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The Darkest Minds #4

The Darkest Legacy

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Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume "Zu" Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn't trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country's recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a harrowing story of resilience, resistance, and reckoning that will thrill loyal fans and new readers alike.

569 pages, Hardcover

First published August 7, 2018

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About the author

Alexandra Bracken

35 books23.9k followers
Hi! I'm Alex and I write books. Please note that I don't respond to messages here on GoodReads. Please send me a note on twitter or IG @alexbracken. xx A

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,102 reviews
Profile Image for Alexandra Bracken.
Author 35 books23.9k followers
May 16, 2018
I can’t believe that this story is finally(!) heading your way, and I’m so excited for you guys to see what everyone has been up to in the years after ITA. If you happen to get an early copy, whether that’s an ARC or a finished copy, please consider putting any spoilers under a cut so other readers can choose if they want to peek or not. (Personally, I think this one is best read knowing as little as possible going in!) 🖤 Thank you and happy reading!
Profile Image for Cesar.
348 reviews237 followers
August 4, 2019
2.5 stars.

“We’ve inherited the darkest legacy, but they don’t know that we’ve learned how to thrive in shadows and create our own light.”

If I had to describe The Darkest Legacy in one word, it would be redundant.

I know that sounds a bit mean considering a lot of people, myself included, like this series. But I'm sticking with my guns on this and saying that The Darkest Legacy shouldn't have happened.

That's right kids, it's time for an unpopular opinion because who doesn't love unpopular opinions?

Going back to why I think this book shouldn't have happened, the original trilogy finished with a satisfying conclusion to the series. Things got settled and it seemed like it would be a happy ending. Or at the very least, a somewhat happy ending. Because there was more room for a story because obviously, not everything is going to be wrapped up in a nice little bow.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do not mind the idea of an author wanting to add more books into their series so long as it fits well and still manages to hold onto its roots. For example, the Shatter Me series ended on a somewhat satisfying ending that could lead to more books in the series. And Tahereh Mafi writing Restore me did the series justice by adding more world building and character development.

Then The Darkest Legacy was announced and I was both intrigued and apprehensive about it. I was intrigued because we get to read a story from Zu's perspective. But I was apprehensive because I didn't think there needed to be a continuation of the series.

This brings up the question of whether or not The Darkest Legacy was a good follow up to the original trilogy. The answer to that is yes and no. Yes, I do believe there was room for a new story in a corrupt government system. And no because there were a lot of flaws I had with this story in particular. Namely, I had issues with Zu and the redundancy of the story.

Let's get the bad out of the way because I feel like I have too many grievances with this story. I have read the original trilogy and I liked it. Mind you, I did have issues with Ruby in the first book (that went away in the 2nd and 3rd), the pacing was sometimes too long, Liam as a love interest, and some unnecessary pages. But I still think it was a pretty damn good trilogy and I liked how it ended off.

With The Darkest Legacy, it had the change to open up a new world where it would be from Zu's perspective. But, I think the story should've been told from someone else's view, not Zu.

Because in my opinion, Zu was a boring protagonist. I did not like her nor did I hate her. I just didn't find her compelling enough as a protagonist. Ruby was a protagonist I could get behind because she went from a girl thinking she was a monster to someone who was in control and could handle most situations. Zu, on the other hand, was about as interesting as watching paint dry. She did have her moments where she was good and I do like her determination, but there wasn't any room for development. There wasn't even a proper character arc for her. I know she does develop into a different character, but I just could not connect with her. It was like she was a watered down version of Ruby. Had the story been told from someone else instead of Zu, I might've liked it. I wasn't impressed with her character arc.

Another big issue I have here is the romance or rather, the lack of chemistry. This happened in the original trilogy where I did not like the romance between Ruby and Liam. I like them as characters but as love interests? No. And here, Zu has a love interest and the chemistry is basically nonexistent. There was no spark (no pun intended... okay, pun intended) and it didn't even need to be there. Not to mention that Roman has the personality of cardboard. By themselves, they can be decent characters. Together as love interests, no.

My next issue isn't really a big one but it's something I notice in Alex's writing and is that sometimes, pages drag on and other times stuff happens so quick you literally have to go back and read what just happened in order to understand just what the hell is going on. The stories Alex writes are engaging and entertaining, but I wish she would shorten some parts and add some more scenes in another instead of it just happening so quickly.

The two saving graces of the story are Priyanka and the pacing.

Priyanka is hands down, the best character in the entire series. I love her so much. She's funny and straightforward and those are two qualities I love in a character.

Along with that, the pacing of the story is surprisingly fast. Fast that I was able to get through some of the longer chapters pretty quickly. There's still the issue of Alex having long pages that could've been cut short, but thankfully the pacing rectified that issue.


A disappointing start and return to The Darkest Minds. I liked the idea of expanding the universe, but I still believe that this series should've ended with the original trilogy and not continue. It's still a good story, don't get me wrong, but in my opinion, it was redundant.

Will I be continuing the series after this? Yes because I'm not the type to quit a series after one book if I see the potential. I just pray that the next book will be the final one and not expand to another trilogy. Give us more duologies!

Thanks for listening to my review!



So my overall thoughts on Alexandra expanding the Darkest Minds series is a mixture of excitement and concern.

I'm excited because I get to go back into the world of the Darkest Minds and seeing Zu and all the other characters. I did read a sneak peak of the Darkest Legacy from the paperback edition of Through the Dark and I'm already hooked on it.

My concerns would have to be the plot and Alex's writing. The ending of In the Afterlight does leave room for more world building since not everything is tied up in a nice little bow. But I worry about where this story will go. It is a standalone story (according to the summary) which I'm glad it is otherwise I'm not sure how Alex would expand the world. As for the writing, I'll admit, it can be very long and tedious. I enjoyed The Darkest Minds and her Passenger series, but a good chunk of those books did go on and on and on and on.

