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The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds

Written by Alexandra Bracken

Narrated by Amy McFadden


The Darkest Minds

Written by Alexandra Bracken

Narrated by Amy McFadden

ratings:
4.5/5 (521 ratings)
Length:
13 hours
Released:
Apr 2, 2013
ISBN:
9781469291550
Format:
Audiobook

Editor's Note

Dystopian superpowers…

Though the series originally came out in 2012, “The Darkest Minds” has only become more relevant with time: It’s hard not to think of the immigrant children being held in detention camps by ICE under the Trump administration while reading about teens that develop superpowers being rounded up into internment camps. The movie adaptation stars darlings Amandla Stenberg and Mandy Moore.

Description

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

Released:
Apr 2, 2013
ISBN:
9781469291550
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Alexandra Bracken is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Passenger series and the Darkest Minds series. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. After working in publishing for several years, Alex now writes full-time and can be found hard at work on her next novel in a charming little home that's perpetually overflowing with books. alexandrabracken.com @alexbracken instagram.com/alexbracken facebook.com/officialalexandrabracken



Reviews

What people think about The Darkest Minds

4.4
521 ratings / 89 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Critic reviews

  • "The Darkest Minds" series is poised to fill the hole now left behind by the end of the "Hunger Games" and "Maze Runner." When American teens gain superpowers, the adults corral them into internment camps to take care of the potential threat they pose in this increasingly timely dystopian. The movie stars young adult mainstay Amandla Stenberg ("The Hunger Games," "Everything, Everything") and the beloved Mandy Moore ("A Walk to Remember," "This is Us").

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)

    This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

    Cover Impressions: Very nice cover. Dark colors that portray the overall mood of the book and eye-catching imagery. Can't wait to see how this theme continues through the rest of the series (Dear God, please let this be the first in a series).

    The Gist: When children begin to die from a mysterious disease, it is discovered the those survivors are left with dangerous and frightening powers. A new special forces is quickly formed and the children are rounded up for "rehabilitation". At the age of 10, Ruby enters Thurmond and witnesses unspeakable horrors. When she escapes at the age of 16, the is quick to realize that it is not just the camps that had been the setting of these atrocities, but that the entire country had transformed into a dark and dangerous place.

    Review: I can see already that this is going to be one of those reviews where I simply cannot do justice to the fabulosity of this book. Just a few chapters in, I found myself exclaiming "holy crap this is good!" and that didn't cease until the last page was turned. I am beyond excited for the upcoming release date and cannot wait to get a copy for my classroom. The Darkest Minds transcends issues of gender and genre preferences in the same way that The Hunger Games did. It is exciting, fast-paced and full of genuine emotion.

    The world of this novel is horrible, but all too possible. Terrifying parallels can be drawn between the rehabilitation centers and concentration camps during WWII. It seems that danger lurks around every turn and almost no one can be trusted. The world building is intense and details are slowly unraveled as we move forward in the plot.

    The characters are wonderfully well written and developed so that the reader comes to love them, but also recognizes that they are flawed in a very realistic way. Their relationships are so genuine and the romantic angle is weaved into the plot so that it supports the action, rather than stealing center stage. The villains (about whom I cannot give many details without spoiling the storyline) are equally well written and aided the plot in becoming one of the more exciting and horrifying ones that I have read this year.

    I do not even know what else I can say. I am still reeling from the ending and wishing I was able to spend more time with these characters. Books like The Darkest Minds, are the reason I continue to love YA and why I get excited about bringing titles like these to the attention of my students. Alexandra Bracken, the YA world awaits news of the next release with baited breath - please hurry!

