Thursday, 6 December 2012

ARC Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds 
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: -
Pages: 488
Genre: YA – Dystopian
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Amazon Pre-order: The Darkest Minds
Release Date: 1st January 2013

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has 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.

REVIEW: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Harper Collins Australia.

When Ruby turned ten, she came into powers beyond control. With a simple touch, she was able to wipe someone’s memories or alter their thinking, this came at the same time children were dying for unknown reasons but anyone who exhibited the ‘special’ abilities were shipped off to government run rehabilitation camps.

Ruby ended up in a strict facility known as Thurmond but was assisted in an escape by an anti-government group after six years of being held but she didn’t know if what she was getting into was any better or worse than the camp so she escaped their hold and immediately meets up with others who have abilities of their own – Liam, Chubs and Suzume.

We are taken on a whirlwind journey as the group try to evade the bad guys and fight for their survival and freedom but they never seemed to catch a break and I honestly couldn’t see a way out for them; I sympathized with each of the characters.

The concept of this book intrigued me; the government feared these children rather than embraced or used them, they removed them from their families and either killed those with powers they believed were beyond control and segregated the others – their lack of knowledge blinded those in power to what they could have used as a tool.

To be honest, when I first started this book I couldn’t get into it, Ruby as a main character wasn’t likeable to me at all, her hypocrisy and lies didn’t endear me to her and the pacing was oh so slow! Each time I checked the progress on my kindle the bar had barely moved, it just seemed to drag on for me. But once things started happening and the action began, it certainly picked up and became more interesting.

I did enjoy the secondary characters and liked each of their interactions; they were complex and had interesting back stories, it made their actions all the more believable. 

The story Ms Bracken has written is compelling, her writing mesmerizing and the setting was vivid in detail; I also liked the flashback scenes which gave us a better understanding of the way things were.

All in all, despite the few issues I mentioned above, The Darkest Minds was an engrossing read and after the ending we are left with I am certainly eager to read the next book.


  1. Oooh. Awesome secondary characters?! YEAH. I'm getting more pepped up for this one!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  2. I am really looking forward to this bummer that you could not connect with MC


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