Monday 22 April 2019

Book Review - The Darkest Legacy

Title: The Darkest Legacy
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds (Book 4)
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1786540614

Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume "Zu" Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.
Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn't trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country's recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

My Review
So, I have been totally addicted to this series over the last couple of weeks. The books were originally released as a trilogy and the third book had a nice conclusion but I still wanted more, therefore I was pleased to hear that there was in fact a fourth book released in the series. I then found out that it is set 5 years after the end of book 3 and is told from Zu's point of view - not Ruby's. At first I was a little bit nervous about this - not that i don't love Zu, because I do. But she hasn't got the same strength of voice as Ruby and I've come to know and love Ruby's narrative. But my doubts were wiped away withing the first couple of pages. Zu is not that shy, quiet kid anymore, she has grown up and now has a voice. She just has to decide if it's her opinions she is sharing or just following the rules of others. 
Then all hell breaks loose at a Press Conference and she is accused of committing some horrible crimes, she has to run for her life but try to find a way to clear her name.
On the way she meets two strange Psi's - Priya and Roman, but she doesn't know who she can trust, these two characters star off quite small but become a huge part of the story and I liked that even as readers we aren't sure whether or not to trust them, we see them develop just as Zu does. 
And don't worry - we still have Chubs and Liam in the story, and in a way Ruby too.
This book is written so well, that you're never sure what is going to happen next. I literally read this in 2 sittings, I would have done it in 1 if I was able. I just could not put it down, I had to know what would happen and I found myself gripping the edge of my seat, biting my nails and gasping, laughing, crying, smiling - pretty much a whole host of emotions. This was actually my favourite book in the entire series, it made me feel so much and swept me along with Zu and all she has to face. 
Alexandra Bracken is a magnificent storyteller and I am definitely going to be looking up her other series as well. 
I cannot recommend these books enough - you have to dive right in!

My Rating

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Book Review - In the Afterlight

Title: In The Afterlight
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds (Book 3)
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
Release Date: 17 Nov. 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1786540201

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.
They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.
Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

My Review
Having raced through book 1 and 2, I was desperate to get straight into the third book. Especially with how book 2 ended - talk about cliffhangers! I had to know what would happen to Ruby and her friends, especially after the horrific death (i can't say who as I don't want to give spoilers!) This book picks up just where the last book left off, we are straight back into the heart of the action and wondering what Ruby is going to do next. 
The group have very few options left, they are constantly in danger and not sure who to trust. They have a few plans to try and change their destinies but with obstacles in their way everywhere they turn, you know it's not going to be easy.
This book focuses much more on Ruby and Cole - the growing relationship of them as leaders with the odd hint of romance, though you know the only one for her is Liam! They are volatile and opinionated but work well together and the growing tension between Ruby and her other friends creates a tense atmosphere. 
I read the first half fairly quickly then struggled to find time to read, this may combine with a slightly slower pace towards the middle of the book, but I found myself beginning to drag my feet with reading it. I lost a bit of passion for the story and felt like I wanted things to just move a little quicker. I found myself in a bit of a lull with the book. There is a lot of discussions and planning what will happen, but not much action so the pace really does slow down. However I persevered with it and quickly enough the story started to pick up again. Bracken throws in some twists and turns just at the right moment to reignite your passion. At one point I was shouting at the book - I couldn't believe she would do that!!!
The ending rises in climax and gets very exciting again, I read the last 150 pages very quickly. Overall it is a perfect conclusion to the trilogy and everything comes together nicely without everything being tied up. There is hope for the future for the characters we have come to love and yet enough to make it a satisfying ending.
Though I am very excited to find out there is an extra book that follows told from Zu's point of view.
If you haven't read this series, I would highly recommend it. This series will take you by the horns and shake you up. I have really enjoyed it and will be sorry to say goodbye to these characters. 

My Rating

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Book Review - Never Fade

Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds (Book 2)
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
Release Date: 17 Nov. 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1786540225

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Review
If you think I read book 1 quickly, it's got nothing on this one. As soon as I finished book 1, I dived straight into this one and was once more swept up into Ruby's world and carried through a mix of exciting adventures, heartbreaking moments and shocking discoveries. I read this book in about 2 days - I just couldn't leave it alone (sorry for the delay in the review, just haven't had a chance to jump online).
We are back with Ruby, but this time she is working for the Children's League, Chubs is off - hopefully recovering from his injuries, and Liam doesn't know that Ruby even exists. We still don't know where Zu is, but my god do we hope she is alive. We now have a new team around Ruby - Jude who is so sweet and tries way too hard and then we have the sarcastic, rather aggressive Vida who you can't help but hate but rather admire all at the same time. It was weird without the original group and I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but I soon found myself loving the new dynamic, even whilst wishing the others were there too. Ruby then finds out that Liam holds the key to a possible 'cure' for their powers so she has to track him down again. 
This book had so many twists and turns that I felt myself being carried along with it in a swirl of emotions but I couldn't step away. I loved the change of pace and setting and felt that this book was so much more exciting than the first - and I didn't think that was going to be possible. 
Seeing the two different teams mix was briliiant, and Bracken handled the merge perfectly. I really can't push this series enough right now - Bracken is a legend. These books have really rekindled my passion for reading and I can't thank her enough for that. I am desperate to start the next book and see what happens next. 
If you haven't read any of this series - you have to start with book 1, but I suggest you find yourselves a copy and get stuck in - you won't regret it!

My Rating