October 29, 2014

In the Afterlight Blog Tour: Review

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken! Today I'm sharing my review of the book - enjoy!

In the Afterlight (Darkest Minds #3)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion


Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are 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 the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. 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.


In the Afterlight is the explosive final book in the young adult science fiction/dystopian Darkest Minds series. Usually I do a small recap of the general plot of the book at the beginning of my reviews, but I'm going to skip the pretense and get right down to it. To be honest, I have no idea how to write this review - let alone what to write. I have a love/hate relationship with series endings (I imagine most people do). I want to know want happens in the end - happily ever after or not? But then again, I don't want the series to end. Why can't it just keep going for a few more books? It's honestly the definition of bittersweet. I don't do spoilers in my reviews, so it's going to be next to impossible to give many details without something slipping out. 
In order to talk about the final book in the trilogy, you have to go back to the beginning. In the first installment, we met our main character - Ruby - and learned about the deadly epidemic killing the majority of American kids and the "rehabilitation camps" where kids and teens with special abilities are sent. By the end of the first book, we're rooting our hearts out for Ruby and Liam and desperately waiting to see where things will go from there. I (like most other readers whose reviews I've read) was deep inside the story and totally vested in the characters. None of this changed in the second book - if anything, I was drawn even deeper into the story alongside the characters. Then the final book comes - and you know, logically, that it's the end and big things are probably going to happen. This knowledge, however, doesn't keep you from experiencing the intense emotional roller coaster that comes next. The writing was superb as always. Everything from the setting and the characters to the dialogue and the plot itself was done with such attention to detail and vivid descriptions and imagery that I easily fell right back into the story as if I had never left. And I stayed in there alongside Ruby until the very end - feeling everything she felt and then some. Let's just say it was intense (to put it mildly). I honestly don't know what else to say about this book that won't give anything away, and nothing else can come close to giving it the justice it deserves. I can honestly say that this book - this series - is unlike anything I've encountered before in the genre. I loved the psychic kids with their varying colors and abilities. I loved rooting for Ruby and the rest of them as they fought against the government to gain their freedom and reveal the truth. Heck, I even loved the tension in the story when things were going badly and I wasn't sure what was going to happen next. Everything about this trilogy is simply mesmerizing - I literally lost myself in the world the author created and didn't really come back out until the very end of the last book. I won't lie - I wish there were more books coming in the series. There's so much potential for the characters and different plots that could spin off. I'm sad to see it end, but I know I'll be re-reading these books over and over for years to come. That being said, I can't wait to see what the author will come out with next. I have no idea what it might be about, but I do know that with her incredible talent and ability, I will have to get my hands on it. I can't recommend this book - or series - enough. I think everyone who enjoys YA fiction - and even those who don't - should read these books. There's something for everyone and the writing alone will blow you away - not to mention the characters and the plot itself. Do yourself a favor if you haven't read these yet: Make sure the next book you pick up is The Darkest Minds and hold on for one amazing ride.
By far one of the most original and greatest series I've ever read!

I was born in Phoenix, Arizona and spent all of my life there up until college–I miss it all of the time, but primarily when I’m forced to deal with ice/snow/mass transit/or some combination of the three.  I’m a middle child, which supposedly means I’m full of angsty feelings of neglect, but, in reality, it just means I’m always sandwiched between my older sister and younger brother in Christmas pictures.  On a whole, I had a pretty typical childhood, with only one big exception: my dad was a big time Star Wars collector, which means I went to more antique shows, toy stores, and Star Wars conventions then you could ever imagine! No, really, I’m up to six conventions. I will now pause to let that soak in…
I recently graduated with a degree in History and English from The College of William & Mary in Virginia. (Four years in Colonial Williamsburg is enough to give anyone a sense of humor about life, trust me.) I began writing Brightly Woven there during my sophomore year as a birthday present to my dearest, darlingest friend Carlin… and finished six months AFTER that date. The number one question I get asked is how I wrote a novel while I was still in school. There are two answers to this: sacrificing a social life and a depressingly effective will to see even the most futile projects through.  I signed with my agent on my 21st birthday, and sold it later that year.  I spent a good portion of my senior year buried under edits, and the rest of that year trying to figure out what else I was going to do with my life.
After graduating, I left my colonial bonnets behind and moved to New York City, where I attended the Columbia Publishing Course and worked in publishing for five years. I now write full time.

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 * A HUGE thank you to the awesome people at Disney-Hyperion for giving me a copy of the book for review!!*

1 comment:

  1. have been dying to read this book, but haven't gotten around to it
    Really enjoyed your review!
    Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things