Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review: In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds Trilogy #3) - Alexandra Bracken

This trilogy is just beautiful. It's poetic. It's a masterpiece.
The writing is so amazing. It's so gripping like you get literally sucked into the book.
You can see how much thought is in every word of these books when you look at these titles. I like it very much that they form a sentence:
The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight.
Also they are the perfect titles for this series. They don't spoil anything but after reading it you recognize that they match what happens in the books.

If you look for a light read this is the wrong series for you. These books are devastating. I cried more than once during this trilogy. I was broken and put back together several times throughout the whole series. I thought in between that I don't like the series because it was too much. That the bad feelings outdo the good ones because of all the setbacks the characters had to go through, because after every good experience there happened something bad. But on the contrary the good feelings were even better and more intensive after living through hell. They never lost hope completely. There were times when they didn't know how things could ever get better but even then they fought so hard to come back out of there dark holes and stand up again. It was sometimes a little bit slow to read because I needed the breaks to process what the characters had to go through but it didn't compromise the series in any way. So if you look for a funny, quick read then you should read this trilogy another time. But you should read it!

The world was very visually described. Of course most of it took place in our world. But I could imagine how the abandoned cities, the camp and even HQ and a lot of other places looked like. I almost saw them in my mind like I was there myself.
Even better than the world building were the characters. They were described so vividly and realistic that I thought I knew them. For me they were like real people. Every single one of them. There were even characters only briefly mentioned and first appearing in the end who I felt like I knew. With this series you don't have one or even two main characters. There is a big group of characters who feel like "main" characters, because their background story is so huge. You didn't just know them. You grew up with them. You went with them through good and lots of bad times. You can follow every change and decision they make and emphasize with all of them. And the changes they made were huge. It was like they were completely different people in the end because they learnt so much going through all this stuff but they stayed true to themselves throughout the whole process. They were all very strong characters in their different way in the end. They stood up for each other and even for completely foreign kids who had to go through similar things. They fought for everybody without knowing them.

I liked the side characters so much that I was excited to read the novellas and loved them even a little bit more than the original trilogy. They were fast-paced and a nice supplement to the original books. I guess you can skip reading them but they give you a lot more additional information about the side characters prominent in these books and especially the world. You get to see a lot of the world they live in and you learn also a few things about Ruby while reading these novellas. You should read at least the last one because it tells you a lot of things about the world after the end of the trilogy. And to read the last novella (#3.5) you should have read the second (#2.5) because it is about the same character and written mainly from her point of view. And after reading Never Fade you will want to know what happened in the first novella (#1.5) so it's easier if you include them immediately and read them in between the original trilogy. The novellas were all combined in Through The Dark. Also the titles form a sentence as well:
In Time Sparks Rise Beyond The Night.

Also I loved the message I have taken with me from the book. You don't have to be related to a person for him or her to be your family. You can find people to die for in every situation of your life. The protective instinct was so intensive in the most people of these book. And every time I thought about how cruel the life is for them I was surprised of their reaction to this cruelty. It didn't change them in a bad way. It only made them better people and even more selfless. The ones they didn't see as humans. The ones they treated like animals. The ones they talked into believing that they are monsters are exactly the ones who became the best and heartwarming people. And all the bad things they got through made the bonds they knotted with other people unbreakable.

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