Review: In The Afterlight

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #3
Genre: YA Dystopian
Page Length:  535 Pages
Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Hardcover - won from a giveaway
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.
It's always so hard to say goodbye to a series you love. There's sadness, anxiety, denial and a great deal of nervousness, Am I going to like this? Will I be happy with this ending? Honestly, I was skeptical about this final book. I didn't really enjoy Never Fade too much, but I was still invested in the story. I'm happy to say that In The Afterlight brings a great conclusion to The Darkest Minds series.

I love how this dystopian series doesn't shy away from the darkness. There are some brutal, rough parts. It's more realistic this way than the so-called "dystopians" I've recently read.What makes this series great though is the light elements that Bracken manages to weave into the story (the characters, the fun parts). Bracken's writing has improved so much since the first book. It's more seamless and lyrical and enticing. There's a spark to it. Bracken incorporates twists and turns that we never see coming. She makes us all invested in her story. 

What I truly love about this series are the characters. They are all so lovable and wonderful. Each character has a backstory, they all have incredible depth and personality. Bracken really shines through on her characterization. With that said, I'm really going to miss these wonderful characters! Ruby and her tenacity. Liam and his genuine caring nature and leadership. Chubs and his wit. Vida and her bluntness. Zu and her thoughtfulness.

The romance was the most infuriating part of this book for me. There were cute and adorable moments, but there were many frustrating times. Ruby really fractures their relationship in book one, and Liam and Ruby struggle to become what they once were to each other. They've both kept secrets, they've both had some hard times. I get it. But at the same time, the lack of communication between these two filled pages and pages worth of content! It felt totally unnecessary and overly dramatic.

This book is much darker than the previous books, and I felt a lack of light happy moments. There were some slow parts, but I realize that Bracken was just spreading the clues throughout, so everything that happened later made sense but still. I needed light moments to balance out all the despair, and I wanted a faster pace.

Everything was wrapped up so nicely.  Bracken reveals everything to us readers; it all makes sense now! Our characters mainly got their happily ever after with a little sting at the end. The ending was so cute and adorable, I loved it.

In The Afterlight, although with pacing issues and dark times, brings a satiating end to The Darkest Mind series that fans will love.
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. I have to agree--one of my favourite aspects of this series is that it feels so gritty and real compared to some other dystopians. And I LOVE the characters. They're kinda the characters you just don't want to let go of when the series is done. I personally have never been on board with the romance for this one, but I think that's just me. :) Lovely review, Rachel!!

  2. I loved In the Afterlight! I was so blown away by how Alex wrote the ending of her story, and I definitely loved the characters even more <3 It was such a satisfying series ender!


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