Overview (No Spoilers): As I was overdue for a new young adult series, I stumbled upon The Darkest Minds series as it held a position of prominence on a list of the current most reserved library books. Additionally, I’d observed this series reviewed quite highly among my fellow bloggers. Going into the The Darkest Minds blind, i.e., knowing nothing of the plot at hand, I found myself quickly drawn into the fray as our young narrator details a world in which her peers are dying off abruptly in mass, with the survivors exhibiting wonderful although unnerving gifts. Without going into too much detail, the survivors are shipped off into camps, for ‘their own safety’, in most heartbreaking fashion. Our protagonist, Ruby easily captures the reader’s curiosity and ultimate affections with her tragic tale and unique powers. Her adventure and mad dash escape works to captivate the reader with edge of your seat, page turning anxiety throughout the majority of this novel. Alas, after a promising, quick paced start The Darkest Minds made an unfortunate turn into the realm of stagnant and predictable. Overall, due to curiosity and early attachment to Ruby I will eagerly continue with this series, however perhaps with more realistic expectations with regard to the genre.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- This is the realist in me overthinking the situation but with Ruby only having a 4th grade education shouldn’t that have hindered her as she escaped? Also, she had basically lived in a camp during her formative years, which again should have caused issues outside of the only life she’d experienced before her 10th birthday. As a whole, her transition back into ‘normal life’ and interacting with boys and other ‘noncampers’ seemed a bit too seamless to me.
- Ruby’s infatuation with the first boy she encounters outside of came was another eye rolling moment. Their ‘relationship’ while has cute in some interactions, overall left the reader with a feeling their attraction being forced.
- I couldn’t believe Suzume would leave her group to venture out with the other Yellows? Will they be able to meet back up with her? Will she make the choice to talk again?
- Chubs is my favorite character! I loved his loyalty toward his family and the fact that he didn’t write anything in his letter was an absolute tear jerker. Did he survive? Honestly, he better have!
- Why isn’t Ruby crazy when all Oranges seem to be? Perhaps she will develop her own form of crazy? Will she find her Grandma?
- Clancy was such an interesting ‘bad guy’ because I so wanted him so badly to be normal. I wondered what triggered his slow progression toward disorder as he had apparently held a measure of self control until Ruby came into camp. I predict Ruby will take it to heart that he told her that she would never control her powers and then find out he was lying the whole time.
- Was this ‘mutation’ a worldwide occurrence? If so, how are the other countries handling it? It was mentioned in passing about sanctions placed on the US with regard to their treatment of the surviving children, but that doesn’t explain what happened in their countries. What caused the ‘mutation’?
- Will Ruby and hopefully Chubs be able to escape the Children’s League? Are there other Oranges out there hiding? Will Liam ever remember Ruby again (of course he will)?