Reviews for Darkest Minds


Booklist Reviews 2012 December #1
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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
One of many children locked up after a nationwide epidemic of extrasensory powers, Ruby escapes her prison camp after years of psychological torture and joins a group of kids searching for the elusive leader of a resistance movement. Healing friendships, a warm romance, and Ruby's fraught relationship with her own power add tenderness and complexity to a familiar action-packed dystopian setup.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 May #2
Imagine a not-too-distant future in which 98 percent of America's 10- to 17-year-olds have fallen victim to disease, and the remaining 2 percent are imprisoned in "rehabilitation camps," thanks to a paranoid government that fears the powers they possess. In this haunting novel, 16-year-old Ruby joins up with a small group of fellow camp escapees in search of the Slip Kid, a near-mythical figure who promises shelter and protection for kids on the run. Ruby is hoping for even more--someone to help her understand and control the tremendous power she possesses. Bracken (Brightly Woven, 2010) creates a gripping and terrifying dystopian world. Ruby is a reluctant heroine, strong yet vulnerable in equal measure, who will endear herself to readers. Each member of the small band of runaways traveling with Ruby is equally compelling and distinct, making the danger they face all the more terrifying. If readers can force aside nagging questions about the origins of these empowered teens and any implied connection between their powers and the illness claiming their peers, they are in for a great ride. Be prepared--the darkest minds do indeed "hide behind the most unlikely faces." (Dystopian thriller. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #5

Ruby was nine years old when the IAAN virus struck, killing an estimated 98% of adolescents across the U.S. Many of those who survived developed psychic abilities and face a perilous future, locked in brutal work camps. There are five categories of survivors, ranging from the less threatening Greens and Blues, with photographic memories and telekinetic powers, to the more powerful and dangerous Oranges and Reds. Ruby, now 16, is an Orange who has posed as a Green, and struggles to control her ability to see into others' minds. When an antigovernment group breaks Ruby out of her camp, it's the first step on a violent, unpredictable journey during which she forms a family of sorts with a group of fellow runaways. Bracken (Brightly Woven) has created a gritty, economically devastated near-future America where children are hunted and feared, and danger lurks even in the aisles of an abandoned Wal-Mart. Ruby is a strong and sympathetic heroine, and the story's quick-paced action leads to a heartbreaking cliffhanger that will have readers eager for the next book in this planned trilogy. Ages 12-up. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 March

Gr 9 Up--In this dystopian future, most preadolescents and adolescents are dead, brought down by a new disease, Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration. Ruby Daly and other survivors from her town are taken to Camp Thurmond by the Psi Special Forces to be tested, categorized, and, according to the PR, "rehabilitated." There is no rehabilitation, though, in the concentration camps for young people with special powers, just drudgery and punishment. Ruby hides a secret from the PSF-she is not a Green, but an Orange, someone who can affect other people's minds. Members of the Children's League help her to escape but she is soon on the run from them as well when she learns that they intend to use her to commit violence. She joins the small band of Liam and Chubs, who are telekinetics, or Blues, and Zu, who is a Yellow, a person who can control electricity and machinery. Together the four seek East River, a sanctuary whose leader, the Slip Kid, can supposedly get messages to their parents. Before they can find the camp, they have to evade PSF soldiers, bounty hunters, and the Children's League, as well as solve the riddle of its location. While this story is full of action, it is also given depth by the difficult choices that Ruby faces. There are some fairly disturbing events and images (torture, rape, blood splattering, etc.). This book is a natural for dystopia fans but romance readers will also enjoy the blooming love between Ruby and Liam.--Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

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