Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Darkest Minds - Book Review


The Darkest Minds - Book Review
Alexandra Bracken
YA Dystopian
Book #1 of the Darkest Minds 
UK Publisher: Hyperion Books

Synopsis:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something  about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Somethings that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease thats 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 with 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:

I discovered this book while browsing through a small little book store during my holiday to Canada. All I can say is why did I never hear about this book sooner because I absolutely loved it! Even if the end did leave me heartbroken and itching for more.

The story begins with a ten year old Ruby watching the harsh treatment of the Thurmond camps children. All gifted with a unique ability, they are colour coded based on their powers, but when she witness the cruel conditions those in her class must face, she someone how convinces the scientist assigned to her that she is nothing more than a harmless green with a photographic memory.

But six years later, the government begin new tests, ones designed to catch those kids who slipped through the cracks. Now with her secret out Ruby must put her trust in others if she is too escape. But with everyone wanting to use her for her rare abilities, Ruby is torn over who to trust. Only when she teams up with others like her does she begin to feel safe, but the question is, are they safe from her? Unable to control her powers, she fears she is destined to spend the rest of her life ostracised from her friends but when news spreads that another with her abilities still lives, Ruby will risk all to seek them out. What she finds is more danger, more heartache and a betrayal that just might put an end to her and those like her completely.

I really enjoyed this book. With the exception of a couple of chapters that I felt dragged a little, the story pretty much kept me immersed all the way through with every other scene ending on a cliffhanger. I just couldn't stop turning the pages.

Ruby makes an interesting heroine as despite being one of the most powerful people in the whole story, she fears her abilities and is unable to control them. Also with so many years spent locked behind the walls of camp Thurmond she has the limited education of a ten year old and having been segregated from boys, I thought it was adorable how she had no idea how to interact with them. Watching her grow from the naive, weak willed girl into a decisive and powerful women was thrilling.

Other characters such as Liam, Zu and chubs all had their own unique, individual appeal and I loved them all. Particularly Liam as he plays a kind and devote love interest and I don’t know any girl who could resist falling for his shy flirting. Zu and Chubs also added intrigue to the story with their unknown pasts and distinct personalities. 

Plot wise the book is action based and generally moves at a pretty fast pace with back story unfolding as and when needed. The storyline often keeps you guessing and my only niggle with the book is the lack of adults in it. I know they exist within the world of the book but as the kids drive around from place to place, I couldn't help but wonder why there wasn't more of them. I was also curious to know what everyone else was doing during this out break of disease and why the kids became so feared.

Despite those passing thoughts, these problems did not take away my enjoyment of the story. Although I am hoping some of these issues will be addressed in the next book which honestly, I cannot wait to start. Especially as the ending of the book was so emotional and dramatic.

I give The Darkest Minds 4 Stars! Great Read for all those who enjoy dystopians! 

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