The Darkest Minds tells the journey of sixteen year old Ruby Daly. In her dystopian world, a mysterious disease has risen that only attacks young children and causes Ruby to be sent to Thurmond, a concentration type camp, at the age of ten. The children that are sent there are those who have survived this disease and as a result have developed special abilities. By a lucky encounter, Ruby has the chance to escape and comes across the path of Liam, who helps her in finding a safe haven. The novel follows Ruby through the dangerous path she now has to follow.
I found this novel so enticing and gripping that I couldn’t put it down, it is just such an emotional and riveting story and I really look forward to reading the next books. Bracken writes in such a sensational way, that the story just flows really easily and I was completely hooked from the first page. She seems to take a new twist on the dystopian genre and I found her concept of making it so only children were affected, made the novel that much more haunting and thrilling. Her language/ writing style is simplistic in the sense that it’s easy to understand yet holds a lot of detail and allows you to become closer to both the story and its characters. Bracken has the ability to create a world that you can imagine living in and relate to the situations that occur and yet one that seems to be disturbingly memorable.
The protagonist, Ruby, has such a large character development throughout the novel and her vulnerability within this dark world causes the reader to feel more of an understanding to her character and allows you to become much more closer to her because of this humanity that shines through her. This is enhanced by the first person narrative voice as you see and feel everything that Ruby goes through, as if you were her. I became so enthralled within Bracken’s world and her characters that I needed to finish the novel to find out what happens and I wasn’t disappointed. She builds up so much tension that I constantly kept reading each chapter trying to see what would happen next. I can’t wait to read what else is awaiting Ruby in her journey of survival.
I definitely recommend this novel to those who love dystopian novels, like The Hunger Games or divergent. Bracken makes this novel very realistic having a flawed yet strong protagonists, as Ruby is a character that you will find both annoying and yet admirable. I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more of Bracken’s work.
No. of pages – 488
Publication date – 18th December, 2012
Rating – 4/5 stars
Genre – Dystopian, Romance
Quote – “The most important thing you ever did was learn how to survive. Do not let anyone make you feel like you shouldn’t have.”