    Teaching/Parental Notes:

    Age: 15 and up
    Gender: Both
    Sex: Kissing
    Violence: Gunplay, Knifeplay, Mind Control, Concentration Camps, Execution, Possible Rape
    Inappropriate Language: Asshole, Shit, Piss, Bullshit, Fucking, Bastard
    Substance Use/Abuse: None
  • (3/5)
    Book Nook — Young Adult book reviewsMy journey with The Darkest Minds was a strange and complex one. My enjoyment was all over the place: up, down, and everywhere in between. The book started out pretty awesome. It put us right into the midst of things, it held back details to keep me interested.. it was great. But somewhere at the end of the beginning, my interest dropped off pretty hard. I felt like nothing was happening, it seemed like just a glorified road trip, I couldn't tell where the relationships were headed—or even where the plot was headed, and I didn't mind putting down the book. But at the end of the middle, things started picking up and getting intense again!So let's try to break this down...My first problem with the book is that we have very little back story. Or more accurately: it's there but it's never explained. We know that a disease killed off most of the child population. We know that the survivors have strange powers. We know that the government put those survivors in "rehabilitation" camps that were like prisons. The entire story is focused around these gifted children—Psi—seeking freedom and rights, but no one seems to question or wonder how they got those powers in the first place. And to be honest, that was my very first question. It's just like "Okay, so we all have these super crazy powers, we need freedom. That's all." Does no one care where they came from? Is no one curious as to how the heck these kids developed those powers?? We don't even get a hint that this question will be answered in the future; it was just ignored.Also, one more quick note, the powers were honestly a bit confusing because kids are classified by colour: green, blue, yellow, orange, and red. I came to understand that the higher the colour, the more dangerous the powers, but it was never clearly explained what each colour is. It was vaguely hinted that certain powers had a certain colour (i.e. telekinesis = blue; something with electricity = yellow; power over the mind = orange;), but I would have liked a clearer explanation of each rank. Unless I'm retarded and somehow missed those explanations during one of the "enjoyment low points" when my concentration was off...Moving on, I did not like the main character at all. Ruby was all about the pity parties. Her inner dialogue was constantly going on about how she's evil, she's dangerous, she's one of the bad ones, if her friends knew they would HATE HER, if anyone knew they would OUTCAST HER. Poor, poor Ruby. I'm trying hard to not sound like a bitch here, but oh my god, it drove me totally insane. And I felt like the 'big reveal' wasn't even that big of a deal. I mean, yeah it was scary and weird and okay, she's powerful.. but come on. We had a front row seat to her pity party every single chapter. It got old after a while and I just wanted to sew her inner dialogue's mouth shut.My last complain before we move onto the good stuff: the romance. The romance in this book had zero build up, and then it popped up out of nowhere. I guess it wasn't quite insta-love because Ruby and Liam were travelling together for a while, but they spent all that time travelling with next to zero flirtation or sexual tension, and then they were suddenly like, "Oh darlin', I've wanted you all along!" (Yes, he says "darlin'", I thought that was weird too.) To be fair, it wasn't horrible, it just could have had more build up. If the build up was better, I think it would have made an okay romance, especially because Liam is quite a likeable character (except for the "darlin'" thing, which made me feel like he was an 80 year old grandfather).This is all starting to feel depressing, so let's talk about the good stuff! The overall story behind The Darkest Minds is really interesting; we have powers, mind control, manipulation, government agents, conspiracy, and more! My love of the plot is one of the reasons that I'm dying to know more about the back story.Unfortunately, my favourite character is introduced towards the end so I'm hesitant to talk about him much, and my favourite part of him isn't even revealed until the very end! So I guess just know that there are a very wide variety of interesting and different characters. Some are annoying (like Ruby), but a lot of them have interesting personalities and they easily stand out from each other. Liam is sweet, determined, and a good leader—but he has flaws that you'll grow to love in some weird way. Chubs is totally weird and sometimes annoying, but he'll also grow on you.. especially near the end. And Zu is the most adorable character ever! I wanted to hold her, hug her, squeeze her, and protect her from the world.Overall, The Darkest Minds wasn't a bad book—I just wanted to see more from it. I wanted more explanations, more detail, and more answers. The story left off in a REALLY great place (and by "great" I mean it hooked me in and I want to keep reading), so that's very promising. I have some high hopes for book #2! The ending was set up in such a way that the second book could quite easily not be a 'filler'. Fingers crossed!
