Tag Archives: Alexandra Bracken

Initial Thoughts: In the Afterlight

intheafterlight

Author: Alexandra Bracken | Pages: 535 | Series: Darkest Minds Trilogy, #3 | Rating: 5 stars

So with this being the last book in a series I don’t want to give a synopsis around this little bit here to risk spoiling anyone who hasn’t read the rest of the series yet, so I decided to try something different this time and just give you my notes I wrote when I finished In the Afterlight,rather than give a full review. I tend to type up or write a little after I’m finished with each book in order to give me something to look back on when I write up the review, so I thought I’d let you take a look at one just to give you an idea of how my mind works when I’m haven’t had time to compile my thoughts. Or compose them, even. Everything below the cut is literally copy-and-pasted from my notes. I figure this could be fun, or it could be a complete disaster. We’ll see!

Oh, and if you couldn’t already tell, there will be A LOT OF SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT. Please don’t read any further if you haven’t read the last book and/or don’t want to be spoiled on some of the events in the Darkest Minds series. Also, there will be a small bit of language so if you don’t like cursing, you might also not want to read it.

Okay, moving on!

EDIT: THIS IS THE CUT, BECAUSE THE READ-MORE TAG ISN’T WORKING RIGHT NOW, at least not on my screen. So, if you don’t want spoilers, please don’t read past here.

Continue reading Initial Thoughts: In the Afterlight

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December 2014 | WRAP UP

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a great New Years!

For those of you who may have been wondering where my monthly wrap ups have disappeared to since my last one in July, you haven’t missed much. I read a little in the beginning of August, but I fell into a rather long book slump towards the middle where I just couldn’t find the motivation to actually finish anything. Combining that with computer troubles (hence the incredibly sporadic blog updates) and life in general, I haven’t really read much since then.

Thankfully, the end of November seemed to find me pulling out of that slump, and I managed to get through 9 books in December.

172H

1. 172 Hours on the Moon, by Johan Harstad

The first thing I picked up in December was 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, and since I’ve been in a pretty considerable reading slump since August, I decided to pick it up.

I think the most relatable review I’ve read is this: “I don’t know how I feel about this book.” Honestly, neither do I. I did a slightly more in-depth review earlier in the month, which can be found by clicking on the book’s picture above.

I generally lean towards 3 stars when I think about this book, but due to the ending I gave it 3.5.

seraphina

1. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman

I really enjoyed this book! I definitely had a few problems with it, but for the most part they were minor and overall it was a fun and enjoyable read.

I gave this book a solid 4 stars.

Graceling

3. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

Graceling was my re-read for the month. I absolutely love Cashore’s characters, especially Katsa and Po, and the relationships between them. This story was just as wonderful the second time.

4.5 – 5 stars.

revolver

4. Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick

I debated doing a full review on this book, but then decided that I just didn’t have enough to say. While it was an enjoyable enough read, the writing was nice, and it was the type of book I found easy to fly through (I read it in two hours), nothing particularly grabbed me.

I gave this book 3 stars.

teo

5. The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller

Most of what I have to say about this book I mentioned in my full review, which can be found by clicking the picture above.

This book received a 2 star rating on Goodreads.

Brightly-Woven

6. Brightly Woven, by Alexandra Bracken

After having read Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds trilogy and loving it, I knew I also had to pick up her earlier novel.

Overall, I enjoyed it. You could definitely tell that it was her debut novel, and I think that in her defense trying to make your novel an epic fantasy in 350 pages is incredibly difficult to do anyway.  The story was slow at times, and jumpy at others. There were scenes I wish we had been able to see, and not just heard about second-hand after the fact (fighting a dragon? Sign me up!). However, for what it was I think that Brightly Woven did a decent job. Although there were some questions I definitely wanted answered at the end, for the most part it left me satisfied.

I gave this book 3 stars.

reboot

7. Reboot, by Amy Tintera

This book was a lot of fun! I know it has some mixed reviews, but personally I enjoyed it. There were a couple of times when the writing seemed a little rushed and the whole ‘girl works for organization until boy comes along and shows her another way’ trope is a little overdone, but overall I really liked the characters and the idea behind the world. I liked that although this is a duology, Tintera still wrapped it up nicely at the end, so it could be read as a standalone if you wished.

4 stars. (You go, Glenn Coco)

rebel

8. Rebel, by Amy Tintera

I liked the way this duology was wrapped up, and I thought Tintera did a good job with keeping in with the true spirit of what a sequel should be: something that adds to the story in a way that doesn’t feel forced or unnecessary. I liked the character development, and thought it was interesting to see the differences between Wren and Callum when faced with more “moral” situations than the first book.

