The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds was just ok. I’m not the biggest fan of dystopian novels, to begin with, and this one is a slow burn. Fans of The Hunger Games or Divergent will like I think as it’s definitely an easy read with an interesting premise. The characters are really strong and well thought out but it was just a little too predictable for me.

I liked the premise of half of America’s children developing powers while the other half fell victim to a virus called IAAN. And the powers ranking system by colour – Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green. I found though, I was more curious about the world the children had left. The way society had fallen with the loss of the children. It was touched on a little bit but I was left wanting to know more. HOWEVER in saying that the premise is also a little unbelievable – would parents really give up their children that easily? Especially as so many had died from the disease?

There is quite a bit of tension as opposed to outright action throughout the story. While there is a little as they endeavor to escape from the PSI’s who are pursuing them, action certainly isn’t the main focus or drive of the story. Instead, Bracken delves into each character exploring their personalities and ways they accept their powers.

Ruby’s character arc progresses realistically through the book and she is a compelling protagonist to follow. She can be naive and scared which makes for a frustrating read at times. It does feel strange that other characters perceive her to be this very smart and strong person but none of her actions display this. At the end, she makes a horrific decision that is so unforgivable yet so in character it just makes you want to cry. The relationship between her and the other kids is pretty genuine.

I did like how Ruby and Liam’s romance slowly progressed and wasn’t the main focus. It allowed her relationship with other characters to develop as well. Though the romance itself was a little on the boring side. The kids show so much care and loyalty to each other which is nice. They are all different and realistically flawed as they discover and use this hidden part of themselves.

So it was ok. I just found the obvious plot points really distracting so I couldn’t fully get into the book, unfortunately. The predictability was annoying and as such, I don’t really care enough to find out what happens in the rest of the series. And there was no superpower battle. Nuff said.

ABOUT THE DARKEST MINDS

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, that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living

If you like this review try another book to movie adaptation Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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