The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Darkest Minds
Alexandra Bracken
Series Name: The Darkest Minds
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Dystopian
Publication Date: December 18th, 2012
Pages: 488 (paperback)
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
4 star

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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.


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At first I had no idea what this cover was, but now after reading the book I believe that it is the symbol of the psi. I think anyway it was only described once and I didn’t think much of it until now. So this book cover isn’t exactly pretty or nice to look at but it links directly to the book, which I like.

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The writing is descriptive and easy to read. It draws you in very quickly and you can’t help but get hooked on the story! I don’t recall any point where I was confused at about parts of the book, everything was described easily which made the world easy to to follow.

It would have been nice to have a map in this book as there is a lot of travelling and I enjoy following journeys on the maps inside books. This book is an Urban Fantasy, so it is based in the real world, so I could have just looked up a map on google, but it would have been nice to have one in the book. They kept mentioning names of towns and cities and states and even though I have heard of some of them, I still have no idea where they are. It might have been easier if I lived in America, but being Australian I only really know where the major places are, I don’t know where certain states are. So yeah, a  map would have made it easier for me to follow the moving around.

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This plot is very well done! There is so much action involved basically from the start of the book, the first chapter or so is mainly Ruby’s memories, but after that it jumps straight in!

This book is a dystopian, I haven’t read a dystopian for a while and I was really hoping going into this that it would be similar to the likes of The Hunger Games & Divergent and it wasn’t! There is still a female MC but that’s about where it ends with the similarities. So I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this book. It’s classed as a Sci-Fi, but it is also kinda fantasy as these kids have ‘powers’, I don’t really know where the line is drawn between Sci-Fi and Fantasy books but this one is somewhere in between! Which is I think what made it different from the other dystopias I have read as none of them have that fantasy type element.

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I enjoyed Ruby and really liked see her learn about the world outside Thurmond and grow as a character. She is very protective and wants to help others but she isn’t completely selfless, which make her that bit more realistic. Chubs is just hilarious, he is so sarcastic and witty and funny and even though at the start he was a bit rude and defensive, he was just trying to protect Zu & Liam as he knows that Liam can be a bit to willing to see the good in people and doesn’t see the evil there straight away. So I liked that about him, that he was wary and didn’t just welcome Ruby with open arms! I really like Zu, she can be fun and energetic when she isn’t letting everything eat her up inside. I really liked Zu and Ruby’s friendship while they were travelling. Liam is also a really enjoyable character, he does have a bit of a flaw as I mentioned just before, he is too trusting at times. He is loyal though and is just trying to keep them safe and keep to his promises. Clancy I didn’t like from the start and I always had a funny feeling about. I won’t continue because of spoilers with him! But let’s just say I strongly dislike him.

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Overall I really enjoyed this book! I’m keen to continue on with this series! I do have an eBook of book #1.5 which is called In Time, so I might read that now, depending on how I feel or I will read it before picking up the next book in the series, Never Fade.

I was considering purchasing the Novella bind up, Through the Dark, that includes the 3 Novellas, In Time (#1.5), Sparks Rise (#2.5) and a new one which is #3.5 but I don’t know if that name of it is Through the Dark or whether it is called something else, because it’s not on Goodreads. The only problem with buying the bind up is only the hardcover is available on Book Depository and I have the paperback of The Darkest Minds and I want to get all paperbacks so they match. So instead I just bought the iBook of the first novella for $1.99 and I can probably get the next for a similar price. Then if it comes out in paperback I will grab the bind up so that I can read that last one that you can only get in the bind up!

Also, check out Alexandra Bracken’s newest book! The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is a Middle Grade Fantasy and set to release the 5th of September and sounds so interesting!

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“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?


Also how gorgeous but creepy is that book cover!!!

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3 thoughts on “The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – Spoiler Free Review

  1. Seems a bit like the side-plot of the TV series Stranger Things. I actually tried reading this book ages ago but didn’t get very far, I wasn’t in the mood for it. I really do need to try it again sometime soon though, I really do like Alexandra Bracken, and I loved Passenger. Thanks for the review!

    Cass @ Words on Paper

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t actually watched Stranger Things, I have seen it advertised a fair bit though! And they are making a movie out of this book. I saw a heap about it on Alex’s blog, it seems like she is having a fair bit of influence with the movie, so hopefully it will be done well!

      Yeah it sucks when you just aren’t in the right mood for a book! And I am still to read Passenger but it is on my TBR!


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