In The Darkest Minds' series, kids have developed super powers. We don't necessarily know why or how, just that they have. This adds a whole different dimension to the society, whose kids either die or gain these powers. There are several different groups (the Federal Coalition, the US President's group, a supposedly children's rights group, parts of society, skip tracers, and some of the kids themselves) who are basically in a power struggle and aim to destroy or manipulate these kids and the situation. The characters are just a handful of many who are trying to survive.
Kids are labelled with colors according to the powers they developed. Here are the various categories that the kids with powers fall into:
Green: Greens are super-intelligent. They are believed to be the least threatening.
Blue: Able to use telekensis (to move objects with their mind). Are more threatening than greens.
Yellow: Able to control electricity and, thus, also electronics. They are moderately threatening.
Red: Able to control fire, even creating sparks and fire out of nowhere and blow things up. They are very threatening.
Orange: Able to control minds. This includes to manipulate thoughts and actions, but also to completely erase someone's mind. Most threatening.
In an interview on The Skip Kids, this was the author, Alexandra Bracken's, response:
"Hmmm... would you believe I've actually never thought about this question before? Statistically, I think I'd probably be a Green--there are so many more of them in comparison to the other colors, though it seems a little egotistical to claim I'd definitely have super-powered intelligence. I don't know that I would want to be a Yellow since I have a hard enough time not destroying technology as it is without accidentally messing with their electrical charges. Red... yikes. Being a Blue might be useful, and Orange--the idea that you could influence anyone to get anything you wanted--is awfully tempting. I think I'm going to stick with Blue!"
The Darkest Minds
(The Darkest Minds #1)
by Alexandra Bracken
December 1, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
(The Darkest Minds #1.5)
by Alexandra Bracken
July 16th 2013 by Disney Publishing Worldwide
Gabe’s life has been devastated in the wake of the economic crash. The only option left for someone like him to escape his tragic past is to leave his small town behind and to attempt to become a skip tracer. This already almost impossible task is made all the more difficult by his first score, a young girl who won’t speak, but who changes his life in ways he could never imagine.
Never Fade ARC
(The Darkest Minds #2)
by Alexandra Bracken
October 15th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
About the Author
(from her website)
I was born in Phoenix, Arizona and spent all of my life there up until college–I miss it all of the time, but primarily when I’m forced to deal with ice/snow/mass transit/or some combination of the three. I’m a middle child, which supposedly means I’m full of angsty feelings of neglect, but, in reality, it just means I’m always sandwiched between my older sister and younger brother in Christmas pictures. On a whole, I had a pretty typical childhood, with only one big exception: my dad is a big time Star Wars collector, which means I went to more antique shows, toy stores, and Star Wars conventions then you could ever imagine! No, really, I’m up to six conventions. I will now pause to let that soak in…
I recently graduated with a degree in History and English from The College of William & Mary in Virginia. (Four years in Colonial Williamsburg is enough to give anyone a sense of humor about life, trust me.) I began writing Brightly Woven there during my sophomore year as a birthday present to my dearest, darlingest friend Carlin… and finished six months AFTER that date. The number one question I get asked is how I wrote a novel while I was still in school. There are two answers to this: sacrificing a social life and a depressingly effective will to see even the most futile projects through. I signed with my agent on my 21st birthday, and sold it later that year. I spent a good portion of my senior year buried under edits, and the rest of that year trying to figure out what else I was going to do with my life.
After graduating, I left my colonial bonnets behind and moved to New York City, where I attended the Columbia Publishing Course. I am now happily situated on the other side of the publishing industry, working in children’s book marketing. That’s all to say that you should come up and say hi if you see me at a conference–I’ll even recommend a few good books for you!
Have you read any of the books in this series? What do you think about kids having super powers like this?
One US or international winner gets to choose a copy of The Darkest Minds or a pre-ordered copy of Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken.
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Here is the entire Apocalypse! schedule:
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Jeyn Roberts: Dark Inside
Christy@ Love of Books: Annie Walls: Taking on the Dead
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Heather Hildenbrand: Imitation
Christy@ Love of Books: Megan Crewe: Fallen World Trilogy
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Laura Bickle: The Hallowed Ones
Christy@ Love of Books: Em Garner: Contaminated
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Ann Aguirre: Outpost
Christy@ Love of Books: Jesse Peterson: Living with the Dead
Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings: Alexandra Bracken: The Darkest Minds
Christy@ Love of Books:Dana Fredsti: Plague Town Series
Christy@ Love of Books: Christy's Apocalyptic Picks
Maja@ The Nocturnal Library: Alden Bell :The Reapers Are the Angels