Even with my concerns, I'm still looking forward to Zu's story.
Profile Image for Lara (Bookish_turtle).
227 reviews196 followers
September 22, 2018
This book was sooooooooooooo looooooooooooooooong...

Like, it wasn't filler, but if a book is going to be 600 pages long, it needs to really blow my mind with brilliance, and this just didn't.

I think this book deserves 4 stars, but the sheer number of pages put me off, so 3 stars is just the way it's gonna be ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In terms of content though...

Zu's perspective was cool. Not as mind-blowingly awesome as I had anticipated, but yeah. It was cool.

Plot was actually really good. I'll admit my hopes were kinda low, as the OG was so good, and spin-offs have ever really been my thing. I expected this to just drag on the series, and I was so ready to write a rant!!

But I didn't need to. Because the plot was good. I still wish that some had been cut, 'cos it was WAYYYYYYYY too long. But it was good.

Profile Image for ☾.
211 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2023
I. LOVED. IT. Okay, so it wasn’t The Darkest Minds, and while I enjoyed that trilogy a lot more than this book, I loVED HAVING ZU’S PERSPECTIVE. Seriously, Suzume is my freaking hero.

So the book is pretty thick, and you’d think that it would just be 75% filler, 25% plot, right? Switch the percentages. I was surprised at how little unimportant stuff there was in this book, and even more surprised that I was somehow able to read it all in one sitting.

Anyways- I LOVED THE CHARACTERS. NEW AND OLD. Seeing the old characters all get together and joke around with each other and reading Vida roast the shit out of everyone added 28 years to my life span. And Roman!!!! I would DIE for Roman! I feel like I was kind of iffy with him at the beginning, because of how much he and Priya cared for Zu when she was a stranger to them, but then everything started to add up and make sense and once again, I would dIE FOR HIM.

I can’t really say too much without spoiling, but just know I enjoyed this novel with Zu as our main character.



okayyy, so it may be possible that i overreacted to getting new tdm content. don’t get me wrong, if this is your first time reading it and you enjoyed tdm? you’ll enjoy the read. but this book just does not hit the same way reading it back, and doesnt have the same glow of nostalgia supporting it like the original trilogy does. still good, but nothing crazy. my reaction may have been warranted for it being new tdm content, but losing it’s novelty in 2023 made it an upsetting reread.
Profile Image for ˗ˏˋ lia ˎˊ˗.
277 reviews368 followers
Shelved as '01-dnf'
February 22, 2021
dnf @ 41%

guess i just randomly decided at 2am to dnf this book and i never felt better, honestly. this also makes it my somewhat first official dnf since i joined the online book community and always hesitated about not finishing a story. but in this case? i honestly do not give a single fuck about what happens to anyone. this book shouldn’t exist and the series should’ve ended with the original trilogy and its conclusion.

oh, and it also put me in a huge ass reading slump and i haven’t finished a single book in june because i felt like i had to finish this one. but i don’t. it’s boring and hella annoying and doesn’t deserve my time, whoops.
Profile Image for jesslyn.
305 reviews236 followers
May 11, 2020
Remember that paper I talked about in one of my reading updates?

I had to take one day off from reading this super amazing book to finish it in time for the due date. I ended up pulling an all-nighter.

Okay, first thought: this book is HUGE.

Four years ago when it was the glory days of YA books, I wouldn’t have said 500 pages counts as huge. Almost every book that time are waaaay more than that. Or… I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that I read books with lesser pages more these days.

Along with the fact that this book is ‘huge’, this book made me stayed up until 7 in the morning. SEVEN IN THE MORNING. Yes, it is that good.

The Darkest Legacy is a book that I didn’t know I needed. It is a book that makes me doubt it a little but it ended up blowing my mind, so much that it left me speechless when I closed the last page.

I didn’t have a good experience with ‘fourth books that serve as a companion sequel to a series that was a trilogy’. If there’s a thing about me that you should know, is that I’m a firm believer that authors should leave a series be instead of adding another book to a good series that would just end up ruining it. I did read such book a short while ago and while I still love the original trilogy, the fourth book ended up ruining the ending for me. It felt forced, like an odd addition to what was once a legendary series and that fourth book ended up ridiculing the original ending and turned it into something that resembles a fanfiction.

The Darkest Minds is one of my earliest series and frankly, also one of my favorites. And while In The Afterlight didn’t end in such a finality, in fact, it was kind of an open ending, leaving room for another book should the author return to the world, I love the ending and the hopefulness it resembled. And since I love TDM, I would hate it if Alexandra Bracken ended up ruining my babies’ story.

What can I say? The Darkest Legacy is just… everything . It makes me nostalgic as hell. Though supposedly five years have passed in this book, every inch of this story screamed TDM, returning me to familiar territory. It made me sad as hell but it also made me long to re-read the original trilogy just to make the vibe stay. I love my babies, I grew up with them. Any mention of Zu reminiscing her time during the Black Betty days is enough to make me want to burst into tears. It was as if I got a chance to relive and re-experience a good memory. It also deeply saddened me that after the events of In The Afterlight, they weren’t together as a team anymore. I want to just hug them and LOVE them. This book has been out for two years, WHY DID I PICK IT UP JUST NOW?!?! I’m a sucker for reunion. The ‘getting back together’ always makes me so emotional so you’ll forgive me when I said that I cried a little in some parts of the book. Can you blame me? I literally burst into tears when One Direction announced they are planning a reunion. THAT BAD.

I was kind of confused at first because this book is supposedly set five years after In The Afterlight and Zu was 18 (such a big girl!). And I was even more confused when it was said that Clancy was 26. So how old are Ruby and Liam then? I literally popped into twitter just to ask this and Alexandra Bracken herself replied! She’s such a sweet person!

Alexandra Bracken’s writing has improved a lot since the last time I read one of her books (Wayfarer). I find it really engaging and understandable, especially for a book that is part sci-fi. The pacing in this book is to live for. So much happened in the span of a single book. Every revelation and nerve-wracking scenes always kept me at the edge of my seat. I shit you not, every time I thought I could set the book down because things had settled down a bit, something else HAPPENED so I just had to keep reading (the torture, Alex Bracken!), hence the sleeping at 7 am.

This book has jumping time sequences in between, which I appreciate, because five years have passed and we have a lot of catching up to do. I love these flashbacks and it gives me insight on what happened in between, it warmed my heart *puppy eyes*. If anything, it makes the book all the more interesting to read. It also revolves heavily on other matters like politics, which differs from the original trilogy a little bit. It isn’t only a matter of survival anymore, it’s more than that. And who doesn’t like a game of politics in books now and then?

Aside from our old gang of ragtags, we also have new characters who are equally awesome. Priyanka, my new favorite buddy with her Kilg%re powers, and Roman with his sweet but careful demeanor. I LOVE THEM BOTH. High badass energy. Our old beloveds are also BACK baby! I’ve missed Liam and Chubs so much and I forgot how totally awesome Vida was. I love them so so SO much!!!

I’m still drowning in my own feelings. I want MORE of this world. I don’t care about the stakes, PLEASE JUST GIVE ME WHAT I WANT ALEX.

Though Alex said she’s done with this world, I can’t help but notice how rushed the ending is, MEANING there should be a novella or something for a proper epilogue. WHICH I NEED BADLY. What the hell was that ending?! What is going to happen to them?! I want more Zu/Roman. I just... I NEED MORE.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,095 reviews10.9k followers
August 2, 2018
First Thoughts
I am overwhelmed with adrenaline and feels after just finishing THE DARKEST LEGACY. I admittedly don’t read as much dystopian fiction as I used to, but damn if Alex Bracken didn’t once again succeed in writing a story that left me impressed. She made me feel all the feels about Zu and other folks in this story! While it does have a slower start as Alex weaves the foundations together, the pay-off was definitely worth it. I loved it so, so much. Also? I wouldn’t be opposed to having more books in this world and with the characters. I AM JUST SAYING.

Full Review
Here’s how I know that I’ve read an amazing book: when I finished reading The Darkest Legacy, it was 12:45 in the morning and I was so hyped up on adrenaline and feels that I couldn’t sleep for another hour and a half because my mind just wouldn’t calm down. It’s been some time since then, and I still get such a rush of feelings just thinking about The Darkest Legacy. Because it was just so darn incredible, and I will not be able to rave about it enough.

(This is probably a good time to mention that, if you have not yet read The Darkest Minds series from Alexandra Bracken, you are going to be spoiled for it if you read any further. Also, you should definitely fix this by going out, getting a copy of The Darkest Minds from your bookstore or library, and reading it ASAP.)

I don’t read a lot of dystopian fiction these days, but I knew I was going to be making an exception for The Darkest Legacy. It’s a spin-off of a series I loved and about a character I hold dear to my heart, so it was a no brainer! And holy moly, but did Alexandra Bracken succeed in writing an impressive new story set against the backdrop of the world of her first series, only five years later when everything (and everyone) has changed.

Here’s a brief list of all the things I think Alex wrote about wonderfully in this new book of hers:

-Suzume “Zu” Kimura | Alex did an incredible job portraying Zu’s personal growth, including the PTSD that Zu suffers from after all that she’s gone through and the way her thoughts are shaped and informed by the experiences and ideals she possesses.

-Roman & Priyanka | I loved these two new characters so damn much. They were instantly alive off the page just based off of their very first interaction with Zu, and I kept growing fonder of them as the story progressed.

-Familiar faces | I’m not going to tell you who is mentioned or who shows up, but suffice to say that I am very pleased by how Alex wove some familiar folks into this story. It allowed Zu to be the primary focus, but it also gives fans like me some fun bits to be excited over.

-The banter | I’m always here for the banter. And for the clever commentary. The sheer amount of sass in the comebacks in this book is perfection.

-The plot | Slow starter, this one. But it all builds up beautifully into one explosive story that will have you hooked and unable to take your eyes off the page because you need to know what happens next. Alex has a deft hand at weaving multiple plotlines into one cohesive whole in this story, and I loved seeing it all come together.

-The political landscape of her dystopian United States | Listen, the world of The Darkest Minds series is effing terrifying, and Alex does not pull any punches in her portrayal. It’s a shitty world with terrible circumstances for certain types of individuals, and there is plenty of corruption and complicity to keep the cycle going. Even though I was so angry and heartbroken and terrified for those suffering the consequences, it was such a raw portrayal and felt so damn real and being able to make me feel that way is impressive.

-The themes | The two primary themes that I really noticed coming into play were centered around power and morality. There are so many questions that arise based on all the corners Zu finds herself backed into, and it certainly made for something interesting food for thought as I was reading.

In case you couldn’t already tell, I loved The Darkest Legacy. I had no idea what to expect going into it, but it delivered above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped for or dreamed up myself. I loved the story. And, best of all, I fell head over heels in love with Zu all over again in the most satisfying way (she’s my girl!). As with all her previous work, I continue to be in awe of Alex’s ability to write a damn good story with such excellently portrayed characters. (and I aspire to reach that level of storytelling skill one day). I’m so happy that The Darkest Legacy is out in the world very soon, and I can’t wait for everyone else to read (and love) it too!
Profile Image for Lara.
169 reviews62 followers
March 3, 2019
My review

2.5 stars

“We’ve inherited the darkest legacy, but they don’t know that we’ve learned how to thrive in shadows and create our own light.”

While many things have changed for the better in Bracken’s dystopian America, Psi children’s problems are far from gone. Five years have passed since the fall of Thurmond and exile of president Gray. Cruz is still a president and is working towards the integration of Psi children in the society and neutralization of the substance that causes IAAN, but some of her political enemies have different plans for the oppressed and use moments od countries weakness to upgrade their agendas. Chubs and Vida are still working with government, but Ruby and Liam have gone into hiding three years ago and are governments most wanted fugitives.

Zu is seventeen, living with Cate, trying to lead a normal life… but does such a thing exist anymore for Psi? She was asked to have a public speech, and not long after happened an attempt in the assassination of which she was accused. In order to save her life and clear her name, Zu has to travel with two new acquaintances, Roman, and Priyanka, who have a handful of secrets, and even more reasons to betray her.

Well, let’s just say I expected this to be better. I’m looking at this as a separated series because that’s what it is – I’d call it more of a first book in a new trilogy featuring Zu than a fourth book in The Darkest Minds series. I went into this with high hopes for a relaxing, fun story with the characters I loved, but new concept and problems, only I fell into a loop.

I’d really like to give the author a break from all of my whining about pacing and compatibility of the plot, but I am terribly afraid that isn’t possible. Since The Darkest Legacy was published 4 years after book three, I thought (like actually thought about it, it crossed my mind like 3 or 4 times) that particular part of Alexandra Bracken’s writing has gotten better, or that this 500+ page book will not be full of unnecessary watered-down parts that could have been shorter.

It began with a really promising start and for the first 20% or so I had an awesome feeling about the book. Action, betrayals, mystery, and uncertainty about the fates of other characters combined with two suspicious, secretive teens who have tons of surprises. It felt really intense, but fell apart and watered down very quickly.

Most of the book was hiding and car rides, with few action scenes and some happy reunions. But I just did not get into it, I could NOT FEEL anything endangering the characters so I just tried to make myself to start caring for the most of the book. Other times I felt like bracken entered a self-recycling cycle in which she just ran out of her ideas and started using them from the first trilogy. Camps, tyrant who brainwashes people and puts kids in those, teenagers hiding and fighting against them… where did I hear about those? The only things she added were Mercer mafia and GMO Psi with new abilities. And I am so grateful for those because I actually enjoyed reading about the new generation of Pi abilities and they helped me not to hate this book so much.

I felt specifically annoyed when she pulled out another rehabilitation-camp-that-is-really-a-prison/Ruby-brought-down-Thurmond-so-why-not-do-that-again scene. I liked the concept of those camps and children suffering and fighting against them, especially because they embodied that hate for Psi, but I don’t want to have repeated story with slightly different characters. Problematics of new government and society were well developed and I liked how they were constructed, but still, they were basically from the same roots as problems in the first three books.

And last part of this agonizing list of mine is characters. Remember how I praised characters from books before? Well, fuck, I can’t do that anymore. The only characters I actually liked were Cubby and Priyanka (while one of those appears on about 20 pages). Sure, I still love old ones from TDM, but they are siding characters and have little appearances. I actually loved Zu in books before, emphasize with her and like her complicated and painful past. But five years later and, boom, she has no personality. Combined with equally bland meh non-existent-personality love interest and I can say with certainty that if Bracken just removed those two characters the story would stay exactly the same.

I know I just wrote a dozen things I didn’t like about this book, but it wasn’t all that bad. Bracken has a good style and amazing world building so some part of me still enjoyed reading this book. I’d say my journey with The Darkest Minds is over now, but I still have four novellas, a movie and perhaps books that come after this one :)

Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,403 followers
August 2, 2018
Trigger Warnings: PTSD, anxiety, flashbacks, torture on children, mentions of terrorist acts, murder, experimentation on children


I was a bit nervous going into The Darkest Legacy. I had read The Darkest Minds series two years ago when I was still new to the book community and loved it. However, I remembered almost nothing from it and over the years my reading tastes have changed quite a lot. It seemed I had nothing to worry about because this book was amazing. I was absolutely thrown back into the dystopian world I had grown to love in the original trilogy and given an even better lead character, Zu. This book basically had everything I love in an urban fantasy/dystopian/fantasy novel. It had snark, romance, and action. The endless action that had me gripping the book for dear life. Honestly, it was thrilling. It’s been a while since I read a book that wasn’t a romance and this was a good book to jump into.

I also want to mention quickly here that this review may contain mild spoilers for the previous The Darkest Minds series. If you haven’t read them I would advise coming back after. With that, I would also recommend reading the original trilogy before trying to jump into this one. There is a lot of character development and references that will make a lot more sense. This continuation is definitely not a spinoff.

The Darkest Legacy follows Zu, who we know well from The Darkest Minds. Zu is a yellow, which means that she can control electricity. However, since the events of In The Afterlight she is now working with government, along with Chubs and Vida. Liam and Ruby have been missing for years, has taken off due to their own free will. The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken starts off with a bang though. We are instantly thrown into a chaotic world and a series of events after Zu is blamed for a terrorist attack. Forming an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, Zu goes on a mission to save her name and find Ruby and Liam. There is just so much to this story and honestly, I don’t want to say too much on this plot because I feel it’s best to go in not expecting anything. There is secret keeping, murder, and a sweet romance that kind of makes you want to gush.

Where do I even start with what I actually liked about The Darkest Legacy? Hell, I gave it five damn stars. I think my favourite thing was Roman and how he constantly got common English phrases wrong. It was amusing as heck and made me laugh so much. Roman is Russian and English is obviously not his mother tongue but he tries so hard. I just loved Roman actually. Fun fact: I am actually a quarter (I believe) Russian. So, I obviously love when characters in books are as well. However, Roman was a mixture of the biggest softy and badass. It was an interesting mixture but I loved how Alexandra Bracken merged the two together.

Priyanka and Zu were also so fucking kickass. The pair of them were badass ins o many different ways that I am struggling to even draw an example. I loved the way the pair worked together and how the skills Vida had taught in the previous books were implemented through Zu. I absolutely love female characters in books and additionally, I am here for supportive female friendships. I am so happy to say The Darkest Legacy had that. Which is a major fuck yeah.

I will end what I liked there because I don’t want to spoil anything

My biggest problem with The Darkest Legacy was that one of the ‘evil’ characters is someone who likes females – I can’t specify sexuality because it is never discussed in full. I feel this will change with the sequel but I did find it a problem while reading at some points. I know a lot of people who do like females get annoyed when characters who also do are evil or killed so I just wanted to mention it. Again, I do think this will be an issue resolved in later books but for now, it was like eh.

My only other complaint was that I was so involved in The Darkest Legacy that 569 pages weren’t enough story for me. I desperately was flipping the pages wanting more. Especially with where the book leaves off. I can’t believe that it’ll be a whole years wait before the sequel to this releases. At least The Darkest Minds movie will come out before then.

Overall, Alexandra Bracken creates yet another spectacular dystopian world that I don’t want to live in. The story has all the key elements to keep you absolutely riveted and engaged. The writing style has only improved and the character development is spectacular. Not only that but the diversity is present in the story which makes it even better. Ultimately, The Darkest Legacy left me speechless. I loved the kickass characters and the sprinkling of romance throughout is barely enough to mention, which is how I love fantasy books to be.
Profile Image for mith.
723 reviews253 followers
Want to read
December 18, 2017
okay i know this is a standalone but now i have to reread the first two books and actually finish book 3 this time around HOO BOY

Profile Image for Lena.
360 reviews261 followers
August 12, 2018
"We deserve to be free. We deserve more than this. We've inherited the darkest legacy, but they don't know that we've learned how to thrive in the shadows, and create our own light."

HOW ABOUT NO?! MY FUCKING EMOTIONS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE. This was definitely something else but quite frankly, every fan of The Darkest Minds should read this. LIAM FREAKING STEWART IS IN THIS Y'ALL*cries into cup* I was not expecting this to be as good as it turned out to be. There's reunions with most of our beloved (*cough or hated *cough) characters and the action was a top notch, heartpounding race. This book focused on a very political side of the series but when has TDM not been about politics and the stupid government destroying what took these poor kids so long to rebuild?!
Full review to come.
Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,934 followers
November 22, 2018
“We’ve inherited the darkest legacy, but they don’t know that we’ve learned how to thrive in shadows and create our own light.”

I'm sorry, I just can NOT for the life of me get into this damn boring ass book!!! It was like pulling teeth and nails. TEETH and NAILS! I don't even know how I made it to 28%. I wasn't a fan of any of the other books... Not really anyways. But DAMN this one was such a snooze fest. I tried Y'all I really did but enough is enough. I give up! I abandon this!

Profile Image for Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader).
378 reviews1,183 followers
Want to read
March 28, 2018
What? What! WHAAAAAT!? I’m kind of excited about this and kind of not. The first book was amazing (I loved the whole concept) but I felt like the series kind of.. fizzled out as it progressed. I feel like she is only revisiting this world because of the movie? I would like to say that the trailer looks amazing.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,103 reviews294 followers
August 24, 2018
Although I loved the original Darkest Minds trilogy, this fourth book was just OK for me. The pacing bothered me quite a bit, with seemingly long stretches of driving around with Zu either having an internal monologue or else a "deep" discussion with someone. These endless car trips were unevenly interspersed with admittedly exciting action scenes. I would have liked a lot less of the former and more of the latter.The second half book was therefore better for me than the first.

If there is another book I might read it, depending on how I'm feeling about this one after some time goes by.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
950 reviews769 followers
Want to read
March 28, 2018
Loving the cover reveal! I wonder if I can just skip the other two books and just jump straight into this one lol
I still have to finish book 2 and 3, but hey I liked Zu and I’m glad she’s getting her turn at the wheel!
August 22, 2018
You can get up.
You have to get back up.

I could get back up. I could do it myself. Again, and again, and again. As long as there was breath in my body, I could get back up.

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!? Alright, people. It had been a LONG time since a book has made me ~feel~ this way so you better believe this review is going to be a jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings. First off, this was obviously SO GOOD. Like, a billion stars to Alexandra Bracken for this entire series. I’m angry with myself, though, because I was reading this on an app that didn’t allow highlights and I was only smart enough to actually write one measly quote down so I’ll have to add more the next time around—just know there were so many great ones. SO MANY. (This review might also be half in caps too, we’ll see, I’m just really pumped up about how good it was.)

I started reading this a few days but didn’t actually get into it until I had some time to myself yesterday morning. Once I started, I was COMPLETELY hooked. See, that’s the thing about these books and Bracken’s writing. I become so immersed that I have to drag my eyes away from the writing and when I do, it takes me a few seconds to come back to the real world. That’s when you know you’re reading something amazing. This book gave me the butterflies, it made me shake with rage, and it made me buzz with anticipation. It left me out of breath and has me hoping that even though it wasn’t ended on a cliffhanger, that we will get more from this world—especially Zu’s perspective.

She was always a character that I loved in The Darkest Minds series but getting this entire book from her perspective was amazing. We may not have actually heard her speak until Into the Afterlight but you can tell that once she started, there was no going back. I LOVED when she was in Moore’s facility and was basically having PTSD flashbacks to her time in Caledonia that she finally came to the conclusion that she was not alright and that that was okay. She wasn’t alright because horrible things had been done to her, and were still being done but she could do whatever it took to help turn things around for the Psi kids. She has grown SO much since we were first introduced to her that it gives me the shivers thinking about it. I am so proud of her.

