in the afterlight book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

In the Afterlight is the closing novel of the spectacular young adult series, The Darkest Minds. The story picks up a month or so after the headquarters of our main character, Ruby, have been destroyed in a citywide bombing. Ruby and her rebel comrades have suffered huge losses, and even though they feel especially low, they are not going down without a fight.

Although Ruby has lost one of the people she was closest to, she has also let one back into her life. Liam now remembers nearly everything that went on between the two of them, and he’s more than ready to forgive Ruby and move forward in their relationship. But in a world where Ruby cannot guarantee that she will be alive from one day to the next, how can she open herself up to love and possibly break Liam’s heart?

I found In the Afterlight to be a satisfying, well rounded close to The Darkest Minds series. There is plenty to keep the reader’s mind busy; the book jumps from bloody action scenes, to introspection, to romance pretty quickly. This is good because it means the focus is not too much on one aspect or the other.

Ruby has finally somewhat come to accept her mind’s abilities, and she now can control them enough to the point where it doesn’t hurt her to use them when necessary. In fact, she has come to see them as more like powers than a curse. She is stronger than ever now, and her focus is on getting the rest of the kids like her out of their hellish rehabilitation camps.

The book does have a few stumbling points. Ruby is so stubborn sometimes, that she unnecessarily hurts those who want nothing more than to help her. There are also a couple of minor plot points that are kind of just explained away without any true resolution. Finally, there are introductions of new characters that happen way too quickly, and that I would have liked to have explored further.

But in the end, this series was about one girl, the few people she loved, and their fight to be free. I enjoyed every page of Ruby’s journey, and though I am happy with the way things ended, I am also sad that their story is over. That’s the sign of a great author, so job well done, Ms. Bracken.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Disney-Hyperion. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.