In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken

5/5 Stars
Published by Disney Hyperion 
Published October 28th, 2014

Synopsis: 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 with only 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 the others like her with powers the government will kill to 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. 

I've never felt so emotionally distraught after finishing a book. Wow - that's literally all I can say about this novel. It was a huge roller coaster of emotions, one I couldn't find my way off. In The Afterlight was an amazing wrap up to this elaborately, brilliant story. Alexandra Bracken had me wrapped around her finger the entire time and never once did I question my motive for following the Black Betty gang's story.

In The Afterlight definitely featured darker aspects than the first two books, but that was what kept you hanging on for more. There were tons of intense, action-packed scenes, which left not only my heart racing, but my mind boggling. I found this book to be very relatable, not because of my mind bending orange powers, but because it was a clear representation of teenagers going through difficult situations and trying to overcome them. Stress, frustration, and teenage angst were prominent elements used in this story, but that helped make the characters relatable, if not more enjoyable.

On the topic of characters, I really want to discuss just how amazing these characters are . From Ruby to Liam, Chubs to Vida, Zu to Jude, I could not help but form a connection to each of them individually. The team continues on through this book stronger than ever despite the amount of turmoil they've encountered. Together they are strong, intelligent, and a force to be reckoned with. In this book we grow closer to some very trustworthy and badass characters, but we also have to deal with those who are not as affable and gracious. It has been such a wonderful adventure to grow to love these characters, as well as it has been an adventure to grow to despise others.

Ruby and Liam, Ruby and Liam, Ruby and Liam. Holy smokes, I've never been so in love with a pair of characters before. Despite the rough patches these two go through in this book, they remain strong together. Liam continues to be swoon worthy, making my heart literally throb. I can't say much without giving away a lot of details, but just trust me when I say these two will make you giggle, cry, and smile all in the span of a single paragraph.

There is nothing I can say about this book that will bring it the justice or praise it deserves. I've fallen in love with this world and these characters, and I will forever cherish the happiness it has brought me. I hope you too will get the chance to hopelessly fall in love with this world and these characters just as I have, and to experience the wonderful writing Alexandra Bracken brings to the table.

the darkest minds never fade in the afterlight ...