Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest MindsThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Supernatural, Apocalyptic
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 488
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

So, we had two copies of this book, and this normally means that we love the book so much, we just can’t share it. Let me tell you now that the fate of the second book is not looking good and does not at all parallel that of the second copy of ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell and ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ by Stephanie Perkins.

We’ve had the first book on the shelves for a while. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book a while ago, but we let it die down before we decided to read it. Then, the third and final book in the series, Into the Afterlight, came out a few days ago, and suddenly everyone’s ravenously reading this series like a slice of fresh cake.

I was not impressed.

The premise sounded good. The title was intriguing. I thought it was going to be so much more than it was, when really all the book amounted to was a waste of 488 pages. The journey the main character goes through is circular and ridiculous, leading me to question why I invested the time into reading something I didn’t enjoy.

Ruby, as a main character, held all of the tropes of a protagonist I do not like. Number One being that she was adamant she was a ‘monster’ because of her powers. Number Two being that she was victim of an instant romance that hit you in the face like a bus (and was just as unwelcome.) She had a case of I-only-develop-a-personality-200-pages-in syndrome that did nothing but demotivate me from finishing this book.

How did I do it, you ask? I don’t know.

I had a number of problems with this book, like the irrational pacing and the insta-love but nothing annoyed me more than the dimensions of the Black Betty van. From the description (which is lengthly to say the least) this van is at least the size of a bungalow. Somehow the people in the front seat couldn’t see Ruby hidden in the back seat, because the back seat acted as a living-room-bedroom that was six metres long.

I didn’t understand what was happening a lot of the time because the important and fast paced scenes were so short and underdeveloped. I didn’t understand the use of the ‘fade-to-black’ technique that left the reader guessing whether Ruby was sexually harassed by this jerky expletive guy. I certainly didn’t understand why Zu, one of the main characters, had to leave, or the fate of Chubs, another of the main four.

And, talking of the jerky expletive guy, I completely saw his plot twist a mile off. DO NOT TRUST anyone but yourself is the advice I would give to any dystopian novel participant.

As I can’t think of anything I particularly liked about this book, I’m going to leave the review there, because my hate fire is too stoked to continue. HOWEVER, part of me wants to know how this series could possibly progress, so if I subject myself to that, I’ll be sure to let you know of my opinion. Overall, I give this book 1.5 stars, redeemed by the shopping sequence and the traumatising back story that was the only event in the book that made me feel any emotion but irritation.


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