The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken - Review

The Darkest Minds

Alexandra Bracken
Published Date
Preceded By
Followed By
Never Fade


Thurmond is for kids.

But it's more like a work camp than a summer camp, complete with its own color-coding system for the children left after a mass infection of IAAN. These children, though... well, the adults are scared of them. Scared of what they can do.

Sixteen-year-old Ruby is classified as a Green, and she has learned to keep her mouth shut. But when she gets discovered as an Orange, her life is at stake.


I received this book for Christmas from a friend, who also put a note in the back that I couldn't read until I had finished it. However, that's not what made me read it so fast. This book sucked me in from the very beginning.

Now, I haven't read much dystopian fiction (I know, I know, not even Divergent), but what I have read of it, this is different. This story does a fantastic job of not only making it realistic, but also haunting. The country isn't deserted or separated into factions. It's failed, economically and in everything else. Its sealed off, because apparently, everyone hated Americans - so there's no way in or out.

What gets me the most is how helpful these powers would be to a country, but instead of utilizing the progress, they decided to nip it in the bud and be done with it, eventually leaving there only and last hope (because Psi Youth are the only children left, the only ones to carry on the population of the US; everyone else will get old and die eventually) to work and rot in kind of cage, even restoring to killing the uber-powerful ones.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how realistic the characters were. The main romantic interest (Liam) sometimes seemed a little... Marty Stu (male version of Mary Sue) at first. As we got to know the character, though, he started to flesh out. I'll be honest, though - even the baddies I was little bit in love with.

It wasn't something fluffy. It didn't read like a YA novel. It read like something serious with meaning. Now, I'll admit, there was a little bit of romance (some I rooted for, some I didn't). But you can't discount how amazing this book is on account of that.

Now, while this isn't my favorite book, I have a feeling that the series will be one my favorites (I tend to favorite series more than actual books, anyway). I'm in love with the story and I can't wait to see where it goes.


Note: There is a novella that follows The Darkest Minds, called In Time. It is my understanding that if you can, you should read it before going to the sequel.