Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release date: December 18th 2012
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 488
My rating: 4/5

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.

I am a sucker for any story about superpowers. If I had one wish I would wish to have superpowers. Aside from that I also like dystopian, it might be my favorite genre. So when I heard about a dystopian book in which the main characters have superpowers, I was intrigued. Along with all the hype this book got I was almost setting myself up for disappointment. Surprisingly that didn't happen. 

You are immediately thrown into the world in this book. There is no info dump and you continue to be a little hazy on a lot of the details until later in the book. The children with powers are identified by colors and it is never actually said what each color means. There are, however, enough little hints for you to figure out what each color is. The same goes for what Ruby did to her parents years ago. For half of the book there are speculations so you can get some kind of idea of what happened. But it doesn't take away off the big reveal. I really liked the way Alexandra Bracken doesn't treat the readers like little kids and assumes they are smart enough to figure out the details without them being expressively mentioned. A great example of show, don’t tell.

The characters in this book were so lovable and realistic. Our main character, Ruby, is more scared of herself than of the world around her. As the reader we can see she isn't a monster, but if you think about what she went through and what she saw and did, it isn't too weird she thinks this way. Liam is probably one of the sweetest guys ever and I have a weak spots for guys who want nothing more than to be able to be a hero for other people. 
Another thing I liked about the characters were that the villains were heroes in their own minds. You could understand why they did what they did. I hate it when villains are just evil for the sake of being evil. 

The only bad thing I have to say about this story is that it started out a little slow. It took a while for it to fully grab my attention. But when it had it... I'm really glad I read this when Never Fade was already out and in my possession because there was an open ending. So I will be reading the sequel hopefully soon and finding out what happens to the characters I have grown to care for.  

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