Today we are going to be diving head first into a highly acclaimed novel from a well established author. A young woman finds herself fighting for her life in author Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. The first of the Darkest Minds series, the book does an excellent job of creating a dystopian YA world filled with pain, loss and hope. Here’s the synopsis:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have 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 having a life worth living.
This novel does an excellent job of showcasing the struggles of a society divided between children and adults. A mixture of Marvel’s The Runaways and X-Men with a YA twist, the books pull at the heartstrings as you explore the emotional stories of not only Ruby, but the kids she meets along her journey. Hesitant to know or trust anyone, she must quickly learn what the world is like after this epidemic since she’s been locked up and find a way to find peace before she’s thrust into a battle she wants no part of. The characters are what really pull you into this world. While the incredible backstory and mythology the author creates is engaging, the personal stories and relationships between the characters are what keep you hooked until the final page of the novel.
Overall this was a fantastic story. A great first introduction into a YA Dystopian series, The Darkest Minds does an excellent job of creating vivid imagery that depicts a nation torn apart by this mysterious illness, a hatred towards the children lucky enough to survive and a failing economy that leaves entire towns empty. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging tale, and if you haven’t yet you have to pick up your copy of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken today!