Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 13, 2015 | 3 Comments

Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra BrackenIn the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #3
Published by Disney Hyperion (10.28.2014)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 535 pages
Source: I own it

5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

In the Afterlight was a heartbreaking, heart-pounding, heart-stopping end to a fantastic series! I am so in love with the Darkest Minds series and I’m super sad to let it go!

Let me just say, I have never cried after a book ended just for the simple reason that it was over. Never. But when I finished this book, I was crying. I can’t believe that I will never see my favorite characters again – honestly, it’s kind of like losing a little piece of myself. I didn’t realize how attached I was to them! I’m almost glad the series wasn’t longer, because it would have just been that much harder. But after three 500 page books and two novellas, I had spent so much time in the world that it became a part of me. (It’s like Dexter all over again…)

THE CHARACTERS. Aside from a select character or two from certain books (um, Buruu, Warner, Morpheus, Jerrit), the characters in this series are my favorite characters ever! Especially Chubs and Vida. View Spoiler » I love them so freaking much!!! (I want to cry right now. I do.) I want them to be real just so I could have them as friends! Their friendship was amazing. It’s so rare to see a pure best friend relationship, even rarer to see a group of 4 (well, 5 technically, if you count Vida) that always stick together and have each others’ backs.

It doesn’t matter what you do, it won’t ever change how we feel about you. I’m proud to be your friend.

“There is one side. That is the side of friendship and trust and love and that is the side that everyone should be on, and I am refusing to acknowledge that any other side could exist. Do you understand?”

“The you that you were then, who you are now, who you’ll be,” he began quietly, as if sensing my thoughts, “I love you. With my whole heart. My whole life, however long I’m lucky enough to get, nothing will change for me.”

Ruby hit kind of a dark place in this book. She was struggling with the darkness in Never Fade, but in this book it comes full circle. Things were very rocky for a while – it seemed like she was going to lose her friends over her decisions. While some of those decisions kind of sucked, I could see where she was coming from. I can’t say I wouldn’t have made the same decisions, no matter how hard they were or how much they hurt other people. Because of that, I could relate to her. Her heart was in the right place, even if the people around her couldn’t see that. She kept secrets from them, but to protect them. She pushed them away, but to protect herself. It wasn’t that she stopped caring about them, it was because she wanted so desperately to save everyone that she put them on the back burner. I’m glad that they were able to accept that! (Which proves even more how deep their bond went.)

I love when a book can make me cry. It’s usually pretty difficult because sometimes I have problems connecting to a story. But not with this series. I’m kind of blown away by how emotionally invested I was! I mean, I cried in Never Fade just because of seeing a favorite character again. What the heck?! And I was an emotional wreck in this book. I cried five times, you guys! That’s unprecedented! View Spoiler » And then I cried again when it was over because I didn’t want it to end. HOW CAN IT BE OVER?! I can’t believe I’ll never see Chubs, or Vida, or Zu, or Ruby, or Liam again. OR COLE EVEN.

The only, only complaint I have about this series is that I wanted some closure with Sam and Lucas. View Spoiler »

Favorite quotes

Um, THE WHOLE PROLOGUE. I want to quote the entire thing about the color black!

“I see it in colors,” I said. “A deep blue, fading into golds and reds – like fire on a horizon. Afterlight. It’s a sky that wants you to guess if the sun is about to rise or set.”

“What I’m trying to get at is, as bad as everything seems, I think, at its heart, life is good. It doesn’t throw anything at us that it knows we can’t handle – and, even if it takes its time, it turns everything right side up again.”

“Liam’s not the best litmus test, though – the kid would love the hell out of a one-eyed, three-legged, bald dog if it wagged its tail in his direction.”

Overall Assessment

Plot: 5/5 
Premise: 5/5 
Writing style: 5/5 
Originality: 4.5/5 
Characters: 5/5 
Pace: 5/5 
Feels: 5/5 
Cover: 4/5 
Overall rating: 5/5


Honestly, I kinda wish I’d given the whole series this award. But this one gets it now because of the fact that I cried over the smallest things!

The Darkest Minds Trilogy

the darkest minds never fade in the afterlight

Overall series rating:

5 heartbeats


in time alexandra bracken sparks rise alexandra bracken


Because I’ve had so many 5 star books already (who knew?!), I can’t afford to do a separate giveaway for this book. But, I’m going to extend the original giveaway from my review of Never Fade through the month of March, and toss in a few ecopies of the novellas!

Please read the Rafflecopter directions very carefully. Faked entries will be deleted. Because this is out of my own pocket, you must be following to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jessi (Geo)

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3 responses to “Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

  1. OH MY GOODNESS. I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT THE CRYING. I mean, I c all the time for everything. But I was SOBBING, at the first one you mentioned, the third, and the fourth ESPECIALLY. Broken my damn heart… I was crying at the end, too, but mostly because of the Cole-thing. I guess I didn’t put much thought into what would happen after because the last scene is what stuck with me. For me, they’re on that road forever. Until I can cope with the Cole-thing…
    LOVE the quotes and great review! I couldn’t have said it better myself (:
    This is seriously the best series ever. And I can’t believe I almost didn’t like the first book. It took me FOREVER to really feel anything genuine, but when it started, I couldn’t stop. Such a great adventure<3

  2. Carol

    Thank you so much for the giveaway! I have always wanted to read the Darkest Minds trilogy because I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, so maybe this is gonna be my chance to read it!

  3. So glad you liked this series! It’s one of my favorites…
    The writing is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what Bracken writes next. I bawled at the end of this one, too, though that’s not exactly anything new. ;)
    Great review!

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