The Darkest Minds

Hardcover | December 18, 2012

byAlexandra Bracken

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When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

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From the Publisher

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children,...

Alexandra Bracken is the #1New York Timesbestselling author of The Darkest Minds series and Passenger series. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. After working in publishing for several years, Alex now writes full time and can be found hard at work on her...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 1.5 inPublished:December 18, 2012Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1423157370

ISBN - 13:9781423157373

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Customer Reviews of The Darkest Minds


Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Extremely Creative Alternate Universe This was awesome! A dark alternate universe where kids with superpowers are seen as enemies and imprisoned and tormented. I love the way the powers were divided, and the world building was fantastic. The characters are all amazing, with Ruby being a strong, realistic protagonist, Liam being charming, strong, loyal, and absolutely wonderful, and Zu and Chubs being fantastic sidekicks. I can't say that I was happy with the ending– if this had been a standalone book, I would've been PISSED. But I am totally invested in this series now and want to see where it goes from here! I miss Liam already!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! I have never read anything like this before! The plot is so interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of reading this book. There are plenty of twists and turns in this series to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Alexandra Bracken has a gift and it should be shared with the world.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from i loved this book This book was honestly really good, it had characters that are very lovable and the situations that they were put in are really shocking and you can see how the characters work together and how their relationships form.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh... The characters in this book fell flat for me. I didn't really connect to any of them. Yeah, there were times where I did feel bad for them, or was shocked at what happened, but overall, they just fell flat. The only character I really enjoyed was Chubs. I felt like there wasn't too much action, but there was many plot twists, which I did enjoy! Most parts of the book, like the characters, fell flat for me. Not many scenes really sparked my interest. Despite all of these negative things I'm saying, this book was a decent read, and I am planning on continuing on with the series (in hopes that it improves)! This particular book just wasn't for me, but I think anyone who is even a little bit interested in reading it should definitely give it a read!
Date published: 2016-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Predictable This wasn't a bad book per say. I didn't mind reading it, but I thought it was pretty predictable. I felt like I knew everything that was going to happen before it did. Maybe I just have some latent mind powers though. You never know. I didn't really connect with the characters and I thought the relationships weren't as fleshed out as they could be. I didn't feel the love between Liam and Ruby as much as I wanted to and I felt it even less between Clancy and Ruby. I thought the best described relationship was between Ruby and Zu. So yay for female friendships! But I would have liked there to be more. It felt like there were missing scenes for me to believe that these characters were all friends and for Liam and Ruby to be so connected (because they weren't "in love" which was actually a nice touch), but the ending didn't make me sad, it just made me shrug and say well I'm sure they will be together eventually. Clancy wasn't a surprise to me at all. You know why? Because there always has to be the token good guy and the token bad guy for the heroine to choose between. Why can't both guys be good and nice for once. Like I would like to surround myself with Peeta Mellarks and just live out that life. I am taking a stand against the "bad boy but not for me" trope and saying "NOPE I'M NOT HERE FOR THIS" because ugh. I'm sure we will see more of Clancy though so yay. I thought there was some weird pacing and the beginning was really slow. I thought maybe there was going to be more about the powers and their development because isn't that what the book is about? But no, we got minimal exploration into the powers and really minimal "powers" in general. The most that we saw of the use of powers was at the end or in random bursts from Ruby. I would have liked the training sessions with Clancy to be more drawn out because I kind of didn't believe the ending. I thought Ruby had way too much control for what we had seen from her before to do what she did at the end. But this is still a solid book. There is a pretty predictable and followed through plot happening from what I can tell. It's a trilogy but it feels like it probably could be a duology in my opinion. But I will be continuing and I will have more thoughts. And I am told I will probably like Vida. So here's to hoping!
Date published: 2016-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This book blew me away.
Date published: 2016-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow... At first I was completely drawn into this book and series. As originally I was just looking for something new to read. But at a bit past half way, I wasn't sure I even enjoyed where the storyline was going. But I immensely enjoyed the ending chapters and over all story. Can't wait for the next one.
