Tuesday, July 24, 2018

It Starts with a Spark • The Darkest Legacy

US cover
Here’s how I know that I’ve read an amazing book: when I finished reading The Darkest Legacy, it was 12:45 in the morning and I was so hyped up on adrenaline and feels that I couldn’t sleep for another hour and a half because my mind just wouldn’t calm down. It’s been some time since then, and I still get such a rush of feelings just thinking about The Darkest Legacy. Because it was just so darn incredible, and I will not be able to rave about it enough.

(This is probably a good time to mention that, if you have not yet read The Darkest Minds series from Alexandra Bracken, you are going to be spoiled for it if you read any further. Also, you should definitely fix this by going out, getting a copy of The Darkest Minds from your bookstore or library, and reading it ASAP.)

The entire premise of The Darkest Legacy is as follows (and this was taken from Goodreads, as I don’t think I can do this synopsis justice using my own words):
Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume "Zu" Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive. 

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn't trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country's recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.
I don’t read a lot of dystopian fiction these days, but I knew I was going to be making an exception for The Darkest Legacy. It’s a spin-off of a series I loved and about a character I hold dear to my heart, so it was a no brainer! And holy moly, but did Alexandra Bracken succeed in writing an impressive new story set against the backdrop of the world of her first series, only five years later when everything (and everyone) has changed.

UK cover
Here’s a brief list of all the things I think Alex wrote about wonderfully in this new book of hers:
  • Suzume “Zu” Kimura | Alex did an incredible job portraying Zu’s personal growth, including the PTSD that Zu suffers from after all that she’s gone through and the way her thoughts are shaped and informed by the experiences and ideals she possesses.
  • Roman & Priyanka | I loved these two new characters so damn much. They were instantly alive off the page just based off of their very first interaction with Zu, and I kept growing fonder of them as the story progressed.
  • Familiar faces | I’m not going to tell you who is mentioned or who shows up, but suffice to say that I am very pleased by how Alex wove some familiar folks into this story. It allowed Zu to be the primary focus, but it also gives fans like me some fun bits to be excited over.
  • The banter | I’m always here for the banter. And for the clever commentary. The sheer amount of sass in the comebacks in this book is perfection.
  • The plot | Slow starter, this one. But it all builds up beautifully into one explosive story that will have you hooked and unable to take your eyes off the page because you need to know what happens next. Alex has a deft hand at weaving multiple plotlines into one cohesive whole in this story, and I loved seeing it all come together.
  • The political landscape of her dystopian United States | Listen, the world of The Darkest Minds series is effing terrifying, and Alex does not pull any punches in her portrayal. It’s a shitty world with terrible circumstances for certain types of individuals, and there is plenty of corruption and complicity to keep the cycle going. Even though I was so angry and heartbroken and terrified for those suffering the consequences, it was such a raw portrayal and felt so damn real and being able to make me feel that way is impressive.
  • The themes | The two primary themes that I really noticed coming into play were centered around power and morality. There are so many questions that arise based on all the corners Zu finds herself backed into, and it certainly made for something interesting food for thought as I was reading.
In case you couldn’t already tell, I loved The Darkest Legacy. I had no idea what to expect going into it, but it delivered above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped for or dreamed up myself. I loved the story. And, best of all, I fell head over heels in love with Zu all over again in the most satisfying way (she’s my girl!). As with all her previous work, I continue to be in awe of Alex’s ability to write a damn good story with such excellently portrayed characters. (and I aspire to reach that level of storytelling skill one day). I’m so happy that The Darkest Legacy is out in the world very soon, and I can’t wait for everyone else to read (and love) it too!


The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken | Series: The Darkest Minds #4
Previous Books in the Series: The Darkest Minds, Never Fade, In the Afterlight, Through the Dark
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Source: ARC picked up at BookExpo (Thank you!)

1 comment

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