The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight - Alexandra Bracken

13 Sept 2015

This series was right up my street. YA (young adult) fiction has been on a real high in recent years and I am a huuuuge fan. Particularly if the story involves a dystopian world.

The Darkest Minds series is physically gorgeous. The covers are mysterious, the pages thick and the paperback versions flop open in your hand. I loved them before I'd read a word.

98% of America's children have been killed by a mysterious disease but those that survive face much worse; frightening abilities they cannot control, persecution and brutal 'rehabilitation' camps. The economy has collapsed, society is in chaos and there is no help from other countries. Welcome to Ruby's world.

Ruby has been in Thurmond, the biggest and worst camp of all, for six years. She is one of the 'dangerous' ones, hiding under the pretence of lesser-abilities for too long. When the truth emerges, she barely escapes the camp alive and now has to learn to survive being on the run in the outside world.

I am slightly confused as to why this series hasn't received more attention. The writing is better than some of the wildly popular YA novels of recent years, and the dystopian world more intricately created. I was gripped to the story from page one. It's thrilling, beautifully heartbreaking and has some genuinely creepy moments.

I absolutely loved how well Alexandra Bracken can create characters. Each and every character created in this story is so vivid, right down to tiny mannerisms, that you can't help but become emotionally attached to them all. They can make you laugh out loud (quite an achievement for a book) as well as tear up. In particular, you could easily become convinced that Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Vida, Jude and Zu are all real. The dynamic and friendship between them sits right at the heart of the story.

Big thanks to my sister for the recommendation. I bought the whole series in one go and they became the best holiday read I've had in a while.