In this book we are introduced to a few new characters, mainly Roman and Priyanka. I LOVED THEM SO MUCHHHH. They became so much more than what I first thought they would when I started the book. Roman is so serious and so caring—he would literally take a bullet for you. Priya was hilarious. She has so much sass and so many good one liners she reminded me a lot of Vida but without the potty mouth lol. Speaking of Vida though—I was so glad that we still were able to see all of our old favorites. Ugh I love them all so much I think I need to drop the other books that I’m reading and go re-read all of those books next.

I don’t really feel like getting into the plot much because I fully enjoyed going into the book and not quite knowing what to expect. All you really need to know is that things are not all fine and dandy in America. Yes the camps had been shut down and Cruz had been trying to get more rights for the Psi kids, but that doesn’t mean that things turned into rainbows and puppies overnight. Not in the slightest. In fact, some parts were still so horrible that it made me sick to my stomach, thinking as if those things were happening in real life (and in some aspects of this world and this government I think that they are). This is why I need more out of this story. I need to know what happens with Zu and the gang. I need to know how she continues to fight for their rights. And most importantly, I need to know what happens with the stupid, slimy, manipulative prick that is Clancy Grey…

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Profile Image for Leah Waters.
366 reviews54 followers
February 17, 2021

That ending was--


Few books have broken me like this one did. And I absolutely loved it until that ending because WHAT?

These characters have hurt so much. And Alex Bracken hurt them more. They deserve the world. And I--

The fact that these character don't find a happy ending is CRUSHING.

Legit trying not to cry.

I hurt.

ALSO. What's with the loose ends? Like CLANCY? WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM???? I NEED TO KNOW.
Profile Image for Ryan Buckby.
641 reviews84 followers
November 6, 2019
We’ve inherited the darkest legacy, but they don’t know that we’ve learned how to thrive in shadows and create our own light.

I enjoyed this fourth entry for the darkest minds series and i felt like things have changed so much since i finished the third book but that's a good thing

Plot: This one is set five years after the events of the last book and we have Zu take the lead in this story and i couldn't have asked for a better character to take charge. Seeing Zu actually having a full on conversation with people warmed my heart because i remember her not talking whatsoever and i'm happy that she's talking.

Zu is on the hunt to uncover a huge conspiracy that is currently taking place and that could harm all the hard work Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu did in the other books. I also loved the mystery aspect of this one and it's from beginning to the end and i love how there were little crumbs left after each scene to have me trying to guess what or who was doing what.

Your world could be dissolving with grief or pain or anger, but the sky would still give you the most breathtaking sunrise of violet warming to shell pink.

Another thing i really liked seeing was after all the camps were destroyed and a little progress was made it still had a long way to go before things started changing for the better. Kids with PSI are still targeted, the world could literally crumble with in a second.

The Flashback scenes were really enjoyable to read because it gave me an insight to what happened before, during and after the story which i always love.

The Darkest Legacy was a solid fourth entry to the Darkest Minds series and i'm really glad we got a new book to delve back into this world once again.
Profile Image for Davina Herondale.
421 reviews188 followers
April 19, 2019
2.5 stars

I wanted to like this book. UGH I wanted to like it SO BAD.

I'm so happy we were able to go back into the world of TDM. I just wish it wasn't like THAT. There were also plenty of times I felt this book was trying to emulate the original series but it just misses the mark for me.

Then there is the whole problem with the plot. It ignores the conclusion we were given in 'In The Afterlight' like a slap in the face. Then it ended and I didn't care.

To be completely honest, I didn't feel much emotion when reading this. I wish I could say I did, but it just didn't resonate with me.

Profile Image for lauren ❀.
271 reviews413 followers
February 20, 2020
This book was completely unnecessary.

I'll always fail to understand why after years of wrapping up a series, it ends up being extended by adding another book. It pains me to give any book in this series below five stars because I absolutely love this series, but I didn't enjoy reading this.

First of all, I would have loved to read about these characters again but as a novella. Not a book that is an extension of the series and almost 600 pages long. This book was way too long for a series that has already been wrapped up. However, I do understand why and that is because so many things happen in this book. So many problems occur that it feels almost like a repeat of the series, but because it can't be three books, it was condensed into one. This also made it feel extremely rushed because so many of the problems needed to be resolved and this book was already too long.

Overall, I can't say I'm disappointed because I wasn't expecting to like this much after reading the synopsis. I wish this book was a novella to see how the characters are after the last book instead of becoming a full-length novel.

I’m kind of hesitant to read this because I feel like this book was probably not necessary but I’m still going to read it anyway. Hopefully it’s still really good!



I can't believe I had no idea this was coming out? Well now I cannot wait to get my hands on it!!!!!
Profile Image for Andy.
2,354 reviews175 followers
August 18, 2018
Wow I loved this!! But the ending was not enough. I need more answers here Ms. Bracken!! You can't drop a bomb like that and not tell me all of the details! But I am seriously impressed with this book.

The mystery and tension from the previous three books was compiled and shoved into this one book which made for a fantastic plotline. There were so many moving parts to this and I think drawing on current political tension gave the world additional suspense and a very realistic tone. I could feel the atmosphere of heavy despair warring with a glint of hope.

The main cast was so awesome too! I love Zu as our narrator. Besides Zu, we have two new main characters: Roman-a Russian male that learned English as a second language and Priyanka- an Indian-American girl who had a relationship with a girl. Not sure if she was bisexual or strictly lesbian but I loved how diverse this main crew was! Of course we still get to see Vida and Chubs (<3), and Ruby and Liam have their parts to play as well.