Date published: 2015-10-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Strong start I know exactly why I picked up this book.....that cover. I love that cover. I seriously could not request this book fast enough. The combination of music and death as the focus of the story was just calling to me. I don't even understand why a book's cover is still so important to me since I do almost all of my reading on a kindle....but it is. I ended up thinking that this was a decent book but in my mind it never quite lived up to the cover. This book started out really strong for me. Beth is part of a band that happen to be a close group of friends. Her boyfriend is missing and most people believe that he may be dead. Beth proves to be a fighter very early in the book when she finds herself in a position to fight off a would be rapist. There was just the right balance of dark and mystical things going on to really hook me. Then Beth is accepted at a boarding school for musically gifted teens and the book took on an all too average feel for me. Everyone at the school has some type of special ability and Beth must learn about what she is really capable of doing. The mystery surrounding the school and Beth's abilities kept my interest to a point but the book became much easier to put down after the opening scenes. At times I really liked Beth but there were also times that I couldn't connect with her at all. None of the other characters in the book really stood out either. The boarding school that Beth went to should have been really exciting but it just felt so average to me. I did find the connection between Beth and Vincent to be interesting. I think that Xavier's character had a lot of potential and I feel like he has an interesting story to tell but he just didn't get enough time in the story for that to be fully developed. I thought that this was an okay story that I am glad that I read. This is the first book by Lisa Amowitz that I have read. I am not sure whether I will continue with this series right now. There were a few interesting threads that I would like to see picked up in the sequel so I may give book #2 a chance. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Spencer Hill Press via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Date published: 2015-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING this book is amazing you definitely should read it its very unique and cool trust e you won't regret buying it!!!
Date published: 2015-10-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from take it or leave it I could either take this book or leave it. It had a lot of potential but really it was nothing special. Ruby could erase my memory of it and that would be ok with me.
Date published: 2015-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Action packed with a touch of romance The characters are lovable and their development through out the book is fantastic. This book could easily be made into a TV show!
Date published: 2015-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book :) :) great book
Date published: 2014-11-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not sure what all the hype is about... i thought it was slow and i really didn't like the writing. protagonist ruby was ok. i don't find her intriguing or very interesting. in fact none of the characters besides zu i really cared about. i thinnk zu is the main reason i stuck through the entire book there were a few times i wanted to give in and forget it. bought this due to all the raving reviews from chapters and good reads for the beach in dominican republic. i found i was more interested in reading magazines than this book. i knew right away after 50 pages i wasn't going to invest time any money or time into the series. i was really hoping it would pick up, but i found it mediocre. by page 380 it picked up a bit and i went through the book faster. now that i am finished i don't think i'll be moving on to the sequel. although the end of this book is better i liked what bracken did with the ending. she needed to do that to continue on with the series. in the end it moved to slow for me. i've been reading so many first books of so called great YA series and nothing has compared to hunger games or the lunar chronicles. i'm looking for a book with action, growing up, hope, love, loss and most importantly plot originality. (i just listed all aspects of YA series) move along this book is over hyped.....maybe it's just me. but nothing special here.
Date published: 2014-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read! If you ever see this book at Chapters, GRAB IT. This book will suck you in to the apocalyptic world it protrays and leaves you dangling with action, suspense and kindling love. The ending made me cry a bit, and if it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, then you have no heart. I loved how the author made the sweet innocent children we all know and love into cold-blooded killers and protective, nurturing adults into evil spineless cowards.
Date published: 2013-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommend! Amazing book/series. A must read!
Date published: 2013-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is crazy good, you need to read it.
