Rated Reads

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, book 1)

by Alexandra Bracken

Rated: High

A strange neurological illness sweeps through the country, quickly killing most of the 8- to 14-year-olds. But those few who survive are discovered to have powers. They can move things with their minds, infiltrate others’ minds, or even control electricity. Of course, this means they scare the living daylights out of all the adults, and the government quickly rounds them up and puts them in “rehabilitation” camps, where the kids are horribly mistreated and even experimented on, in hopes of eradicating the dangerous powers.

Ruby is one of the survivors. She ends up living in a camp for six years. Then she manages to just barely escape with her life, and she winds up on the run with a few other teens, just hoping to find somewhere safe. One almost mythical place they hear about is East River, where a teen called the Slip Kid protects the kids with abilities. But will East River — and its leader — even be somewhere they can feel safe? Ruby would love to think so, especially since she’s fallen for Liam, one of her fellow fugitives. She just has to learn to control her abilities, because she can’t stand to think of hurting him, too.

The Darkest Minds is an action-packed page-turner. There are a lot of dystopian YA books out there right now, but this one has not just a riveting story, but a talented writer with a pleasing style. Good book. Now I have to wait for, yes, more in the series to be published.

Rated: High, (for young readers; a solid moderate for adults) for three uses of strong language, a fair amount of occasions of moderate and milder language, and plenty of uses of taking the Lord’s name in vain. There isn’t much in the way of sexual references (there is just a little chaste kissing and one scene of forced making-out which has few details), but there is a lot of violence and a fair amount of gore. It’s a bleak and dangerous world these kids live in, and there’s a lot of killing.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

2 Responses to The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, book 1)

  1. […] second book in a gripping dystopian series picks up the action from the first, The Darkest Minds, and just keeps running. The pace of this story seems to never slow. Ruby and her friends don’t […]

  2. […] Rated Reads Mrs. Reader Pants One Librarian’s Book Reviews […]

  • The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, book 1)
  • by Alexandra Bracken
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: