Released by Disney-Hyperion
Okay first, do you see the sentence made by the titles?
THE DARKEST MINDS NEVER FADE IN THE AFTER LIGHT.
- Judging from the amount of fan art around, this trilogy enjoys a lot of fame already. And it deserves the fame for reasons I will talk about in a bit.
- Okay, so this is a Stephie book by which I mean that it is…something like a dystopia only not? It straddles the uneasy territory between dystopian society and a post-apocalyptic society. So the premise is something like this:
- Due to reasons, children in the latest generation are born with powers that are considered destructive to society. They are designated colours according to their power and are isolated in guarded facilities that the public does not really know anything about. According to the series’s wiki page, here’s an alternative premise:
A dystopian trilogy based in a world where disease called the Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration, IAAN for short, plagued The United States of America. IAAN killed roughly 98 percent of America’s children when they were around the age puberty starts. Children that manage to survive were labeled psi, due to their newly developed psychokinetic abilities.
- Ruby, the protagonist of the piece, has a hellish existence in one of these facilities and I don’t remember how (I read the book quite a while ago) but she escapes. She is one of those dangerous people who can mess with your mind but her survival instinct has her pretending to be a more benign Blue who are (I think) more competent than usual with electronics. Or something. You know. She runs into a group of three other kids who are also escapees from different facilities and after tense moments pairs up with them.
- There’s romance that I ENJOYED. Oh gosh, all the feels. I loved how the romance is sustained throughout the three book story. Bracken is super-skilled at creating and then keeping a certain level of tension in her romantic relationships that keep them from being (or becoming) maudlin. I loved that the relationships grow, change for the better or the worse, and is something that the protagonist has to work at, to exert an effort for.
- Ruby is one of those protagonists who, I have seen people say, is bland. And yet, she was someone I could empathize with. Her horror at making her parents forget her entire existence is vividly portrayed. She grows in leaps and bounds throughout the three novels and I reckon is the strongest in the last one. Katniss comparisons are inevitable and she is a bit similar to Katniss but way more in touch with her own feels.
- The friendships in this series are what makes it such a good read. There are different, very diverse, characters with different personalities and conflicts and they come together and they create chaos and sometimes things go wrong with them and other times things go right. The interplay between them, their conversations and actions are so reflective of what adolescence as I perceive it is. Bracken is a master of the small human moments that win hearts (and readers).
- The story is satisfying. It doesn’t end on a particularly neat note and there is a sense of continuity–that the fight hasn’t been won but inroads have been made. That our characters’ lives will mean something more than just happy endings (even though I can tell you now that the ending is not sad). You know what I mean? The book is finished but the lives of its characters don’t end.
- The writing is brilliant and as I mentioned, the feels are immense.
- If you are looking for something that will keep you entertained and at the edge of your seat and you want to revisit The Hunger Games feels with regurgitating the story, this is the trilogy for you. The books are clever, sexy, and quick paced. At the same time, they are sensitive, reflect the diversity of our societies, and ask probing questions about humanity, progress, and material consumption. High recommended.