“Don’t miss this breathtaking collection of stories set in the world of the New York Times best-selling Darkest Minds trilogy. Featuring ebook original novellas In Time and Sparks Rise, and a gripping, brand-new novella, Through the Dark is a must-have for fans of the Darkest Minds. This collection contains three novellas: In Time, Sparks Rise, and Beyond the Night, as well as a sneak peek at the first novel in Alexandra Bracken’s new series, Passenger.
Gabe’s life has been devastated in the wake of the economic crash. The only option left for someone like him to escape his tragic past is to leave his small town behind and to attempt to become a skiptracer. This already almost-impossible task is made all the more difficult by his first “score,”a young girl who won’t speak, but who changes his life in ways he could never imagine.
Sam didn’t think things could get worse at Thurmand rehabilitation camp. Then the Reds arrive. Everyone assumed the kids with firepower had been killed years ago. Instead they were taken away, brainwashed, and returned as terrifyingly effective guards. To her horror, Sam recognizes one of them: Lucas, the one spark of light in Sam’s dark childhood. Lucas has a deadly secret–he beat the brutal training that turned his fellow Reds into mindless drones. When Sam defends herself against an attack by a vile PSF guard and faces a harrowing punishment, Lucas must risk everything to save her.
BEYOND THE NIGHT
The government-run “rehabilitation camps” have been shut down, but kids with Psi powers are anything but free. Sam would rather be on her own than put in the care of a foster family and given the “cure”–a dangerous procedure that unclaimed kids across the country are being forced to undergo. But there’s more at stake than just her own safety. Sam once made someone a promise, and the time has come to fulfill it. Now that she’s out of her camp, Mia only has one thought in her head: finding Lucas, her beloved older brother.”
-Synopsis taken from Goodreads
Hey guys! Meaghan here with another review!
“One day we will ignite and create a blaze that no one can put out, ignore, hurt. We will move forward as one, and in time, rise like sparks beyond the night.”
Stars (Out of 10): 7/10 Stars
Favorite Character: Lucas
There will be spoilers for the main books within the short stories that take place after.
Spoiler Free: Well, this is it for now. I’ve reached the end of the currently released Darkest Minds world, and my heart is heavy. I’ve closed this long opened series in my life, and I absolutely loved getting the chance to read it now. But I explained a lot of my feelings for the series in my In The Afterlight review, so I’ll spare you here!
Unfortunately, while I enjoyed getting to see other parts of the TDM world, the novellas didn’t click with me as much as the main books did. I’ll break down this review into each of the three novellas!
In Time (Novella 1.5): I had actually read this novella once already, back when I first read The Darkest Minds, and I remember it hitting me really hard back then. The feelings I associated with this novella were stronger than the ones associated with the first book itself, at least in memory. However, while the first book did hold up to a reread, “In Time” just didn’t seem to. It seems like when I know how it ends, it kind of ruins the journey to get to that ending. Regardless, that doesn’t change that the first read through of this novella is an amazing experience, and gives an interesting new side to the world! Overall, this story was probably a 5/5 for my first read, and a 3/5 for my second.
Sparks Rise (Novella 2.5): I really enjoyed getting to see how life in Thurmond carried on after Ruby escaped, especially from Sam’s point of view. While Ruby was able to give a pretty good first-hand experience of the camps already, she didn’t showcase a character being broken, as Ruby was always fairly subdued compared to Sam in the camps. However, we see how different Sam is now, after that extra time in Thurmond, in this novella. Ashley and Ruby are gone now, and we see Sam stripped of her original courage and bravery, her fire. It was a hard voice to read from, to get used to, but I quite enjoyed the perspective in this point of view. The story itself is fairly tragic, like most of the world is, but the interweaving of hopeful moments made the tragedy even harder to bear. Additionally, we got to see even more of the fucked up stuff in the camps, as it seems to increased as time goes on with still no fix to the psi problem. Overall, this story was probably a 4/5 for me!
Beyond The Night (Novella 3.5): Overall, I’m not 100% what I feel about this novella. There were some really deep and introspective parts of it, where the kids thought more on their situation, but there was also too much action contained in certain moments. I think it just felt paced weirdly, in a sense. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the narration in this novel. I never really clicked with Mia, as I found her a bit too aggressive towards Sam/Liam/the others at points, but then again she didn’t know the background behind some of the actions she was angry about. It was also just hard to read Sam’s character at points, because of how broken she is after the main books and the second novella. It makes complete sense for her fire to be hidden, for her to lean towards cowardness at points, but it didn’t make it any easier to read. The book did seem to pick up around the final two chapters, and that was where the novella moved from a more actiony plot to a more emotional/mental one. I think another part that made this novella harder to read was the hope that it extinguished in me. This takes place after the liberation of the camps, when the world is rebuilding after the decade of suffering and pain. But it just doesn’t seem to be getting any better for these poor kids. Both before and now they are trapped by their age, their powers, still under the thumbs of adults when they’ve been surviving independently for a long time now. It just hurts to think how the work may have been for nothing, that they may just suppress the abilities or hide the kids in another camp-like setting until the abilities disappear. But I guess that would book 4 will help resolve! Overall, this novella hovers between a 3/5 and 4/5.