The Darkest Minds
Book 1 Cover.jpg
Author/s Alexandra Bracken
Release Date December 18th, 2012
Publisher Disney Hyperion
Series The Darkest Minds Series
Pages 488
Preceded by
Followed by
In Time
Release Order
Released after
Released before
Never Fade

The Darkest Minds is the first novel in the Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

“They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were scared of us - the ones who lived.”- Alexandra Bracken. When teens mysteriously develop powerful new abilities, they are declared a threat by the government and detained. One of the most powerful young people, Ruby, escapes from her camp and joins a group of runaways who are seeking a safe haven. In the novel, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, Ruby and her friends Liam Stewart, Charles(Chubs) Meriweather, Suzume(Zu) face life and death situations and hardships.This intriguing novel is unique because it compels the reader to continue reading.

Plot[edit | edit source]

When a sudden disease kills children throughout the United States, it leaves the survivors with supernatural abilities. As a result, the government places the survivors in a "rehabilitation camp", where they attempt to cure the children of their disease, and categorize them into classes based on their abilities. On Ruby’s tenth birthday with her family, her parents were upset realizing she was the last child on the block. Seeing her parents concerned about the disease, Ruby goes to comfort her parents in the middle of the night, holding their hands, and accidentally erasing all their memories with Ruby. The next morning, her mother locks Ruby in the garage; having no memories of her, and she sends Ruby to Thurmond, where Ruby is determined to be an Orange, a dangerous class where they have the abilities to control other people's minds and memories. Ruby accidentally uses her abilities to convince her supervisor that she is a Green, the least dangerous one with extremely high intelligence. Six years later, Ruby is found out to be an Orange following a test using a frequency that is only detectable by Oranges. Doctor Begbie,(AKA Cate), helping Ruby reveals herself to be part of the Children's League, an organisation that uses the survivors as soldiers and helps Ruby in her escape from the camp. The two make their way to a gas station, and a suspicious Ruby makes her escape from the station with a quiet little girl named Suzume, a yellow who has the ability to control electricity. Suzume, Zu for short, introduces Ruby to her friends, Liam, a Blue who has telekinetic abilities, and Charles, Chubs, a blue as well, agreed to let Ruby join them as they try to make their way to a safe haven, led by another Orange, the "Slip Kid". The group heads to an abandoned mall to gather supplies, where they cross paths with more survivors, who give a clue about the location after Ruby slips into their minds getting the letters 'EDO'. Chubs deduces that 'EDO' stands for the numbers '540', which lead to a radio transmission, revealing the location of the haven. The group makes their way there and along the way, Ruby and Liam begin to develop a romantic connection, but Ruby refuses to touch him, fearing that her powers will hurt him. At the haven, "Slip Kid" is revealed to be the president's son, Clancy, who teaches Ruby how to control her powers, and in turn, has Ruby teach him how to erase people's memories. After Clancy assaults Ruby, Liam attempts to escape with her and Chubs but are stopped by Clancy and the other kids under his control. Liam is nearly beaten to death and their escape plan fails. Ruby goes to face off against Clancy who turns out to be no match to her. Chubs comes to her rescue and they are able to hide while Clancy's soldiers raid East River and capture most of the kids. Liam avoids capture by being dragged away from camp by some of the other camp kids who managed to evade capture. However, he returns to camp and is reunited with Ruby and Chubs the following morning. Together they gather what supplies they have and use Clancy's laptop to find Jack's father's whereabouts so they can deliver his letter. Upon delivering the letter, Chubs is shot by Jack's father and Ruby uses the panic button given to her by Cate to call for help. Chubs is taken away to a hospital for treatment, while Ruby and Liam are captured by the league. Ruby makes a deal with the league promising to work for them in return for Liam's freedom. As Liam would never leave Ruby willingly, Ruby uses her powers to erase herself from his mind, causing him to leave her behind.

While reading this intriguing book, the element that brings it to life are the characters. In this case Ruby Daly, Liam Stewart, Charles (Chubs) Meriweather, and Suzume (Zu) Kimura. Let us start with Ruby, a beautiful young lady with curly brown hair and green eyes, our main protagonist, an alluring character in the book. Ruby was born in the state of Virginia and had very average first years of life. Eventually however, the first signs of IAAN appeared. Ruby was, for the most part, oblivious to it, very guarded by her parents and teachers. Her first true interaction with the disease was when she witnessed Grace, her classmate, die in fourth grade. After Grace, tons of kids followed, reaching a point where half her class had died, and she was the only living kid in her block. Then there is Liam Stewart, a blond guy with vibrant blue eyes, our second protagonist. Liam is considered the leader of the runaway group that consists of Chubs and Zu. He was the mastermind behind the escape plan that got hundreds killed and few kids out of the Caledonia camp that held many powerful children captive. He is a Blue, meaning he has telekinetic powers that came in handy throughout the book. He is charming, and he is described as handsome. He is a trustworthy person, and an older brother figure to his two younger companions. Next up we have Chubs, our third protagonist. Chubs was sent to the IAAN rehabilitation camp in Caledonia. Here he meets Liam and Zu. When Liam makes a plan to escape, Chubs and Zu are some of the only ones to make it out alive with him. The three friends band together and steal a minivan they name Black Betty. They stay together avoiding PSFs and skip tracers and eventually meet up with Ruby Daly. Chubs is a very loyal friend, but has a hard time with new people. He finds it difficult to trust people he just met as is evidenced when he meets Ruby for the first time. His loyalty to his friends is very strong as is shown in how he strives to protect Liam, Zu, and Ruby. Last but not least, we have Zu, a wonderful girl with black hair and brown eyes, our last protagonist. Zu was sent away by her parents after she short-circuited her dad’s car in the middle of a freeway. Zu is first seen in an abandoned gas station by Ruby, who pursues her to the van she, Liam, and Chubs are traveling in. Through the entire book, Zu doesn't speak at any point. According to Liam, she hasn't said a word since they broke out of Caledonia because of her traumatic experience with the escape and her time spent at the camp. Ruby convinces Zu to let her in the van and Zu covers her in a blanket when Cate comes looking for her. She and Ruby form a close friendship in the time they travel together.


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