The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
In the future a mysterious disease, Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration (IAAN), decimates the youth population. Those who survive are left with unexplained and uncontrollable powers. The U.S. government, claiming to want to protect everyone and cure the affected, steps in and removes these children from their homes. Most children are sent to rehabilitation camps. Ruby was ten when she inadvertently used her powers, causing her parents to send her away. She spent six years in Thurmond, one of the most brutal government camps. Ruby manipulated camp officials into believing she has a harmless power. In reality, Ruby is dangerous. After six years in the camp her true nature is discovered. Even with the help of a mysterious stranger she barely escapes the camp alive. On the run, she is desperate to find an underground safe haven for kids like her. On the outside she meets another groups of teens who are also searching for the Slip Kid and his camp at the East River. For Ruby getting close to them is almost as frightening as the bounty hunters who are hot on their trail. Will they make it to safety? Will Ruby ever learn to control her powers?
In her sophomore novel Bracken (Brightly Woven) introduces a complex world populated with well-developed characters. There is lots of action, a fair amount of violence and plenty of suspense as the teen fugitives face danger at every turn. As a main character Ruby was inconsistent, but thankfully Liam, Chubs, and Zu stole the show. Unfortunately, they did not make up for the complicated and meandering plot or the poorly explained Psi powers color-coding system. For as long as the book is, very little time is spent on detailed world building and the entire story suffers because of that. After an amazing debut I had high hopes for this book. It is an interesting premise, but I just did not love it. I would have preferred more of Wayland and Sydelle’s story.
This book was provided by NetGalley for review.