*** (3.5 stars)
In the Afterlight is the final book in The Darkest Minds trilogy and it was good!! I much preferred it to Never Fade- things really picked up again- but I still stand by the opinion that The Darkest Minds is the best in the trilogy.
This book was fast-paced from the very beginning and while it still took me a while to read, I really enjoyed it. The characters did annoy me greatly at times but, overall, it was a lighter and more kick-ass story.
The Darkest Minds Book Talk | Never Fade Book Talk
SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
For some reason, it was really difficult to pick up this book. I spent a good 5 days procrastinating and simply being not in the mood to pick up this finale. And I don't know why. Once I started reading it, it was fine! I could spend over an hour reading it but I just couldn't originally motivate myself to pick up the book.
Early on, I was very confused. See, I love Cole- so much it hurts- and I went through a massive phase (which I'm still kind of in) that made me ship Ruby and Cole so much. I feel like they understand each other more and whenever Ruby keeps something from someone, it's Liam and not Cole. She doesn't feel like she can tell Liam some things but with Cole, she's completely open. I also think that Cole and Ruby are more alike- they are both higher up the colour scheme which means that they understand what each other have gone through and they really bonded over this fact.
I also happen to think that Liam is the obvious and easy choice in a love interest. He's her first love, he's nice, uncomplicated. But I don't think they can really trust each other. Liam doesn't trust that Ruby won't take his memories again- he's writes a note for Christ sake!- and Ruby doesn't trust Liam with vital information because she doesn't think he'll agree and she doesn't want to argue. In my opinion, Cole is just better suited for her.
Having said that, I'm not unhappy with the ending and still think that Liam and Ruby are a cute couple. Every time they kiss and have cute moments, I fangirl and ship them... but not to the extent I
would if it was Cole and Ruby.
I love Vida. She reminds me a bit of Sabine from the Soul Screamers series (Rachel Vincent) and I also thought it was hella obvious that she'd end up with Chubs. I knew that when they went on their little mission, they'd get together. I know there're a couple of novellas to this series and if one of them isn't about Vida and Chubs' mission and them getting together, I will be annoyed. It was cute how they grew closer and tried to deny it but really....they're so damn cute!
I was stuck in Cole/Liam circles! One moment I'm full on Cole/Ruby ship as they understand each other lots and Liam and Ruby are both keeping secrets from each other which isn't healthy! But then Liam walks onto the page and Liam/Ruby have a really sweet moment where they really help each other cope through these horrible situations. I don't know!
I loved the bond established between Vida and Zu- it's sweet and there's a sense of lovely girl power when they three girls are together that makes me happy.
I found the plot line that Nico was in love with Clancy really interesting- explaining why he's so loyal. Clancy, that just makes you an extra bastard!
I'm so happy that Ruby and Liam finally talked things through- it's what they should've done from the beginning! I get pissed off when characters just don't communicate for no reason at all! They needed the heart-to-heart to unload everything- simply so that I could then continue to read without getting frustrated at their drama and constant bickering. Having said that, this only happened with a rough 100 pages left so... it may have been a bit late to be all normal and trusting again.
I'm so happy that Zu decided to speak again! It was such a great and proud moment for her- one that she fully deserved. Although I was slightly pissed that Vi was the one to encourage and make her talk once more. The other three should've been there to support Zu and, instead, they were all invested in their own drama- leaving Vi to actually step up and encourage Zu.
The ending was really quick to read! It was fast-paced, intense and great!
I knew Cole was going to die because I'd spoiled myself previously and I wasn't overly sad he'd died... which is weird because I loved him but- his death wasn't very hard-hitting. We got swept up with Clancy etc. so quickly afterwards that Cole's death sorta slipped my mind.
Talking of Clancy... Nico needs to get his damn priorities straight! Damn you, Nico, why would you keep trusting him? You stupid kid!!
I wanted Clancy dead. So much. I thought he was dead when Lillian shot him. Twice! But somehow, Clancy is the kid that never dies and it's frustrating! He deserved everything that came to him and I'm so so glad he's now stripped of his powers- take that, Clancy!!!
I'm happy that Ruby was the one to go back to Thurmond- it held a nice symmetry to the trilogy which I liked. I feel like Alexandra Bracken kind of avoided a bullet when she managed to dodge out of the act of writing an action sequence. We've been building up to this action/battle with the Reds and Thurmond and...we don't get to see it! All we hear of it is when Harry says that the Reds were hard to take down. That was it. Bracken obviously didn't want to write about that scene because, the thing we've been planning from since the beginning, was just brushed over in a page or two.
No, I'm not annoyed at all.
All we see of the final battle is Ruby walking out with a bad leg.
The ending was nice; Vida and Chubs together, Chubs grumbling at Vida and calling her dear, Ruby being reunited with her Gran and them deciding to go on a road trip. It was a lovely finish to a nice trilogy.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts below. Stay amazing!