Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Darkest Minds series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I loved Bracken’s book Woven Brightly and was excited to read her version of a YA dystopian novel. This is a very well written book. It gets a bit long at points but it is very creative and very well written. The second book in the series, Never Fade, is scheduled for a November 2013 release.
Children start dying around the age of 10 years old from a mysterious disease. Shortly after this starts happening, humanity learns not to fear the disease itself…but the children who survive it. The survivors have developed crazy mind powers of different types. For their own safety and rehabilitation the kids are moved into camps. As you can imagine nothing good happens in these camps.
The story follows Ruby, a young girl admitted to the camps at the age of 10 years old. We hear about her life in these camps and then what happens when she goes back out into a world stricken with poverty and almost no children. We also know that Ruby has a dark secret about why she was taken to the camps to begin with.
The book is excellently written, engaging, easy to read and very creative. I enjoyed the world and the kids in it a lot. The idea of kids developing mental powers they can’t control is incredibly interesting. The kids are all rated by color. For example Greens are super smart, Blues are telekinetic, and Yellows can control electricity. Ruby isn’t any of these…she is an Orange.
Ruby is a very caring and passive girl who’s developed a very dangerous mind ability. She is an excellent character to read about. She comes across as a bit naive at times, but that is totally understandable given how she lived the majority of her young adult life in a camp. She is tough when she has to be, but a bit too trusting at times.
We never really get a good understanding of the why behind these diseases and the situation. Ruby is too busy trying to figure who to trust and who not to trust. We know that the United States is in poverty and bankrupt. We don’t really know why. I am hoping that part of future books in this series will be getting answers to these questions.
The plot gets more and more complex as the book progresses. There are different government factions, private gangs, and other groups…all of them want to use these kids with special powers for their own means. Despite all the complexity things never get too complicated to follow.
Overall this is a very well done young adult dystopian novel, I enjoyed it alot. It is very well written and the characterization is very well done. All of the characters are interesting and have a lot of depth to them. The world is interesting and mysterious and I can’t wait to read more about it. Definitely recommended to fans of YA dystopia. I will be picking up Never Fade when it comes out for sure.