The only problem I had was that there were various parts of this that were told in flashback and it kind of confused me. It was very choppy with the execution in some parts. But it could also be me not paying enough attention to what was happening. Either way I seriously loved this and I'm going to go devour the novellas for this series.
Profile Image for Susy.
692 reviews132 followers
January 9, 2021
3.5 stars
Though there was some action right from the beginning, it took me some time to get into the story, noticing my attention slipping away quite often. By chapter 5 it had definitely peaked my interest though, trying to figure out what was going on exactly, who could be trusted and who were playing Suzume.
As with the previous books though I seemed to miss something, something I can’t exactly put my finger on, I just don’t “feel it”. Also, I find the MC’s repetitive introspective thoughts quite tedious. Luckily it was a bit less so with Suzume than Ruby, but still. The parts where we spend too much time in her head/thoughts are the ones where I lost focus and interest. It’s no small book, yet the end felt quite rushed, like the story’s end had to be told and there were just a few pages left. Therefore I can’t give it more than 4 stars.
Profile Image for ☆she's book obsessed☆.
425 reviews144 followers
September 23, 2019
God, I’ve missed this so much!
It wasn’t ever boring and it kept me on the edge. I’m going to reread the series soon cause this was absolutely everything!
Profile Image for Aarushi.
290 reviews79 followers
January 8, 2021
hehe i think this book may be my favorite book in the entire series

but I just binged this entire huge book in two days which says A LOT but here i am, at the end of my the darkest minds journey.

I actually wasn't expecting to read this so soon, but I ended up reading it for a buddy read. And now I can't imagine not having read this series.

The series in retrospective may seem a little... cliche. Especially the first book. But this whole series spun it into something like I've never read before.

My official ranking of this amazing series (All of them are 5 star ratings, though)

1. The Darkest Legacy
2. In the Afterlight and Never Fade
3. The Darkest Minds

Did I really just put this extra fourth book that wasn't really necessary at the top of my rankings? (i can't tell you the number of authors who've i've seen doing that) Yes, yes I did.

But yeah, now that my love letter to this series in general is over, my actual review:

in case you couldn't tell before, i'm absolutely in love with The Darkest Legacy. It's so good. So unique. In the Afterlight left the series off with a lot of threads untied. But The Darkest Legacy tied them all up and gave us an amazing book.

I'd say read this if you loved the original trilogy. It lives up to the original trilogy (even a little better, if you ask me) and completes the adventure perfectly.

characters -

Zu- Zu's the main character of this book. We've never had a POV from her, only spent, I'd say, about half of the original series with her as a main character, and all that stuff. And honestly? I loved her POV so. much. She's a character I can get behind, maybe even one I like more than Ruby. She's interesting, and funny, and smart. Wow, I've been sleeping on Zu for so long.

Priyanka- woah, is that a INDIAN GIRL as a main character whose whole story doesn't revolve around her being indian? Alexandra Bracken has done it again. I aspire in life to be like Priyanka, really. She's hilarious, and crazy smart (and tall, but we aren't going to mention that). BROWN GIRL POWER

Roman- love him. Does he seem a little bit like Liam Stewart 2.0? Yes... but I also I just really like him (and I like how good he is at shooting a gun, you know, book boyfriend things). I don't even know why. He seems like someone I'd be friends with or marry, honestly.

Did Priyanka and Roman and Zu make it onto my all time favorite The Darkest Minds characters? (this list previously includes Vida, Jude, Nico, Clancy, and Cole) Yes, yes they did.

None of the other characters were really all that important for me to mention here, and none of our main characters from the original trilogy were really all that prevalent in this book, not that I'm sad about it. It was refreshing to be away from them and meet this amazing new characters (even though the old crew will always have a place in my heart from the trilogy, this new trio is freaking amazing)

The OG characters matured so well. They stuck to their old personalities but at the same time grew a lot in the five year gap, something I really appreciated.

plot -

I LOVED the plot. It was... dare I say, more exciting than the trilogy. The plot never stopped for anyone. You'd think that most of this book would be infodumping to make up for the five year time gap, but think again. There were so many plot twists that would have made me gasp had I not been spoiled by the wiki (I just wanted to see their ages, man). Thoroughly enjoyed the plot on this book and definitely lives up and is even better than the original trilogy's plots!

Honestly I'd give this book 5 stars purely judging on how good the plot was and how fast I read it

world-building -

The world-building was, of course, amazing. It was even better than the original trilogy, in my opinion. You know what? My official statement: everything in this book was better than the original trilogy (except Nico, Jude, and Cole whom we did not see for obvious reasons but still nothing can replace them).

We got so much more of the world-building in this book. We still went on a road trip (it was more like a police chase but you get the idea), but it was so different with our new characters. It was enjoyable and the author did such a good job of squeezing in the information about what had happened to the world in five years.

And can I say the time gap and the flashbacks put in the book were genius? I couldn't tell you the number of times I've read a book with HORRIBLE flashbacks and a bad time gap fixing but this book did both perfectly. Ugh my love for this book > my love for my heart and well-being (i just like getting too attached to the characters and getting my heart broken every single time they die, you know?)

writing style -

As usual, Alexandra Bracken's writing is phenomenal. If anything, I think she improved even more in this book. It's stunningly written and so descriptive. The flashbacks she added were so well done, and overall her writing just flows smoothly and is written beautifully. I can't think of more adjectives to describe her writing or else they'd be here. She's quickly becoming one of my favorite writers (maybe me reading Lore will fill that in? it is a greek mythology retelling and i've lately been living in percy jackson world and it's a YA... do i need to go on?)

I'm just hyping Bracken up here, but I don't care. GO READ THIS SERIES. GO READ HER OTHER BOOKS. Just go read something of her's. I don't care, just go.

representation -

Oh, the representation. Where do I start? It was amazing. Makes up for the lack of representation in the previous books.

