By: Melanie | December 10, 2014 | (36) Comments

Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra BrackenIn the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds,
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: November 1, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 485
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

The Darkest Minds was one of the first ever books I reviewed on this blog. No, I’m not going link it up because it’s god awful and the only reason why I keep it on the blog is so I can look back and laugh at myself. I really enjoyed The Darkest Minds for the brilliant characters and world that Alexandra Bracken constructed, and Never Fade was just as fantastic. But, In the Afterlight seems to be a dud for me. Whether this is the reading slump speaking or not, I am not sure but here are my thoughts.

Ruby suddenly became an insufferable and awfully weak character that I could barely stand. In my review of Never Fade, I couldn’t stop gushing on and on about how strong mentally and physically Ruby was. She had her flaws and I loved her through and through. However, like Marga @ Deadly Darlings mentions in her review, Ruby reminded me an awful lot of Tris from Allegiant. She’s constantly thinking that everything is her fault and that the world will come to an end and it will all be due to her. Please honey, you’re not the centre of the universe.

Moreover, I was bored. MAJORLY. I get bored in books a lot if not enough is happening, and this was the case here. Alexandra Bracken’s novels tend to move on the slower side, and I do like that about her books. It worked nicely for The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. Unfortunately, In the Afterlight had me drifting off to sleep in the middle of my read. And this was in the morning, guys. (Not a good sign.) I simply felt that the plot line turned into a generic dystopian story, unlike it’s wonderful predecessors, and soon found the plot to be predictable and awfully well, excuse the unprofessionalism (that’s totally a word) here, lame.

My third major niggle was the Liam and Ruby romance. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH THAT? I shipped them like craaaaaaazy in The Darkest Minds, but I am feeling less and less enthused about their romance with each novel. *le sigh*

As for things that I did approve of, Chubbs, Vida and Zu are high on that list. They brought this book a lot of colour and entertainment, compared to Ruby who was constantly freaking about everything and Liam who acted like her mother or something.

It’s a shame that this series ended on a bad note for me, but I do know many many people who LOVED this book, so don’t let me stop you from reading this book!

The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight.

~Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~

2.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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36 Responses to Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

  1. I absolutely LOVE how the titles all align. A+ for creativity, seriously. I’ve only read The Darkest Minds, and that ending floored me so hard. I told myself I would continue with the series but just never got around to it…not sure why. I don’t even remember all that much so I guess I’m not in a rush to finish off the books. Oh well, one day I guess. Sorry to hear that In the Afterlight didn’t leave off on a good note for you. Hopefully your next read will be better 🙂
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: Saga Volume 1 (Saga #1-6) by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona StaplesMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? I love that too, which is why I had to include that line at the end of my review 😛 I definitely recommend you continue. Lol, I get what you mean. That’s me for quite a number of series

  2. DUD FOR ME TOO. YAYYYYYYYYYYY WE CAN BE DUD BUDDIES. I mean, I enjoyed the writing and all but man of man, I did get bored with it. It took me SIX DAYS, MEL. WHAT IS THAT. THAT IS HORRENDOUS. Six days and I couldn’t even remember what had happened in the first two books (only that I liked them). And it did wrap up a tad easily….I don’t know :S I mean, I liked it but I think it also may have been because my head just hurt in the end LOL Lovely review, my dear! <3 x
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Blog Ideas Sprout At The Oddest of TimesMy Profile

  3. Oh that is such a shame that the series you loved in the beginning ended on a bit of a dampner. I hate when that happens. I have to say that I have started The Darkest Minds but I never completed it as I wasn’t in the frame of mind. But I must say that what I did read was brilliant, so I must pick it up again soon. Brilliant review, Mel! 🙂
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…REVIEW – THE SHAPE OF MY HEART by Ann AguirreMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Emma! I absolutely adored The Darkest Minds–I was completely hung over for practically AGES. I cried a lot because the ending broke my heart, too *wipes tear* Anyhoo, I hope you get back to this series someday soon!

  4. I haven’t started this series yet, but that’s such a cool thing with the titles! 😀 The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight. So cool. 😛
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #72: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn BarnesMy Profile

  5. Ellen B says:

    I wasn’t going to read this one, after disliking Darkest Minds, but this review made me laugh! So I’m glad I read it (your review).
    Ellen B recently posted…Stolen Songbird ReviewMy Profile

  6. Mostly skimmed your review since I haven’t read Never Fade yet. >_<

    Soooo. I'm definitely scared to read this book. I haven't read Allegiant either, but then again I probably won't. BUT I really, really want to finish this trilogy and I'm scared of how Ruby's character seems to take a turn for the worse. And whaaat? Not shipping Ruby and Liam? *faints*

    Anyway, I'm still *probably* going to check this one out, but I'll be wary. .-. Awesome review as always, Mel! Sorry you didn't love this one as much as the first two. 🙁
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Weekly OTP: Connor Cobalt & Rose Calloway (Be still, my beating heart!)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      AIMEE! You need to remedy that ASAP or I’ll come after you with pitchforks. And no, just because you ship Percabeth as well doesn’t cut it. You need Ruby in your life too.