Date published: 2013-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Suspenseful & Thrilling Introduction to Trilogy! The Darkest Minds may have been my first time reading a novel by Alexandra Bracken, but it certainly won't be my last! I was completely intrigued by the concept of teens gaining special abilities and then feared by adults because they're not "normal" anymore. Set in the near future, The Darkest Minds is a dark imagining of a post-apocalyptic America that is crumbling apart. After she accidentally erased her friend's memories a year ago, Ruby has since then been terrified to speak or get close to anyone, afraid her uncontrollable powers will hurt someone she cares about again. When Thurmond begins new tests to discover any of the more dangerous kids remaining in hiding within the "rehabilitation camp", Ruby is given an opportunity to escape. On the run, she meets Liam, Zu and Chubs, a group of runaways who escaped their own camp to search for East River, rumoured to be a safe haven for teens like them who the government is so adamant to capture. There may be many thrilling, action-packed scenes in The Darkest Minds, but I think it's the empathy you feel for Ruby, as she struggles to accept herself and break down the barriers she's erected, which will draw you in most as a reader. I loved watching her tremendously grow as a character as the story progressed. Ruby begins as a girl weakened by fear, but emerges a strong young woman by the end of the novel, one who doesn't back down from making difficult decisions. She's a lot more powerful than she even realizes, and it's with Liam's help that she begins to open her heart again. Liam is a warm and kind person, always seeing the best in people despite living in a cruel world where everyone only thinks about their own survival. I absolutely loved Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds and couldn't set the book down for even a moment! The ending left me gasping in shock and my heart anguished, so I'm desperately awaiting the release of Never Fade, the second novel in the trilogy! You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2013-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC! Februrary turned out to be a really good reading month for me when it came to reading. I read quite a few amazing books last month and The Darkest Minds was on of them. In fact out of the whole month this was my absolute favourite read. I had had this one on my TBR list since March of 2012 so it was great to finally get my hands on a copy and start reading. I thought that Alexandra Bracken's sophomore young adult novel was an awesome showcase of her talent. I expected this to be the usual dystopian read where the girl has strange powers blah, blah, blah. But I was completely taken by surprise. Instead of the whiney, angsty novel I was expecting I was taken on a fast paced adventure ride. I absolutely loved the story of Ruby. As a character she is near the top of my favourite young adult heroines. She's smart, funny, awkward, and willing to do anything she can to keep her new friends including her love interest Liam safe even if it means making the reader (me) scream at her in frustration at the end of the book. If you've read the book you'll know what I'm referring to. Anyways, back to Ruby. I loved the fact that she struggled with her ability throughout the entirety of the novel. She didn't go from being awkward to a super confident stuck up girl like many characters do after they experience life changing moments which I really appreciated because no one likes a perfect character. The other characters were great too. Even the bad guys. I really liked getting to know Zu, and Chubs. They were both interesting characters though Chubs always seemed to make me laugh at his snarky remarks. Liam though takes the cake when it comes to side characters and love interests though. He's the good guy which I love seeing in young adult noels because I find that the "bad boy" love interest thing is way too over done. I loved how protective he was of Ruby and anyone else who needed his help. The story line was interesting. I liked that it centered around a disease that killed off the majority of Children but left those that remained with certain abilities. Plus the whole segregation of the kids with these abilities from the general public was interesting. The writing of The Darkest Minds was quite spectacular. It was fast paced and had many plot twists that I loved. The fact that it wasn't a straight forward love story but more of a thriller was great. I loved how the author was able to create such real characters that were perfect in the fact that they were flawed like everyone else. I also liked that this was a bit of a darker, more grown up YA novel because the author wasn't afraid of dropping the F-bomb and other expletives every once in a while. The dialogue between her characters was very well done as well it flowed easily and wasn't robotic or forced. What I loved the most was that the story of The Darkest Minds was able to draw me in for hours at a time and left me saddened at the end of the first book wishing there was a sequel readily available for me to read immediately. I'm completely and utterly enthralled with Ruby's story and I really can't wait to see what happens in the sequel when it's released. For me this is probably one of the best YA books I've ever read and I'm so glad I read it when I did. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves YA novels. There's a bit of romance, a lot of betrayal, violence and will keep you wanting to read into the wee hours of the night. Alexandra Bracken gives a likable female heroine that readers can invest in and one who they'll cheer for.