  • (5/5)
    The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken is one creepy, but good book! Something happened to the kids when mistake happened. The white noise buffer they always hear stopped. A strange loud noise pierced the air and the ears of the kids. Many kids died right away, others slowly, and others changed. Some slowly, others quickly. The government took all the kids to a brutal camp. One of the camp "doctors" save her and got her out of the camp, but she knows this doctor is going to use her. Very intense story. These kids have 'gifts' they use. Very cool book! Loved it. I got this at the library.
  • (2/5)
    [Cross-posted to Knite Writes]Where do I start?Yet again, I am sorely disappointed by a hugely popular YA title with an epic premise.On every front.There is honestly not much I can praise this book for other than its premise. The underlying idea of the story was fantastic — dark, intriguing, and full of promise…that never came to pass. Honestly, I’m more disappointed with this book than I was with Cinder — because I thought this book sounded a hundred times more interesting. I’ve looked forward to reading this one for months, and now…Good Lord.Anyway, let me stop moaning and get to the actual review.Let’s start with my biggest problem this time: the plot. As in, what the heck was that plot? Was that even a plot? I’ve read some pretty poorly structured books in my time, but I can’t actually recall the last book I read that had a plot as badly constructed as the plot of this book. The first quarter of the book is literally the most interesting part, followed by the last ten percent or so. Everything in between that is a combination of repetitive road trip scenarios and weeks of living the same days over again at a freaking camp. I was so bored for over half of this book that I literally started skimming at times.And to make matters worse — the writing.But before that, a brief aside: I often have this issue with YA where I find the writing style to be incredibly immature. As in, more appropriate for Middle Grade readers than the teens the book is supposedly being marketed toward. I find this disconnect grating, especially when the focus of the book is on older teens (16+), facing older teen issues — which, ding, ding, ding, it almost always is. It never ceases to annoy me that books about 16+ year-old kids are written with first person POVs that sound all of 12.And in the case of The Darkest Minds — it annoyed me more than ever. Because the themes in this book were so dark and disturbing that the contrast with the immature writing style made it the most awkward, paradoxical read I have ever forced myself to sit through. There was implied RAPE and ACTUAL SEXUAL ASSAULT in this book, along with a slew of mature language and violence. But the writing style made it sound like 1) the narrator was much younger than she actually was and 2) that it was intended for an audience younger than it actually was.It drove me nuts the ENTIRE book.For the love of GOD, people, please stop writing your 16-year-olds with the voices of preteens! They are NOT the same.-internally screaming-So, yes, the writing style. What a disjointed mess — that sounds a bit harsh, but…I can’t really phrase it any other way. The transitions between scenes in this book were downright awful and frequently confusing. Ideas jumped from place to place with no rhyme or reason. The foreshadowing and Chekov’s guns were basically shot at you with a rocket launcher and painted neon yellow — to the point where NO twist in this book was surprising. At all. I saw all of them coming light years away.Which only added to how boring this book was for me.And the style issues bled right into the numerous character problems.Oh, the characters. Let’s start with Ruby. One of the worst protagonists I have had the misfortune to read in a long, long time. Her woe-is-me attitude bogged down the entire book, especially given how often her “I’m a monster” insecurity was repeated in the narration. She was inconsistently characterized, split between being a shy, sensitive wallflower and a loyal badass — where each personality was exchanged for the other whenever it was convenient. She makes the dumbest decisions yet is praised for her actions repeatedly by characters who should be more capable than her.Okay, enough with Ruby.The rest of the cast…was equally terrible. Liam the love interest was as bland as an unsalted cracker. Zu was cute but became a “useful prop” whenever the scene called for it — and then was put on a bus when her character was no longer needed. Chubs, I suppose, was an interesting character, but he was pushed too hard into the devil’s advocate / voice of reason role too much/too often right after his introduction, and so, when he suddenly switched his views (seemingly between one page and the next), his character, too, came off as