How would a world continue on if the vast majority of children died from an incurable disease and the survivors – the immune – started to develop extra abilities; abilities which frightened and intrigued the adults? Alexandra Bracken’s The Dark Minds answers this question – and the answer is confronting.
Set in a world where the disease, Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration (IAAN), has come out of nowhere and quickly killed off majority of the population under the age of 14. The Dark Minds is the story of the survivors, the children who are hunted and killed or kept in work camps for having developed unique and frightening abilities. These children are called Psi’s. They have abilities that range from Pyrokinesis, to extreme photographic memory, to telekinesis and telepathy and everything in between.
When I picked up The Darkest Minds, I knew majority of everyone who has read it loved it, but I was kind of expecting it not to interest me overly much. I WAS WRONG! I was dragged into Ruby’s life with an unbreakable grip and that grip wasn’t letting go until I knew exactly what was going to happen next!
At the start of the novel, I was extremely confused as to what was going on, I think it may have been written this way on purpose because even Ruby is in the dark about a lot of things. Although what Psi are and the camps and stuff were eventually explained I still think that maybe the explanations lacked enough detail to give us readers a full understanding of the world. The same happened when Skip tracers and the Children League were introduced, I was confused because not enough information was given.
Ruby is a fantastic character she has faced a lot of heart breaking stuff in her life and still she holds onto hope. Us readers get to experience her personal growth from frightened almost backboneless into brave and confident. The characters growth really is written very well.
Bracken wrote amazing side characters in The Darkest Minds Liam, Chubs and Zu are incredible! They truly make this novel memorable. I loved Zu and wanted her as a little sibling. Chubs is lovingly hateable, I half wanted to strangle him at times and then I loved him at others. Liam is such a sweet heart! He is protective and selfless and loving.
So I’ve decided I’m never going to trust Bracken again. To many times in this book I thought things were finally going well for Ruby and there little group and then BAM Bracken rips the carpet from under my feet and I’m shocked and betrayed. So my motto in going into Never Fade is not to grow attached to anybody, because chances are Bracken is ready to seriously disappoint you.
The way the book ended I thought was pretty cliché, but it still made me incredibly sad and eager to read the next in the series! I love Liam and Ruby, they’re prefect together – supportive, respectful, happy, loving! I can’t wait to keep reading their story.