Another week down, happy Friday! I know we are only 15 days into the year but I already feel like things are starting out positive and I'm doing good with my goals and challenges so that's a positive. If you are not aware one of the challenges I'm taking part in this year is the RockMyTBR challenge which is basically where I try to put a huge dent in my books I already own but haven't gotten to yet. I have too many to count and I'm a bit ashamed but working on it. On that list are lots of completed series I am looking forward to marathoning through, some older than others. One I'm working on finishing only wrapped up last year and that is The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken. If you didn't know she has a new book Passenger, part one of a duology, that came out this month that I just adored, full review here. Now I started her Darkest Minds series last year and read through book one in a weekend but then kept getting snagged up reading book two with life and other reading commitments. I held off on posting my review hoping to be able to post all three in a relative close time so with book two finally complete I'm ready to push myself into finish the series and share my thoughts. So today I'm discussing TheDarkest Minds, book one.
Rating: 5 Stars
Kids suddenly come down with this disease that is sweeping the youth of America and it is killing or leaving the kids affected with powers. There are five different powers that seem to develop and we follow the journey of Ruby who at only ten has her life changed forever. She is sent to Thurmond, a horrid government controlled "rehab camp" that is more of a prison than rehab. After being in the camp for six years and hiding the fact that she is one of the more dangerous ones she is found out and barely escapes with her life. She has nowhere to go and no idea what her next move is when she runs into a small group of kids like herself. She is drawn to them and their search for the so called safe haven of East River but she is terrified of getting close to anyone and hurting anyone else with her uncontrolled ability. Still with both the government and the rebels fighting the government both searching for you finding someplace safe is the best option.
I do like the powers aspect to the story. I also find it interesting that everyone has one of similar abilities rather than everyone having some completely different ability it gives a set of boundaries and rules. They are labeled by color: green, blue, yellow, orange, and red. I also enjoyed that the majority of the story focused around our core group of characters and we really got to know them and feel for them. When Ruby stumbles into this ready band of friends you can see how close they are. Liam, Chubs, and Zu have been through lots together already and their connection is very clear and powerful. Each with their own personality, Zu so sweet and adorable I just wanted to hug her so often and Chubs do I love him and his random facts and point blank attitude. Then a more open and welcoming member with Liam. He has this sweet southern boy kind of generosity and kindness even in a world like this.
I enjoyed the story and while the beginning was more action packed and active the middle had more story development than action but I didn't find that to be a problem for me. I enjoyed getting to know everyone and watching Ruby's struggle. While at times it did seem a bit excessive that she was convinced she was such a monster and unable to really be close to anyone despite many reassurances otherwise, knowing what she's been through and that she went into the camp at such an early age it really did fit with her character. Story wise though there were bouts of action and intrigue throughout but more towards the beginning and end. The only thing I had a bit of a struggle with and I will say this every time but it's more personal preference than anything is chapter length. I find I fly through books with shorter chapters fast, maybe because if the 'one more chapter' mentality that can lead to half a book later but when the chapters seem like forty plus pages it's harder to do that and makes finding a stopping place harder for short reading breaks. But again just a personal thing there.
Overall, I really enjoyed the world building and the characters and was hooked with that ending. I needed to know more. I'm glad I didn't have to wait a year for the next book to find out what happened to some of my favorite characters. The journey in the story it all made sense and fit the world I was pulled into. Please share your thoughts on the book below in the comments I'd love to hear what your favorite part was or who was your favorite character. I look forward to discussing Never Fade soon and hopefully finishing the series as well.
Until next time…have a great weekend!