December 24, 2014

Latest Read: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3) by Alexandra Bracken
Publication date: Oct. 28, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian/Paranormal
Source: Purchased
Summary: Ruby and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup and Clancy Gray, son of the president, is their prisoner. They're armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehab camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids. Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire. (greads.com)

The good
When I reached the last page of In the Afterlight, I thought to myself that one, it was the perfect ending to this series and two, I wasn't ready for their story to be over. And by they, I mean Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu. Beyond the high stakes at hand, wanting these kids with abilities to triumph over what had been done to them and hoping for a happy ending – the part I've always looked forward to with each new book has been reuniting with these characters. They're memorable, detailed and feel absolutely real. From their individual personalities to their dynamic as a group. In the Afterlight reminded me of this and as always, Alexandra Bracken balances character development and moving the plot forward smoothly. The book begins with the aftermath of the government's attack on Los Angeles. The kids, agents of the Children's League and their prisoner Clancy are trying to get to a save haven to plan their next move. But this allegiance is obviously fragile and while Ruby is determined to make the world right for kids like herself, there are many obstacles along the way and secrets that need to be revealed (ahem, Cole!).

There is a lot going on in this book! There's an internal power struggle between the Children's League and the kids with abilities, figuring out who should lead them (Cole? Liam? Ruby? If you ask me, all three!), Clancy's mind games, trying to free more kids from camps, stopping President Gray entirely and determining if there's an actual cure for IAAN (the disease which killed most of American's children or gave them powers). It's a lot to juggle but it works and never feels as if too much is going on. What surprised me though was that I didn't fly through the book. I read it over the course of three days and I realized it's because I wanted to savor every word. I love this author's writing. She captures the urgency of their plans and the turmoil so many of these characters feel (Zu totally made me cry!) but also tempers them with happy moments. Like the passion between Ruby and Liam, Chubs whose snark and caring makes him both funny and lovable, Zu who is the heart of the group and even Vi (who was introduced in Never Fade) grew on me with her outspoken nature. I feel like my review isn't doing this book nearly enough justice but I had no idea how everything would end and the direction the author took this series in was just right. So, so right.

(No) Reservations
No reservations here! But can we please have more stories about them in the future? Novellas are a thing now. Just saying.

Do I recommend?
I do! There are a lot of books about kids with abilities and this series is by far one of the best.

Happy reading!

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