Date published: 2013-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling Read I ripped right though this book - I loved the premise of the kids all getting strange powers around the age of 10 and that Ruby was one of the dangerous ones. It was horrifying to think of how people had reacted to the situation. It shows how people can deteriorate and do horrible things they never thought possible in scary situations. I liked Ruby and really felt for her. I could see why she stayed quiet and tried not to attract attention, even when she disappointed others. Then she escaped and things changed. Ruby evolved. She became almost a new person, though she still kept her old self with her, kind of like most of us when challenged. Sometimes her lack of confidence or the fact that she was hiding a big secret did get frustrating, however. Her relationship with Liam, Suzume and Chubs. These were definitely some of the best parts of the book. These were all great characters. And the romance between Ruby and Liam was nice - it was great to have a romance where the boy is not moody and controlling, even though his is gorgeous and tough. I also enjoyed some of the twists in the book - they were clever. And the ending... I won't say anything, but I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Date published: 2013-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good! 4.5 maple leaves! =D The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken made me feel so many emotions! I felt panic, tenderness, horror and happiness. This novel goes from heart-wrenching to heart-racing moments and Good Lord! I enjoyed all the ups and downs and loops Miss Bracken delivered on the first installment of this brand new series! When Ruby was ten years old, a virus killed most of the children's population of the US. Just a few children were not affected by the virus (or maybe they were, but they reacted in a totally different way) In fact, the surviving children developed extraordinary abilities and were soon taken by the government that isolated them into camps. Here, children were classified by colors. Blue and greens and yellow were the ones whose skills weren't too dangerous, while red and orange were a threat. Treated like a slave, Ruby spent 6 years in one of these camps until one day, someone helped her to escape. The whole concept and story of The Darkest Minds left me totally speechless. The children's camps, the different organizations such as The League, the PSFs, the freaking and cruel government, and project Jamboree (which I never saw coming) added a lot of content to the plot. In addition, the characters are amazing. They are multi-layered and full of charm! I love Ruby as the narrator and protagonist. I also love Liam as love interest but I specially love him because of his good and tender heart (he just the sweetest guy ever!). I love Chubs, too. He is funny, and geek, and made me laugh more than a few time. Zu is adorable. She is the cutest little girl and I strongly wish to see her in the next book. While we have so many great good characters, there is one boy who is very unsettling, his name is Clancy Grey. However, It was very hard for me to believe in this character. Was he too perfect? Yes. How does he know so much? How did he get all that wisdom? (specially after everything he went through at the camp. Needless to mention the bunch of studies they used the poor kid for). He was definitely too good to be true and it didn't make any sense, and for a moment, I thought miss Bracken was not doing a very good job with this character. But then, the author totally surprised me with a complex character development that went beyond my expectations. In fact, Clancy's complexity reflects the traumas he's been through as well as the role he plays in the novel. The More Ruby interacted with Clancy, the more she got to know him, and the more I started to realize that my first judgment was completely wrong. Miss Bracken perfectly added tones of details that perfectly fit together, polishing a solid character that greatly satisfied me. However, there is one little detail that bugs me. **spoiler alert** that by the end of the book, Ruby suddenly knew how to perfectly use her skills. She spent so much time training with Clancy, yet unable to control her power (not even when she most needed it at the most dangerous time, not even to when she needed to defend Liam from Clancy), so I just don't get it how she figured it. For Ruby, It seems that everything just "clicked" but I wish I had an explanation. **end of spoilers** Regardless the one and only concern I have about Ruby's power, I certify that The Darkest Minds is an excellent novel and amazing start to a new series! The Darkest Minds the perfect novel to end this 2012 that has been full of phenomenal releases! (Count this one among them! ;)
Date published: 2012-12-04

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

In the not-so-distant future, most of America's children have died; but those who live find that they have psychic abilities that range from moving objects to getting inside people's minds. Sixteen-year-old Ruby, using her powers as an Orange, has escaped the survivor facility she has lived in for six years. She has also used her abilities to make the doctors believe she is a more docile Green. Now Ruby intends to keep her secret, even from new friends, including handsome Liam, persnickety Chubs, and the mute but sweet, young Zu. This ragged band searches the Virginia countryside in hopes of finding the Slip Kid, who seems to have outsmarted the government. Instead they find trouble on almost every turn of the page, but eventually discover what seems to be a youth utopia. Bracken is skilled at ramping up the action, but there is so much going on here, it's hard to keep it all straight. Still, the character development is good, and the book's ability to tackle larger issues is solid. In the end, Ruby must make an important decision. Then it's on to book two. - Ilene Cooper-Booklist