Book Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

IMG_1564In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 28, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Pages: ebook – 394, hardcover – 544, paperback 485


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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.


I read this book 2 months ago. The reason I didn’t immediately review it is because I was just too emotional after the trilogy ended. Although I had some issues with the first book, the second and third book did not disappoint—despite many people’s opinion that the third book wasn’t up to standards. Maybe it’s the fact that I marathoned the trilogy whereas most of the others had to wait a year for the final book. It happened to me before; reading the books in a series and loving them, waiting one or more years for the concluding book to be released, being carried away by my very high expectations, then feeling extremely let down with the last book. That doesn’t happen to every series or trilogy, but it’s just a theory and—oh gosh, I just realized I was rambling.

Back to the book review. You see, it was really hard letting go of the characters. In the Afterlight gave me a book hangover.

book hang•o•ver
/bo͝ok ˈhaNGˌōvər/


1. When you’ve finished a book and you suddenly return to the real world, but the real world feels incomplete or surreal because you’re still living in the world of the book.
2. The inability to function at work/school because you were up all night binge-reading.
“I have a really bad book hangover, I could barely concentrate at school.”

I didn’t even notice I was getting attached to Ruby and Cole and Liam and Vida. So when the book ended, I was in a state of denial for a whole week.

Let’s discuss the main elements of the book:

1. Ruby. Oh god, Ruby’s level of kickass-ness is reaching new levels! And I know I’ve said this in my previous review, but I love the whole ‘don’t-bullshit-me-I’m-gonna-kick-your-ass’ vibe she’s got going on. Only rarely in my life has a book actually made me feel every emotion the main character is feeling. When Ruby broke down, I broke down. When Ruby was excited, I was excited. When Ruby was furious, I was furious. You get what I’m saying, right?

2. Characters. The characters in this book have gone through a massive character development arc. It was the best character development arc in the history of best character development arcs. I loved seeing all the relationships develop, although Ruby and Liam’s did get very frustrating at times. My favourite characters are Cole and Vida, solely because of the amount of times they made me laugh out loud. Also, Chubs & Vida’s banter is so adorable and hilarious. If you’ve read the book, you can understand why I can’t let go of the characters because, honestly, they’re the best characters I’ve read about in a book.

3. Plot. I felt like the book kinda dragged on in the beginning due to the fact that they mostly stayed in the same places for long periods of time. However, the ending totally made up for it. I was left on my bed just staring at the ceiling with tears running down my eyes. I’m satisfied because all my questions were answered and the author did a pretty good job of wrapping everything up. There were still a few loose ends that I want to talk about, but unfortunately I can’t because it’s a major spoiler. All in all, the plot of this book was very solid and actually had a purpose. It really left me emotionally drained.

As a conclusion, I’d like to say (or type) that this book was a very stressful and emotional roller coaster. Alexandra did a good job of wrapping everything up and answering most of my questions. This book made me cry, laugh, and punch things in anger. I’ve stayed up late on many school nights to finish the trilogy. It’s definitely one my favourites, so I say you go out right now and buy it! I’d recommend it to anyone who’s read (and loved) other Alexandra Bracken books or anyone who enjoys dystopian YA.

Rating: 5 fish!

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