The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (ARC Review)

Release date: December 11 2012

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Number of Pages: 496

My rating: 3/5

The Darkest Minds was a great read. There was a lot to like in the novel, but some aspects of the book lacked a little.

The Darkest Minds is about the USA in the future. A deadly disease sweeps America, but it only affects children. Those who survive end up with horrifying powers. The kids with powers are considered dangerous, and depending on the "colour" (or type of ability), they are either placed in camps or exterminated. Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. She skipped detection as an orange (who can control minds and were exterminated), and somehow passed as a green. The Children's League, a terrorist organisation breaks Ruby out, but when Ruby sees one of her rescuer's memories (of him executing two kids), she runs. She runs into three runaway Psi (or kids with special abilities). And they all go on a road trip to find the East River, where a group of Psi are rumored to be living camp-free.

I really liked the beginning and the end. Some of the middle was good too, but the middle lacked in action, just depicting random scenes from the group's roadtrip to the East River. I liked learning more about Ruby and the Psi in the beginning, but some of that got a bit tiresome. The end, oh the end was amazing! It was sort of a cliffhanger, and it was amazing. Almost all the action in the book is lumped into the end, sort of like one of those foods where the last bit is the best. (ooh, like the crust of a pizza!). Sometimes it felt like a bit of a slog to get to the end, but it was definitely worth it.

I really think that some bits in the middle of the book could've been cut out.

The characters were great. I really liked Chubs and Suzume. Chubs was pretty funny, and I loved his hatred of Ruby in the early stages of the book. Suzume was so sweet and interesting.

Ruby and Liam on the other hand were bleh. They were very boring, underdeveloped characters. The romance between them was unlikable and boring, developing very quickly in the last stages of the book.

Another thing this book could've improved in was the worldbuilding. Ok, so we know that a disease wiped out much of America's youth, and those who survived ended up with powers. The powers were explained a little bit. I know that blue= telekinesis, orange = mind control, yellow = electricity. I have no idea what Red or Green means. These abilities needed to be better explained.

A lot of action happens in this book, and it requires your full attention. Whenever I lost concentration and started skimming, I always seemed to miss something important.

This story had a lot of potential. The idea was original and awesome. However this book did not live up to it's potential. A boring middle, boring romance, and some boring characters dragged it down. However, The Darkest Minds is definitely worth a read, and after that amazing ending, I will definitely be picking up the next book.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley

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