TITLE: The Darkest Minds
BY: Alexandra Bracken
SERIES: The Darkest Minds #1
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, DYstopian
PUBLICATION: Dec 18th, 2012-Disney Hyperion
RATING: 3.5 blissful pages
On Ruby’s 10th birthday, something happened that made her parents lock her in their garage and call the police. Then she was sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp” for kids who survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children and left with abilities they can’t control. But Thurmond became Ruby’s prison for 6 years and she barely escapes it alive. Outside she met Liam, Zu and Chubs, other kids who also escaped their camps and with knowledge there is one place and one person who help kids like them. As they set to find it, Ruby can’t help but get closer to her new friends. But she can’t risk it knowing what she did to her parents years ago.
With an incredible pacing and diverse characters, this is definitely an enjoyable read but could’ve been better if only the protagonist, Ruby, is more likeable.
This book was published in 2012, and that time, Dystopian stories are the trend but I believe even though I read it then, I don’t think my opinions would be different. This book has some concepts I’ve been reading my whole life. At first, I was fascinated by the way the kids with abilities are labeled with colors. Colors such as orange, blue, red, yellow, etc. And base on their colors, you can know what they can do. Some colors are more dangerous than others. But still, as I learn more about their abilities, I found out how common they are, like say telekinesis.
I don’t know if this book was intended to be character or plot-driven. But for me, it leans more toward plot. It’s fast-paced and there are plenty of vivid edge-of-the-seat scenes throughout the book. But that doesn’t change the fact that this book is filled with such common concepts so I wished it’s more of character-driven so that the character aspect would make up for the meager plot. I say that this is more of character-driven even though it’s narrated through First POV, because the narration only tells me of what’s happening. No deeper analysis of the character’s emotions and reactions.
I don’t like the way Ruby gives me things in her POV. Worse it’s not only her narration I have a problem with. In the first half of the book, I really found it hard to connect with her. And in the last quarter of the book when the villain, whose name I won’t say because it’s one of the twists, told her she’s naïve and weak(?), I agreed. The villain, by the way, is VERY annoying which makes the character a great villain. There are numerous antagonists in the story but the main villain is the most wicked. The other characters, Liam, Chubs and Zu, are such great characters. I love them, especially Zu. Chubs even grew on me despite his indifference to Ruby at first. But then again I’m not a fan of Ruby so maybe there’s that. And Liam, our love interest, is charming.
And that ending pained me so much. I know it’s more painful for Ruby but I ache more for Liam. I can call the ending a good ending because it made me want to buy the other books in the series to find out what’ll happen next. Though middle of the book, I was deciding not to continue the series.
So have you read this book? Did you like it? Tell me in the comments. Let’s chat.