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The Darkest Minds proves not to be another Hunger Games

Amanda Shaw, Asst. Webmaster

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By now nearly everyone has read The Hunger Games or Divergent along with many other popular dystopian novels. The Darkest Minds, the first book of a trilogy by Alexandra Bracken, falls into this category, but don’t stereotype it: THIS BOOK IS NOT THE HUNGER GAMES.

The Darkest Minds follows the life of sixteen-year-old Ruby Daly as a plague sweeps the United States. Children between the ages of two and eighteen are affected as they develop certain “freak abilities” such as telekinesis, computer intelligence and code cracking abilities beyond comprehension. The affected children are labeled as Psi and are given a color to represent their ability after being locked away in rehabilitation camps where they do hard labor for the crumbling government. There they are deemed unequal to regular humans and stripped of their rights.

Ruby is an Orange. She can read minds and influence and erase thoughts, but her fear of her own abilities and hurting others causes her to be closed off and silent. After she escapes her camp, she falls in with Liam, Chubs and Suzume, fugitives on the run from their own camp, and the Psi Special Forces (PSFs). Ruby joins them in their search for East River, a supposed safe haven for Psi kids.

The character development in this novel is phenomenal, as Ruby struggles with self acceptance, she learns to control her abilities and realizes she is not alone. Liam also struggles with self forgiveness after his plan to help all the kids escape his camp in Caledonia doesn’t end how he had hoped. The characters are so diverse and well-developed as they struggle to overcome adversity and desire to make a difference.

The Psi kids trapped in labor camps are ignored by everyone as the government fights a war with its people and the public tries its best to survive in a country that’s “broke as a joke.” The Darkest Minds truly is a novel of fighting for equality and conveys the importance of the right to have a choice.

Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu are on no one’s radar but the PSF’s as they fight for their freedom and civil rights along with the rights of thousands of other Psi with no one to trust but themselves.

The Darkest Minds is by far one of the best dystopian novels I’ve read; it’s unique and isn’t like every other dystopian novel on the market right now. It’s definitely a book I would recommend to people who want to read a thrilling novel that they won’t be able to put down.

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