughout the book. I like that it’s not right there explained to you and that you have to do some digging to get the full extent of what they can do.

I really like the dynamic between Ruby, Liam, Zu, and Chubs. You can feel the bond forming and getting stronger as the book progresses and when the end happens, it’s so frustrating but you know that Ruby’s heart was in the right place.

The best thing of the book was watching Liam and Ruby fall in love. Ruby was so afraid of getting close to anyone, afraid of what she might do to them, but Liam did everything he could to make her see that she didn’t have to be afraid. He knew what they had was special and the strength of their relationship would give her the strength to overcome her fears of her abilities. It was so moving and amazing and definitely one of the better love stories for a young adult fiction that I have read in a while.

All in all, what comes down to a good book is the ending, especially one that is going to be a series. This ending left you in such a cliffhanger, it made me want to jump right into the next book. A good ending wants you reading more and this one is no exception. I was in shock when I read it and had to re-read it to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.

Rating: A-

Next in series:

Book #2 Never Fade

Out now

A novella In Time

Out now
Book 3 ‘Untitled’
Out Fall 2014

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