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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Bracken Paranormal More of the Same Ole, Same Ole

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ruby Daly wakes up on her 10th birthday expecting the usual fanfare—hugs, kisses and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.  That's not what happens.  Not by a long shot.  What does happen gets Ruby sent away to a government-run camp for "special" kids like her. Six years later, she's still there, still trying to understand the dark, dangerous powers swirling inside her.  The harsh "rehabilitation" camp hasn't changed Ruby, except to make her more cautious, more lonely and more scared.  Kids on the "outside" don't live past age 10; kids in the camp do, but to what end?  To become powerful machines with no families, no friends, no futures?  Ruby doesn't want that kind of "life."     

When Ruby sees a chance to escape the camp, she takes it without looking back.  But "freedom" isn't quite what it's cracked up to be either.  Now, she's on the run, hiding from various enemies, one more cunning than the next.  She doesn't mean to involve anyone else in her problem, but hooking up with a small band of fugitives like herself might be the only thing that can save her.  Or kill her faster.  As her pursuers get ever more desperate, it's starting to look like the latter ...  

The Darkest Minds, a new paranormal YA novel by Alexandra Bracken, has received all kinds of buzz around the book blogosphere.  I'm still trying to figure out why, exactly.  Yes, it's an intense, non-stop action kind of book, but, the story line feels way too familiar.  Like something I've read before—over and over and over.  Same goes for the characters, the romance, the, well, everything.  Add copyediting issues to the mix and you see why The Darkest Minds just didn't earn my eternal book love.  It kept me reading, I will say that.  It just needed some originality, a streamlined plot and a better-developed cast.  In other words, a major re-write.  No biggie.      

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of the Gone series by Michael Grant; Doomed by Tracy Deebs; and a little of the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman)

Grade:  C

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language (a few F-bombs, plus milder invectives), violence, and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Darkest Minds from the generous folks at Disney/Hyperion.  Thank you!



  1. SO glad I wasn't alone in my dislike of this book. I feel a little bit dumb every time I read a glowing review :)

    1. I know! And here I was feeling all generous giving it a "C"! LOL

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Well, dang. The Kindle sample sucked me in an I still kind of want to know what happens. Hey, I just noticed you've got 700 followers!! Yay!

    1. If it makes you feel any better, I think Melissa and I are in the minority on this one. I've seen lots of really glowing reviews for THE DARKEST MINDS, so, who knows, maybe you'll totally love it.

      Yay for 700 Followers!

  4. I really have no desire to read this one. I wonder sometimes why books get shook much attention. Buy you knew that. ;-)

    1. I wonder the same thing. Have we had this discussion before? LOL

  5. I was wondering about this one, and decided not to read it when I had the chance. After reading your review I have no regrets.

    1. Oh, good! I mean, the book kept me reading (even though it got long), but it just wasn't anything special, you know?


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