If you found The Darkest Minds to be exhilarating and epic, then you will love The Darkest Legacy even more so. My biggest comment would have to be that this novel gives the previous ones a run for their money. Maybe it's because my favorite character was always Zu, or maybe it's because of the plot twists. It could also be the introduction of new characters and having a new world built in this series. The Darkest Legacy may be a follow-up to the series, but it has a story of it's own. I have to say, Zu is a stronger character than Ruby. She's smarter and more independent. I enjoy that about her. I also appreciate her ability to grow and accept that she is flawed. This girl never gives up. I believe Zu is a great character for the generation of children we have now, she could provide a fantastic fictional role model to look up to. We need more people in this world who will fight for what they believe in. I've already provided a non-spoiler review on my Goodreads account and Amazon account, so on with the spoils...
****WARNING**** Some Spoiled Tea Ahead!
I had a few favorite reads for the month of August thus far, but Alexandra Bracken's follow up to The Darkest Minds was by far the most thrilling. This book followed a different character than the first books in the series. Instead of Ruby, we follow Zu through her experiences after the revolution that occurred during the previous novels. Fast-forward to five years later, Zu is now working for the interim government. Ah-ha, right from there you know there will be some sort of conspiracy or twisted vendetta that Zu is clueless about. First off, there wouldn't be a book if everything was so peachy keen. Yet, things seem to have calmed down for the Psi kids. Now, instead of having to convince the adults that the kids with gifts are not evil, Zu must be a spokesperson for the government to convince the kids they are priority now. The beginning of the book is mostly for catching up purposes, allowing you to get back into this world easily. I have to commend Bracken for this, as sometimes follow ups tend to jump right back into the action and loose the reader. I found that slow burn of a beginning very easy to get through and shortly after, the action begins. As you get deeper into the story, you realize not everyone has become accepting of the Psi children. In fact, some still want to kill or torment them. Zu is on her way to do one of her many speeches when she sees the various signs of hate still being broadcasted to the world. She even needs a bodyguard in order to protect her from those monstrous people. This is when you realize, not everything is as it seems. Nothing has really changed.
Zu realizes this too. Yet, she takes the stage to deliver her speech. From this point on, the story takes one twist after another. Without being too spoiler-y, Zu is made to say something she does not entirely believe in. That part had me wanting to vomit, and I think Zu felt the same in that moment. How could they expect her to say, essentially, the camps from before would be back in business! So frustrating! That's another thing I love about these books, the emotion it provokes. You feel what the character feels in that moment. Whether it is disgusted, excited, happy, or sad. Anyways, this inevitably leads to her committing a "horrifying" act, which wasn't quite as it was made out to be. Then we meet two new characters, Roman and Priyanka. This is a result of Zu having to go on the run in order to find the right evidence and have time to clear her name. We soon find out Roman and Priyanka are wrapped around mystery, this adds to the twists and turns of the story. Their story makes a huge impact on where the world actually stands towards Psi children. We soon find out theres many groups interested in experimenting on the kids with special gifts. Low and behold, Roman and Priyanka came from one of those corrupt people. I feel like their story could result in another book in on it's own. At the very least, I am hoping for another installment to the series. The introduction of these new characters really sucks you right back into this horrific world. I have been longing for a new dystopian book to read, I miss the greatness of these stories. Bracken has found a way to create a fantastical aspect and manipulate the story to make it seem realistic. Back to the newbies. Priyanka is a bad ass, that's all you need to know. If she was mentioned more in the book, she quite possibly could have taken over the story! Then there is Roman. The start of his name gives you a clue as to his purpose in the story, Roman....ce. Finally, our girl Zu gets a boyfriend! I loved this included twist in the story. A romance for Zu was much needed, I think everyone wanted this girl to get some love. She deserves it.
My favorite part of this book, aside from the new characters, is when Zu is reunited with her old crew. I think from the beginning we all must have been anticipating this to happen, as certain members are mentioning briefly throughout. We find out where Liam, Chubs, and Ruby have been and what they have been doing. Closer to the end, Zu is reunited with both Chubs and Liam and it is tear inducing. I love these character's connection to one another. The love they share despite the darkness they have encountered. Ruby was noticeably missing from a majority of the book. Later on, we find out why. Due to this discovery, possibly one of the most heart-wrenching scenes from the book occurs. That's when Roman is left behind after rescuing Ruby and others from the corrupt group responsible for torturing them. He is left back into the hands of the person he had escaped. Then the story comes to a close, as the team goes on the search for Roman. Once again, I am heart-broken but relieved when they find him. Alexandra Bracken, please tell us there will be another book?! Roman and Zu deserve their own adventure.