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Kids who have superpowers isn’t exactly a new concept in Young Adult (or in books in general for that matter) – but wow – was I pretty impressed with the execution of this book. I feel as thought Alexandra Bracken took the whole “superpowers are bad and the government is locking us away” and worked it into something that felt fresh. I was completely consumed in almost every single moment of this book – and that my friends, is a great thing – to be able to lose yourself in a book. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about The Darkest Minds that made me love it so much but I think that the snarky dialogue had something to do with it. I love me some electric dialouge.
One thing that irked me though was the way that Ruby would describe some things. I can’t remember exact examples but sometimes when she would describe something, she would liken it to something that had me thinking “Hey wait a minute, if she’s been locked up since she was 10 years old with no interaction in the outside world plus she’s not really allowed to talk to anyone, how would she know about that?” Those kinds of thoughts pulled me out of the book and reminded me that I was actually reading a book – but thankfully it only happened 2-3 times.
For me, the most interesting thing about this book is how it shows both good and bad sides of human nature. We see people who are so selfless even in such a dire situation and we see people who are willing to sellout others in a heartbeat if it means surviving another day. It makes you think – what would you do? How far would you be willing to go to survive? And even, would you lead a revolution if it meant being killed? Thought provoking questions that make you take a look at yourself and wonder if your mind would be one of the darkest.
Overall, I really enjoyed this thrilling book and can’t wait to read its sequel, Never Fade.
30 of 31 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
The Darkest Minds was a much more emotional read for me than I initially expected. I went into it thinking it would be a X-Men type story full of action and excitement. What I found was something much more human. Alexandra Bracken evokes so many feelings throughout this book that you almost feel light headed at times.
I can't say what drove Ruby's parents to lock her in the garage and call the authorities to come pick her up. It would really be too spoilerish. But imagine this scenario, if you will. Children all over are hitting puberty and developing strange, powerful and sometimes deadly abilities. Maybe not the most unique idea, it's been done...but not quite like it has in The Darkest Minds. I digress. Parents are being conditioned to fear children and are told to turn them in for 'rehabilitation'. Not all parents go along with this idea, but most do.
Rehabilitation is really no more than imprisonment and the kids with the most dangerous abilities, coded by the colors 'Reds' and 'Oranges' , are quickly disappearing from these kiddy prison camps. When Ruby is picked up she manages to skate by and be coded as a 'Green', one of the least dangerous. However, eventually someone catches on and wants to use her abilities for their own profit and helps her leave the grand daddy of all camps. But Ruby escapes this second custody and hooks up with three other kids on the run. Liam, Chubs and Zu. Eventually, they find a haven for kids like them and a mastermind of an Orange named Clancy who wants to help Ruby develop her powers.
Ruby starts off as a fairly meek heroine. She hides behinds others and is terrified of herself. She eventually comes to use her powers when trying to protect others but still has this fear of them throughout the book. Towards the end I was mentally screaming at her to just let them loose already! Though, you absolutely have to feel for Ruby, she's spent six years at Camp Thurmond and knows really nothing of the outside world or human behavior. She's basically a ten year old in a sixteen year old body. Not to mention she is terrified to even touch anyone else because of her brains powerful ability to force its way into anyone's head and see all their memories, good or bad.
The relationships she slowly forms with Liam, Chubs, Zu and eventually Clancy change everything about Ruby and how she views herself and her life. She comes to realize that there are bigger threats than herself for those she cares about and they aren't all coming from obvious places. She learns how to love, how to be in control, how to be controlled and how much she is willing to sacrifice to protect others like her.
Now, there is some of X-Men type action, it's not chalked full of it, but there are some scenes and they are pretty fricking cool. I'm hoping for much more of them in the books to come, because they really are very exciting and kids kicking ass is just fun. There is also a large amount of humor. Liam and Chubs are both great characters with smart mouths and tender hearts. Zu is a total sweetheart that I dare anyone not to love.
The relationships in The Darkest Minds will tickle your heart, the action scenes will jump start it, the mystery and intrigue may cause it to skip a beat here and there and the ending will threaten to stop it for a second or two.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
Please take time and a credit to listen to the first part of this very emotional and thought provoking, wonderful and intelligent work of fiction. I suspect some people will say it is like The Hunger Games or Divergent, well although they are all based in a post apocalyptic America and are put in the young adult range of literature, they are all very, very different and I give credit where it is due and The Darkest Minds is well up to standard with these other great titles and defiantly has its own unique agenda. I am a 34 year old woman and I read or listen to many books of various classifications, this is not just a book for teenagers in my opinion, it is a book for all and not only that it leaves you begging for more. In fact I liked it so much that I ordered the hardback version of book two as it is not available on audio yet, and I just can not wait to see what happens...guess I am a bit of a teenager after all!! x
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Where does The Darkest Minds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This was one of my favourites, the storyline was great and the performers voice really suited the characters.
What did you like best about this story?
I loved the action throughout and that the twists and turns kept you guessing.
Which character – as performed by Amy McFadden – was your favourite?
Ruby was my favourite, her determination and will really inspired me.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There was several occasions that I laughed throughout the book. I was also worried towards the ending when one of the characters lives was in danger.
Any additional comments?
The darkest minds tells the tragic story of a virus that's killing children and destroying families. The children that are not killed by the virus are still ruined by it. The virus gives the surviving children disastrous powers which can be fatal in the wrong hands.
The main character Ruby's life is turned upside down by one simple loving action that changes everything and leaves her with nothing.
The story follows Ruby as she is sent to a 'rehabilitation camp', well this is what it is advertised as, little does Ruby know life just got even worse the moment she steps onto the camp grounds. From the first day at camp Ruby has a secret and the only way Ruby can survive is by keeping it hidden, but when her secret is suspected she must escape and once she's out of camp she must be cautious with who she trusts.
The story grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go. I thoroughly enjoyed the immense amount of action that kept me wanting more, there's twists throughout the story that keep you on your toes in suspense.
The character development was amazing in both Ruby and the side characters, we see romance blossom and friendships made, we see goodies turn baddies and much more, so much so that every chapter you will have a new question that will keep you reading to get the answers. I lost so much sleep reading this book but it was worth every minute.
I would recommend this to everyone as there is something for all book lovers to enjoy throughout the story. I loved this book so much I had to restrain myself from diving head first into the second book, but trust me I will be reading it soon:)
I hope this review has helped you, can you please rate it positively if you liked it as it really means a lot to me, Many Thanks for reading:)
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
If you are a devout hunger games, divergent and mortal instruments/infernal devices fan, this is what you've been waiting for.
This book is not original in concept at all but it's entirely compelling. You will be up for hours listening to it. The performance is flawless and does amazing things to prop up a predictable plot. Well worth your time.