The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Alexandra Bracken's first big novel, when I first read it a few years back, was a gripping, if sometimes slow, piece of Twenty Minutes Into The Future YA dystopia - basically, a pandemic kills off most American children, and those who survive develop X-Men-style powers. (In this case, however, there are only five to choose from. Red = pyrokinesis, Orange = telepathy including mind control, Yellow = electrokinesis and technopathy, Green = polymath and increased intelligence, and Blue = telekinesis. I'll have to remember that better now - it was very hard for me to keep track sometimes when I read the series the first time.)
Rereading it, I found it to be pretty classic Bracken - full of interesting ideas, but also full of dead air and static because of its length. I mean, seriously, almost 500 pages - and there are two more novels this length in the series! Really, it's the tiny nuggets of interesting info that keep this story strong and addictive - especially now, when the book feels a lot more relevant as, like in the real world, it depicts a fascist "president" swapping time between DC and New York (although that may just be coincidence rather than prophecy, unless there's a secret Purple Psi power that Bracken has that we don't know about?) And at least President Gray is marginally more sympathetic than a certain Agent Orange...but maybe I'll be able to develop the comparison more (or less) after rereading the rest of the series. I've already got Never Fade on order, though it might be a while because my library has so few copies of that one, for some reason. Stay tuned.
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