2 Apr 2015

REVIEW: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

Title: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian.
Publication Date: November 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Format: Paperback
Pages: 485
Rating: 5/5
Book Depository

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 IANN, 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.

The Darkest Minds is one of my all-time favourite trilogies, but as I’m sure you all know, the final book can really make or break a series. *cough* Allegiant. *cough* I was kind of terrified to read this one. This series really means a lot to me and I absolutely adore it and all of the characters. I didn’t want it to be terrible, and so I put this off for ages. I really didn’t have to worry, because this was phenomenal.

From the moment I entered this world, I loved it. Back when I started this series I was very heavily into YA dystopian and a lot of them just sort of mixed together, but this always stuck out. I like the darkness in dystopian world, and I especially love this one because of the fact that it could have me terrified and crying one page and then laughing my head off by the next page. I also loved that there was a sort of supernatural/superpower element to the story as well – it just really made it stand out to me.

The best thing, of course, is the characters. If you’ve been here a while or if you followed my updates on Goodreads while I was reading this, then I’m sure you’re aware of my love for Liam and Chubs. These two honestly made the series for me – I love their bromance, and how different they are from one another in a way that just totally works. They are probably my ultimate friendship – that’s how much I love them. In this book, they are honestly just as amazing, if not even a little better than in the previous two books. Anyway, let’s talk about some of the other characters. Ruby is brilliant, and she’s grown so much throughout the trilogy. In fact, all of the characters have grown and changed and I just feel like a proud mum because I want to snuggle them all. There were even a few characters that I didn’t think I cared about that ended up completely blowing me away.

You know what almost ruined me? The Liam/Ruby relationship in this book. I can’t even begin to describe the feels. If you’ve read The Darkest Minds (and Never Fade) then you probably understand. If you haven’t, well, ‘bumpy’ doesn’t even begin to describe them. There were times where I honestly couldn’t breathe because they weren’t happy and I needed them to be. I actually had to put the book down a few times so I could walk around my room and scream at them to work it out before I killed them. I’m a little too invested in this ship.

I’ll admit that this book isn’t perfect. The whole trilogy can be a little slow in parts. There’s a lot of world building and character driven events that tend to slow down the story, but I just love them so much that I don’t mind slugging through those bits to get to the good parts. I know this turns a lot of people off the series, but they really are worth giving a go. So despite those slow bits, I really liked the plot of this one. I think it ended really well and I just loved how everything was tied up.

It’s just hit me that this series is over. There won’t be any more Ruby and Liam moments to gush over, or any more Chubs quotes to laugh at. I feel kind of hollow inside now. What am I supposed to do now? Suppose it’s time for a re-read!