This book also received 4 stars.

Fire

9. Fire, by Kristin Cashore

After re-reading Graceling earlier in the month, I found myself in the mood to continue my reread of the series and picked up Fire. As with the first time I read it I had a couple of issues with it, but for the most part it was an enjoyable enough read.

I gave this book 3.5 – 4 stars.

So that’s my December Wrap-Up! Overall I enjoyed most of the books I read this month, and I’m excited to see how my reading in 2015 progresses.

What books did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Never Fade

neverfade

Author: Alexandra Bracken | Pages: 507 | Series: The Darkest Minds Trilogy (#2) | Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I suppose, all things considered, that I should have just waited to finish Never Fade before reviewing The Darkest Minds and then reviewed them as a set, but oh well. This review will just end up being a little different, as I don’t want to give too much of a synopsis and risk spoilers.

Basically, the story takes place about six months after the end of The Darkest Minds. With the help of some new companions, Ruby goes on a trip to find a certain C.S.’s “jerk-ass little brother”. Said brother has recently come into accidental possession of an important flash drive – one that may contain important information about IAAN.

Yes, I know. That was incredibly descriptive, right? That was first-class non-spoilery description.

Okay, yes, I know it sucked. I’m sorry. Moving on.

As with its prequel, I found myself greatly enjoying Never Fade. The writing and plot were just as interesting, and once again Alexandra Bracken proved that she could easily write a huge variety of character personalities. No two characters in these books felt the same, and I really appreciated that. In addition, every individual character’s past and backstory affected them in real, honest ways which is something I find can be somewhat lacking in some stories.

I think the one thing I’m somewhat on the fence about is that there were six months between the books, which was six months of character development that we didn’t get to see. Due to this, when the characters started coming together again there was a sort of ‘getting-to-know-you-again’ period while we tried to figure out how they had changed and why. Some characters were a little easier to figure out, because we had more of an idea of what they’d been up to during those months, but for some of the characters we only got a small glimpse of what had happened to them and so it was a little more difficult to understand the changes they’d gone through.

That being said, I also appreciated the character development during the time we didn’t get to see. More often than not, I find books skipping large periods of time and then when it comes back to the story, the characters are just like they were when we left them. In a few cases that works alright, but most of the time it just comes across as unrealistic. People are always changing, and to expect them to be the same as they were six months ago (especially considering the challenges and conditions they’re faced with) just doesn’t work.

SPOILERS UNDER THE TAG. Continue reading Review: Never Fade

The Darkest Minds

TDM

Author: Alexandra Bracken | Pages: 488 | Series: The Darkest Minds Trilogy (#1) | Rating: 4.5/5 stars

There has been a lot of hype around this series on the book blogs and BookTube community, and usually if I go into a book surrounded by so much hype I come out disappointed. So it was with some hesitation and a relatively open mind that I first picked up this series. All that being said, I’m very glad that I did.

The Darkest Minds is set sometime in the near future, wherein a strange neurological disease begins to affect America’s children. IAAN, as the disease is known, is fatal to most. Those who do manage to survive it find themselves exhibiting strange new powers, some of which are more dangerous than others. These children are then sent to government “rehabilitation camps”.

The story follows Ruby, a young girl who was sent to one of the camps on her tenth birthday. Now sixteen, she manages to escape and runs across a rag-tag trio who claim to be looking for the last safe place for children like them – East River. And through it all there are people who will never stop looking for them, people who would do anything to use them in their fight against the government.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. The plot line kept me interested, the writing seemed well thought out, and the main characters were all engaging. Ruby probably knew more than I might expect in someone with a fourth-grade education, but not so much so as to make it feel completely unrealistic. I enjoyed watching her character develop throughout the book as she slowly grew to gain better control over her powers. As for the trio, I liked the diversity in their personalities. From Chubs, who takes a lot longer to warm up to strangers, to Liam, who’s naturally friendly and just wants to see the good in everybody, I felt like there was a good mix.

And, oh, Liam. The stereotypically sweet, friendly Southern boy, but oh if it doesn’t work for him. I kind of just want to hug him and protect him forever. Besides, who can resist a well-placed “darlin’”?

68 pages into Never Fade, and it’s looking like this book will end up being just as gripping as its predecessor. But oh, why do we have to wait until October for the finale?