When a mysterious disease kills off the majority of children between the ages 10 and 14, ten-year-old Ruby discovers that the dead are the lucky ones because the ones who survive come away with powers. Powers that frighten the adults enough to send them to prisons masquerading as rehabilitation centres. In a world where everything and everyone is pretending to be something that they’re not, can Ruby survive without losing her humanity?
Dystopia is my favourite book genre, so I tend to expect more out of them. While The Darkest Minds didn’t quite meet my expectations due to a slow beginning and some borderline meh characters, the kick-you-in-the-face ending will definitely have me reading the sequel.
The opening of this book was too long for me, and I had to struggle to continue reading at first (not something I often experience with dystopians which tend to drop you right in the middle of the action). This slow burn beginning was obviously put in place to give the reader an understanding of the reasons behind Ruby’s instability and insecurities, but at the time I felt like there was a whole lot of backstory and not enough nowstory.
It didn’t help that I didn’t find myself warming to Ruby until the last bit of the book. For whatever reason, I couldn’t connect with Ruby or Liam, and honestly, I was worried I would have another Chemical Gardens series or Matched series issue on my hand. Secondary characters Chubs and Zu were the more interesting duo in my opinion, and I would read the heck out of a story from Zu’s perspective! She reminds me of Shatter Me‘s Juliette, except younger.
However, the ending actually blew me away. I love a solid read, but if I can’t have that, the next best thing is a fantastic ending, and The Darkest Minds delivers on the latter. Bracken isn’t afraid to make the hard choices, and I can respect an author who pitches their characters off a cliff rather than swaddling them in bubble wrap. As long as the second book has a rise in action, as the ending suggests, I think I will be okay with this book acting as more of a prologue to the real story.
Don’t just take my word for it!
“Read it. Please please please read it.” – Jen @ Almost Grown-Up
“I may continue on with the series in the future but it is not at the top of my list at the moment. ” – Andrea @ Cozy Up With a Good Read
“This novel blew me away with its strong world-building, dynamic characters and action-packed story.” – Alexa Loves Books
“I absolutely loved Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds and couldn’t set the book down for even a moment!” – Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads
“The Darkest Minds is a book that had me thinking as I was reading, and kept me thinking for a while after I had finished.” – Jen @ YA Romantics
“Boy oh boy. I cannot wait to see how the second book goes because I was just so gosh darn surprised at what just happened!” – Book Addict’s Guide