      Yes, I didn’t really notice how much Ruby turned into Tris until Marga mentioned it–I cannot agree with her any less. PLEASE DO CONTINUE WITH THE SERIES! IT’S STILL WORTH READING. So many people loved this one too, it might have been just me eeek

  7. Ahh bummer. I still haven’t delved into this series and I now I am hesitant because you felt like it was a lackluster ending. I hate that. Sigh….
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: Under Different Stars(Kricket #1) by Amy BartolMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yes, it’s always a bummer when series end badly. I still would recommend you to give it a go, Heidi. The first two books both made it to my yearly favourites, and it seems that I’m with the minority on this last book, too.

  8. Oh sorry this didn’t work for you. It is usually the ending books that are the worst for me. At least you found something to like even though it wasn’t enough to save the book for you. Hope the next read rocks!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…AimeKay Review: One Dirty Bowl by Christina DymockMy Profile

  9. Mary Claire says:

    I read the Darkest Minds and felt the same way-I really loved the side characters, but sometimes Ruby and Liam fell flat for me. I hate it when series end on a bad note-that happened with me for Ruin & Rising in the Grisha trilogy.

    By the way, I have a really awesome idea about something our blogs (and anyone else’s if they’d like to participate) could do to wrap up the 2014 and all of the amazing new books that came with it. I’ll try to send you my idea via email, if you’re interested. It’s sort of a cross between an awards show and a top ten list of the best books of 2014.
    Mary Claire recently posted…Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie LuMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Aw that’s such a shame, Mary Claire! I hope we both find other series that actually end on higher notes. 😀

      Yep, got the email and will read and hopefully reply soon

  10. I didn’t enjoy The Darkest Minds, so I didn’t get too far ahead with this series. If Ruby ended up like Tris, then I’m glad I didn’t continue on with this series.

    Great review, Mel.
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…[468]: A Little Something Different by Sandy HallMy Profile

  11. Yep, I agree with you. The pacing was so slow. I wanted to just get on with it! And I was also sick of Liam and Ruby, which was sad because I adored them in The Darkest Minds. I realized that I liked Ruby and Cole together a lot more! And I was definitely in it for the side characters by the end. Vida made me laugh, Chubbs is amazing, and who wouldn’t love Zu? Sigh. Great review though, I am with you completely!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Snark From the Ark: “The 100″ Episode 2.6 “Fog of War”My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? RUBY AND LIAM WERE LIKE MY OTP *cries* I must admit, I’d prefer Ruby and Cole over Ruby and Liam *le sigh*


  12. Oh but we want to laugh at you, Mel!!! Sad you didn’t like this one as much. It’s still a series I really want to read, though…everyone raves about it…
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Continuing past and future book week with All Our YesterdaysMy Profile

  13. Awww Mel but I LIKED your Darkest Minds review! In fact yours was one of the reviews I remember that made me go out and buy it! Although, that is so incredibly disappointing that this one has gone downhill from there, with the second guessing character and a romance that went lame. *sighs* Sorry to hear that you were disappointed!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Elites by Natasha Ngan Review: An Underwhelming DystopianMy Profile

  14. Lexa Cain says:

    I guess it must be hard to write a series, sort of like making movie sequels. The “magic” deteriorates. Thanks for the honest and detailed review! 🙂
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Walking Shadow & IWSG FreebieMy Profile

  15. Alreem says:

    I have the The DARKEST MIND series but didn’t start reading it yet ,, sound its going a good series 🙂
    Alreem recently posted…Review: Taken at Dusk By C.C. HunterMy Profile

  16. I’m sure your first review wasn’t that bad. It’s always nice to laugh at our past mistakes. I hate when a strong character abruptly turns weak! Sounds like this one just wasn’t up to the high standards of the first couple. That stinks. I know how it goes sometimes other people hate a book I loved or vice verse, it happens.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Angelfall and World After by Susan EeMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Pssssht you seen nothing yet, girl!

      Yeah, it’s a major peeve of mine, and it saddened me greatly hear. Ruby seriously needed more strength in her emotional side of things

  17. Oooh, I liked thow the titles of the three books actually form a pretty neat sentence. I never knew it was that way! I tried to read Darkest Minds before, but Ruby for me was already insufferable then, so I don’t think I ever finished it. Such a shame she went back to being that state in the final book. 🙁
    Faye le Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Compulsion by Martina BooneMy Profile

  18. Oh ggoooodeness I hate being bored! I still do want to give the first book a try tho.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerMy Profile

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