inconsistent.I’m not even going to go into the antagonists to any specific degree. Basically, everyone is an antagonist except the protagonists, and none of them are particularly interesting or well defined. This book is a classic case of Adults are Evil, plus the inexplicably psychotic kid here and there. Everyone is terrible, has ulterior motives, and fails to be utilized in the plot in any engaging or surprising way.So, plot, writing, and characters…what else was terrible?Oh, yes, the world-building. I was so disappointing by the world-building in this book. The underlying premise was so fantastic, but the world-building ended up boxed into the same tired dystopian tropes I’ve been reading for years. Nonsensically color-coded abilities. Death camps filled with abusive, horrible ADULT guards (that torment CHILDREN, of course). Generic post-apocalyptic American landscape conveniently missing most of the actual inconveniences of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Vaguely described events that shaped this horrible future but are never adequately explained. And so on and so forth.And…No, that’s it.That’s my rant for the day.This book was terrible across the board. It was boring. It was confusing. It has a cast of characters I couldn’t relate to and didn’t like AT ALL. The world-building, while it should have been excellent and rich, was lackluster at best. The writing style came off too young and caused an awkward disconnect between the narration and the actual content of the story.Suffice to say, I will not be continuing this series.
  • (4/5)
    Set in a what appears to be a present day America, children begin to die, and after some study, authorities realize it affects children by a certain age, Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration or IAAN for short. We meet the protagonist Ruby Daly in Thurmond, nicknamed by the child inmates as the "Warehouse", a grim work camp/prison for children - all who have had their systems affected by IAAN: some are "Blues", and can move objects at will; some are "Yellows" and can ignite fires, amplify electrical devices until they implode, etc; some are termed "Greens" have photographic memories,etc. and "Oranges" can dive into other's brains, see their memories, control their inner thoughts - even dictate their actions, and the most psychopathic of these were "Reds". In flashbacks, we learn that Ruby, on her 10th birthday, inadvertently "wipes" her parents' brains of any memories of her - and they turn her over to authorities, where they eventually take her to Thurmond; she quickly realizes that being "Orange" may set her apart for "further testing", and disappearance, so she tries to blend in with other "Greens" and survives in the camp for years. A group opposed to the official gov't policies of "warehousing"/testing, removing the affected children - the Children's League - breaks 16 yr old Ruby out of Thurmond, in hopes of using her in their efforts. Fearful of another "Orange" they picked up with her - the sinster Martin- Ruby escapes and comes across three other kids: Lee, Chubs, and Zu, and the book takes off as she and her three compatriots dodge PSFs (gov't security forces), ruthless skip tracers, ( kind of bounty hunters for escaped kids), and others in order to find the fabled "Slip Kid" and his camp for kids, somewhere in Virginia, a place of safety. While following many familiar tropes of the dystopian YA: teens going tribal based on abilities or loyalites (with colors even ..just like Divergent); a sinister federal gov't grappling with- in this case, economic disaster, and parents/authority figures who may not be the kids' helpers... and a teen girl with impressive powers that she wants desperately to hide from everyone, and believes she cannot control. Yet, the tense plot developments, the intense action scenes, the quick but incisive character descriptions, realistic dialogue & especially the sincere friendship that develops between Ruby and her pals "on the run" make this an enjoyable read. When Ruby and crew finally make it to the fable "East River" campground, where escaped kids are safe, and meet the "Slip Kid", Clancy Gray, the son of the President himself. This section of the novel did drag a bit - 100 pges - when we can see much sooner than Ruby can- what Clancy really wants of her. Nevertheless, I'm interested enough to read the next installment, but with the first book clocking in at 488 pages, this is for dedicated YA apocalyptic suspense readers.
  • (3/5)
    Children are dying in the United States. Those that survive develop unnatural abilities, and are classified by color according to how dangerous those abilities are. The totalitarian-leaning government in power imprisons them all. Some escape, and some are aided by shadowy organizations. Not all help is for the the children's benefit though, and no one can be trusted. Ruby, whose parents had called the police to come get her, is broken out of a camp by people she doesn't trust who want to use her abilities. Fleeing them, she meets three escapees from another camp and they join forces to seek a safer place.