In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
by Alexandra Bracken
Summary: 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.
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Source: I purchased a hardcover on release day.
Wow. In the Afterlight was absolutely amazing, a wonderful and action packed end to one of the best YA adventure/dystopian/scifi trilogies I’ve ever read, and was such an emotional read.
Before I started, I reread The Darkest Minds and Never Fade to get back into the mindset and enjoy the beginnings all over again. I was terrified that The Darkest Minds wouldn’t live up to my previous hype in my mind, but it was just as amazing the third time around. I was anxious to start In the Afterlight and eager to see where the story would go.
It amazes me how much can happen inside of the pages. The books have never felt like there were enough pages for all of the things that happened or had to happen, but somehow, it all fit. It also amazes me how much I love Ruby and Liam, yet the book never puts their relationship on center stage, which is rare for any YA book and I loved that. I think I fell in love with everyone for who they were and grew to love every one of their quirks. I care so much about the characters in the series. But faced with the kind of world they were living in, the characters ignored their own wants in order to do the right thing all of the time. Ruby sacrificed so much in order to lead and be a better example, and sometimes denied herself the things she wanted most because she felt like she owed it to others to focus on something else. And with the only other Oranges being terrible, she fought hard to prevent ever being like either of them.
I cannot praise the trilogy enough. In the Afterlight was perhaps the best book in the trilogy because we finally got to see Ruby accept herself and quit fighting her own nature. However, The Darkest Minds might remain my favorite because of the nostalgia of Black Betty and the four friends on the road and I think perhaps that’s the feeling every one of the characters tries to hold onto.
There were so many jaw dropping moments in the book. There was so much hanging in the balance, so many hard choices to be made, and so much conflict. It was an incredible journey and I couldn’t believe how it ended. It was absolutely perfect. It made me cry, which is pretty rare in the first place. I’ve never read any kind of dystopian or scifi novel and cried, but that’s how much I connected with the characters.
I don’t understand how this series isn’t more popular. It’s one of the best YA trilogies out there and I think it’s incredibly underrated. I can’t wait to see more of the author’s works in the future and The Darkest Minds trilogy will definitely be one I reread over and over again. It’s one of the few series I’ve read through NetGalley and loved so much that I went out and got a hardcover because I had to own the finished copy.
Labels: Review, Science Fiction, YA