Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Published: December, 2012
Genre: dystopia / Young Adult
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.
A common element dystopian books have, and those that deal with people that have powers is that they need to explain the situation but also how those powers came to be and what is the difference amongst them. I am always curious about that aspect, because I am very intrigued by the process, but sometimes those explanations can be a bit tedious or hardd to understand, which was not the case in this book, as everything was pretty easy to follow. We still do not havve all the answers, probably because it is the first book in the trilogy, but the reader does not feel confused or bored about it.
Following these typical elements, there is also the background information about our main characters, which sometimes draggs for to long and it takes a bit to get to the central plot or the action or even the complete opposite, we are thrown in the middle of everything and we do not know what is happening. In TDM we also get started by knowing what happened to our main character to get her where she is right now but rather than being bored or not caring about it, I felt myself immersed in her story and I wanted it to continue. It also helped that chapters were very well structured and something different occured in each of them. A negative thing that made my pace drag a bit sometimes was how long the chapters were, but that is a common problem with me.
The characters were also very fascinating but I liked our main character, Ruby, and Zu the best (for those that know him, I also lovedd Clancy’s character, he is so intriguing and interesting!). All of them are quite different and it is amazing to see how the relationships (also those with secondary or even less important characters) come to be. Not everything is presented or handed to us so I am curious to learn more about all of them. I love character development and to see how relationships are built and I have to say that even thought there is a fair share of action in the book, I loved seeing that part; it was amazingly well done and you truly believe and undertsand everyone’s position and their friendships. There is a low amount of romance and even though I was not shipping it, I like how it turned out.
A big part of the story takes place on the road but there are also other defined settings which were, again, so great and different. From the camp to the van to every place they ended up in, Bracken paints the perfect image for you to see everything rather than to read about it. I liked how lively and unique each place was and the people we interacted with in each of them.
The Darkest Minds is a great introduction to a new world and gives us a tight and special group of people to follow and care about. From the characters to the locations to the action, it is very interesting to see everything change and evolve. I, for one, am excited to continue with the series (I am currently on book 3) and for the newest book, The Darkest Legacy to come out, as well as the movie.
Have you read The Darkest Minds? Do you agree with me? Who is your favourite character? Are you excited for The Darkest Legacy and TDM movie?