- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Release date: October 15, 2013
- Series/stand-alone: The Darkest Minds, Book 2
- Number of pages: 507
- Format: Paperback
- Rating: 4 cookies
- Swoon spoon: Shovelful after shovelful (75-100%)
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
Holy crap, this book was good.
It might have started off a little confusing but man, did it rocket only upwards. It was kind of a slow ascent for me but it just kept going upwards all the way until the end.
If you haven't read The Darkest Minds, please turn back and return when you're through with that because there will be some spoilers here!
The first thought I've had when I opened the book was "When is Liam returning?". Oh my goodness, I semi-committed a book reader's mortal sin. I was more than a hundred pages in when I started flipping furiously page after page, scanning for Liam's dialogue or something. I had enough restraint to stop and close the page when my eyes landed on where he's first going to appear again.
Ruby's training from the League only served to make her more badass in my eyes. She already has the power to melt your brain, but then added with ninja training skills and she's a total assassin. In book one, she was this nobody and was just short of being a weakling. Fast-forward to book two's ending and you'd be surprised at how much she's grown and become a leader.
The story plots itself around this flashdrive that holds the key to everything. And Liam has it. Now, isn't that wonderful? Ruby sets out to find him along with Vida and Jude under a certain Cole's confidential op. Vida came off as really mean and snarky and I instantly had this hate for her brewing inside me the moment she stepped off the pages of the book. But then she turned it all around and ended up being one of my favorite characters. Way to go, Alexandra! Raised also under the League's wing is Jude, who I could totally imagine as this gangly not-really-teenager who's trying to be a tough guy. He's the one who brings pure innocence in the book and he'll always have a place in my heart.
The twists and turns form the from the mission spring out and this leads to them finding out and meeting new people and reuniting with old ones, which both has me gritting my teeth and feeling elated. The way the story has been nailed onto the setting only made the book's winter that much harsher, people willing to survive that much crazier, and the characters' drive much more fueled.
It's no secret that Liam's going to end up back in the story no matter what happened in book one. And there's this one scene that just feels like it's been materilized into this blade that sliced cleanly through my heart. That one cut through deep. Books and moments like these that make you feel something are the best kind of books.
Not only did the installment contain one heart-wrenching scene. The last part just threw a bomb right at my face and I didn't see that coming. Add that to the contents of the flashdrive and Alexandra Bracken just plants a nuclear bomb under your nose.
*COVER IMAGE AND SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS*