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In the Afterlight: The Darkest Minds, Book 3

Review

In the Afterlight: The Darkest Minds, Book 3

In the United States, children have powers that have been classified by colors. The children have been sent to concentration camps, including 10-year-old Ruby. At 16, she escapes and her life changes forever.

IN THE AFTERLIGHT by Alexandra Bracken is the third and final book in The Darkest Minds trilogy. It continues right after the ending of the second book. Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Vida and Cole are faced with the aftermath of the city crumbling. Now, they must join together to survive and complete their original goal: to free the concentration camps.

This book was never dull; it always had something happening, which made me read it in one sitting. The plot thickens as they strive toward freedom. They have trials that no human, let alone child, should have to go through. They want the same things, but they conflict in how to get it done. This strains the tension in the group. As the story progresses, they figure out how to work together and accept one another.

Events and/or problems that happened in the other novels were brought up again in this book, which I loved. It made everything cohesive and tied the loose ends together…[IN THE AFTERLIGHT] was the perfect conclusion to the series.

The Darkest Minds is a very character-driven series. Ruby is the main character in the novel, and she’s one of the best female protagonists I’ve read in a long while. In IN THE AFTERLIGHT, she struggles a lot more than the others. At the beginning of the book, the group is two-sided and Ruby tries to be the mediator. She also struggles with her relationships with her friends because she holds secrets from them and won't accept help. She internally is at war with herself because she doesn't want to be the "monster" she thinks she is. During the novel, Ruby's character arc is noticeable as she finally learns to accept herself and help. Ruby suffers and tries to stay strong and make everyone happy, but loses herself. It's a very humanistic quality that I love to read about.

My first thought when starting the series was that I was going to get all the characters mixed up. Alexandra Bracken does a great job of making each character have her own unique personality. It was especially apparent in this book when more additional characters were introduced. I was never confused by who was speaking and I was able to imagine what they were doing. Something that I really loved about this book was that the characters reacted differently to the things that happened to them. This was realistic because people naturally react differently from one another. It helped individualize each character and made them easy to relate to.

The ending to the series was beautifully closed up. Everything came full circle. Events and/or problems that happened in the other novels were brought up again in this book, which I loved. It made everything cohesive and tied the loose ends together. The ending also gave you a sense of their future, but left it open for interpretation. Readers decide the ending, which I thought went well with the theme that we are in control of ourselves. Overall, I loved this book. It was the perfect conclusion to the series. 

Reviewed by Christa O., Teen Board Member on September 23, 2014

In the Afterlight: The Darkest Minds, Book 3
by Alexandra Bracken