Category Archives: Young Adult Science Fiction

Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

the-darkest-mindsTitle:  The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre:  Young Adult Science Fiction

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.’

Summary from 

My Review:  I picked up the Darkest Minds because I saw the news that is was going to be made into a movie, which always intrigues me, and I loved Passenger by Alexander Bracken, and wanted to see what some of her other books were like.  The concept is quite interesting and heartbreaking at the same time.  All of these poor children, who have survived a massive plague, only to be ripped from their families and put into camps where they are tortured and killed is not an easy thing to read about.  Our main character, Ruby, was an amazing heroine.  She has been put through hell, and when she comes out of it, she reacts realistically to situations.  She does not magically transform and become better, but slowly comes into her own and gets her strength from within.  I loved her, I loved how she matured and grew through this book and came to understand how strong she truly is.

There is a slow building romance in this book between Ruby and Liam, which was pretty adorable.  I loved Liam, he tries so hard to take care of everyone around him first, but he has it bad for Ruby.  It is pretty apparent from the beginning, but she is just too traumatized from everything going on to let that fire burn too quickly, which I appreciated.  Ruby has been through a lot, and she needed to sort through many issues on her own before she could let someone else in to her world.

I absolutely loved the secondary characters as well, Chubs and Zu, they added comic relief in very tense moments, but were also well developed.  I thought they made such an impact on the story and I loved all the page time that both of them got.

The only thing I would say negatively is that I thought it was a little too long.  At almost 500 pages, it is a longer book and I do not think it needed to be that long to get across everything that was portrayed.  I will be interested to see what it looks like when it is made into a movie, because I think it will speed up the plot and help move things along at a better pace.

Overall, I liked the Darkest Minds.  I thought it was a good read and honestly I have already finished the series, so while I may have minor issues with it, I did enjoy the series as a whole.  I wish someone had picked out a better cover for this series though, because you really have no idea what kind of book you are getting with this cover and it does not do the contents of the book justice at all.  Now that I have finished with this series, I will be anxiously awaiting whatever Bracken will be writing next.


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Book Review of The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

Title: The Rise of Nine

Author: Pittacus Lore

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Release Date: August 21st, 2012

Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I’d been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we’re looking for the others–including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York–but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they’ll have to fight us first.

Summary from

My Review: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, I Am Number Four (review here) and liked The Power of Six (review here), but did not love it. However, The Rise of Nine renewed my faith in this series because it was amazing! It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the flow of the book because the perspective switches every chapter between, Six, Four and Seven, but each character has their own font type which helped distinguish whose perspective I was getting. Four is separated from Six and the others, so it was nice to get a sense of what was going on with all of them, but it was a little confusing at first. When we switch we also leave the character we were just following in some kind of predicament that makes it impossible to not keep flipping the pages to see what happened to them. It was a very clever way to keep me moving forward in the story because there was no way I could walk away while one of these characters was in trouble and not know what happened to them.

While we met Nine briefly in The Power of Six we get to spend a lot more time with him in The Rise of Nine. While Nine may have seemed to be a little annoying at first, he is hilarious in a fight scene. He does not to take too much seriously and his snarky comments during a battle kept me highly entertained. Here is an example:

“I hear the hammer of a gun click. We freeze. The trucker with the aviator glasses waves a .50 caliber Desert Eagle at us. I don’t know everything about guns, but I know this one packs a very big punch. He sounds pretty serious when he asks, “Which of you wants to die first?”
Of course Nine steps forward, crossing his arms over his chest. “Me.”
He raises the gun towards Nine’s face and laughs at what he thinks is just bravado. “Don’t tempt me punk. Killing you will be the highlight of my day.”
“Well then shoot. No reason to put off the highlight of your day. You don’t look like you get a lot of them.” Nine says. I sigh, knowing this is all going to end badly.”

It also helped to see that not all of the Nine get along with each other right away. They are adolescents and although they might literally have the weight of the world on their shoulders, they all still have moments when they act their age and just get frustrated with one another. The tension between Four and Nine lasted for a good portion of the book, but growing pains are to be expected when there is so much pressure on them and they are losing people they love in this battle. They are also two teenage boys who have different viewpoints on what is important and that caused them to constantly butt heads.

The action in this book is literally non-stop. I don’t think there is one chapter where something is not happening, such as a fight breaking out, the Mogadorians attacking, someone on the brink of death, or a huge revelation get dropped in the form of the Lorian history or legacies developing. It was amazing how much Pittacus could fit into these books with these characters and I was glued to the pages as it all unraveled before me.

The Rise of Nine does not end on a cliffhanger, but there is no way you could get all the way through this book and not want to come back for the next one! There are too many unfinished storylines to walk away from the series now. I have not heard any news about the next book, but I keeping my fingers crossed that it will be released soon! I am dying to see how all of this will end and how The Garde will finally stand up to and defeat Setrákus Ra. The first two books in the series were good, but this one was absolutely awesome! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fantastic science fiction book with some stellar fight sequences.

Wide Open by Deborah Coates Giveaway

Thanks to the awesome publishers from Tor, I have a copy of Wide Open by Deborah Coates up for grabs today.

All you have to do to be entered to win is fill in the form below. It is open to US/Canadian residents only. The contest will run until midnight Friday April 13th 2012. Want an extra entry? I will give you a bonus point if you tweet or link to this contest (Twitter, sidebar, facebook, etc.) and be sure to put the link in the form. I will use to pick the winner. Good luck to everyone.

This contest is now closed.