We've got Zu, who's Japanese/East Asian, as THE MAIN CHARACTER.

We've got Roman and Lana, who are Russian (i kid you not). Oh, and Lana's a lesbian.

Priyanka, my dream character in a book. She's indian/south asian. She's a lesbian.

Do I need to go on? No, I don't think so. So filled with representation, my dreams are fulfilled just by Priyanka.

romance -

Adored the romance between Roman and Zu. Adored it. It was so cute and innocent and ugh first love!
I love them together. I love them growing together on the run together, just like Ruby and Liam. And Priyanka totally being their #1 shipper? YES. (not to mention Liam teasing Zu about it, which is the icing on the cake). It was so well done, and I also adored how the romance wasn't the main thing about the book. They are totally one of those couples that I can see will never break up after the series is over.

relationships -

I feel like I've never really understood just how big of parent figures our original gang was for Zu. Zu's relationship with each of them, Chubs, Liam, Ruby, and Vida, is so different, unique, and beautiful. She thinks and talks about them so much, and how they drifted apart, especially her and Liam and Ruby, but she stayed close with Chubs and Vida.

All five of them moved apart definitely, Vida and Chubs and Zu on one side while Ruby and Liam on the other, but it's so realistic that it broke my heart.

Also, I was dying to Zu to find her own group of friends for once. And she did. Priyanka and Roman were perfect best friends for Zu, and I can see the three of them being their own group and staying together for the rest of their lives.

The older gang had changed so much, and Zu's opinion of them as well. Her relationship with Chubs really stood out to me honestly, because we did not see much of them in the last book. Or her relationship with anyone, really.

In short, the relationships that she had with those five (seven including Priyanka and Roman) really touched my heart.

other -

Can I just say how much the tyrannical man running for president gave me nostalgia? I just love how this dystopian, apocalyptic future is exactly like how the US is today *angelic smile*. I'm being sarcastic, in case you didn't know. Truly, I got a major sense of deja vu while reading about the politics.

I do want to mention, though, that there is a trigger warning for a few things. Sexual assault, gore, violence, child trafficking/human trafficking, abuse, murder. Most of these aren't too prevalent or too big in the book, but they are there.

I did not feel this book was tropey at all. It created this crazy situations and took the story to this crazy level and something completely different than what I was expecting. The book was very unexpected for me, personally. I had the greatest time reading the book. It's so unique, I can't put it into words.

overall review -

Overall, I loved this book. It lives up to the original trilogy, and it's definitely a must read for any fan of the original trilogy because it is such a perfect addition.

All I really want right now is for there to be a sequel about this book, really. Loved everything about it.

Maybe the reason why my heart doesn't hurt anymore from this series ending is probably

a) my heart has numbed from reading too many books and i can't feel anything anymore

b) i haven't accepted it. denial IS the first stage of grief, after all.

it's probably a mixture of both. oh well, no time to mourn! off to read the lunar chronicles, something i have been putting off for a very long time now :D

five stars! no, scratch that, give it a million, thanks. there should totally be a 5+ star on goodreads.
Profile Image for Cassi.
670 reviews50 followers
August 3, 2018
When I heard that Alex was writing a new book in the world of The Darkest Minds I was over the moon. I absolutely love that series and I was so excited to find out what happened next to these characters. And I really enjoyed this book. It was a good companion and an enjoyable return to the world.

Speaking of the world, I think that was the best part of this book, the world. Alex does some really interesting things with this book. Usually you don't get to check back in and find out what happened after the characters save the world and dismantle the government. It was great to be able to do that with this book, especially because things were not all sunshine and rainbows. It showed how hard it is to not only restore the government but also regain the trust of people who viewed you as enemies for entirely too long. There was a lot of politics in this book. It's a near future dystopia but this feels very current. It was fantastic and interesting in a way that I love in my books.

There was also a lot of really interesting things that this book did with the powers. In the first few books we learned a little bit about some of the psionic powers but the one that we got the most information about was Orange because Ruby was the protagonist. Now our main character is Zu so we learned a lot more about Yellow powers. And wow, have Zu's powers developed. She uses them in some really cool and really hardcore ways throughout the book. But then there are new characters with new powers in this book. I don't want to give too much away but just suffice to say, there are some really cool new powers and I liked seeing them in action.

The other thing I really appreciated about this book was the characters. I feel in love with the gang in The Darkest Minds trilogy so being able to find out what happened to them next. Zu is just a preteen in the original series but now she is all grown up. And grown up Zu is even more amazing than Zu in the original series. If you were hoping for the demure and shy girl that we first met then you will sadly be disappointed. Oh wait, no you won't because this Zu is smart, resourceful, sassy, and tough. I love this Zu. I also love seeing some of the other characters from the original series. We get a good amount of Chubs which was fun and some great moments with Vida, Liam, and a little Ruby. But Zu and the new characters really take center stage here and that was perfectly fine with me.

My only criticism with this book is the plot. Now don't get me wrong, I liked the plot. There was alot of action and adventure, the stakes were incredibly high, and I spent a lot of time on the edge of my seat. The only problem however is that it didn't really feel like a standalone, which it was. It was a weirdly self-contained story that didn't really feel complete. It's a long book, which I am cool with, but I think this book would have been a little bit better if it was a duology. I think some of the plot points could have been explored a little more if there was a second book. It wasn't bad, I just think it could have been better if there had been more. But maybe that is just because I am not ready to say goodbye to these characters and this world.

All in all this was a interesting and engaging read with a fantastic world and amazing characters. It was great companion novel to one of my favorite series.

If you are a fan of The Darkest Minds then you definitely need to read this book to find out what happens next to your favorite characters and the world of this series.
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