NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

When kids start developing powers, they're categorized into colors that coincide with their power level - red, orange, yellow, green and blue - and then shipped off into concentration camps. "Rehabilitation" camps as they're so touted. Ruby is one such kid and she's shipped off to camp at the age of 10 thanks to an incident which she had no control over. Ruby knows her powers, knows how dangerous she is and she's hidden it well. And when those powers are about to be uncovered she has no choice but to run. Run from the people after her and run towards a possible sanctuary for kids like her.

This book was a massive disappointment for me. I wasn't overly fond of any of the characters and I spent a lot of time contemplating how unbearably boring Ruby was. There, I said it. That's not to say I didn't get why Ruby was afraid of her powers, I mean if you had the ability to dive into someone's head and erase memories and command them to do stuff it'd be pretty nerve-wracking. (Although truthfully, I found that aspect rather intriguing. Bossing people around? Yes please.) And what Ruby had gone through was traumatizing but I just couldn't bring myself to sympathize with her. I like strong, kick-butt, take-charge female characters. Ruby does not fit the bill with her fear of her own powers and constant blubbering about how she's a monster and everyone should just leave her alone. I was actually hoping they'd toss her to the curb because her constant whining was getting on my nerves.

Liam is Ruby's love interest and truthfully, he wasn't all that interesting. The romance was too fast and a little bit sloppy. For a moment, there was a love triangle going on there with another boy. I'm not going to reveal his name because that'd be spoilery but can I just say that he's pretty much a psycho and a control-freak and he reminds me too much of Warner from the Shatter Me series. That's not a good thing, mind you. And I wouldn't be surprised if he pops out in the next book for fun. 

Thing is, I could've done with minimal romance and more story because this book is actually really...confusing. The first half, actually no, around three-fourths of the book was one long trip to find the elusive Slip Kid - this mysterious rebel leader who was the answer to all their problems - and is very, very repetitive. They run, get chased by bad guys, escape, run get the drill. And after a few encounters like that I was starting to wonder what they were actually planning to do because from my viewpoint they were pretty directionless.

There are actually a lot of things I don't get with this book. The virus - where'd it come from, who created it, how does it spread, is it contagious, how do you contract it and why children? Another thing I'd like to ponder on are parents giving up their children - I mean each and every single parent giving up their child? Really now. Also, can someone elaborate more on their powers because while they cropped up now and again I've never actually seen them in use, save for a few instances. I also could not believe that the government cowered in fear of the children and killed off the more powerful ones, I would at least expected someone to make use of them. And the mention of rebel factions just made things more confusing.

And can I just add that ending pissed me off? I shaved off half a rainbow because of that cliched and undeniably predictable ending. Will I be picking up the next book? I honestly don't know. I'm a glutton for punishment and constantly put myself through excruciating pain - I've read a whole lot of books I really shouldn't have - and there's a possibility that I just might.