So let me start off by saying that this novella is 90 pages, including the preview of NEVER FADE. Those 90 pages happen to be the most stressful and emotional 90 pages I have ever read.
The main character in this novella isn't even in THE DARKEST MINDS. Which disappointed me at first, because I was really hoping for a Liam story. But the protagonist is a new character named Gabriel, who wants to become a skip tracer. And after reading the first few pages...
I HATED HIM!
He is awful. He calls the kids freaks, and has no respect for them, AND I JUST HATED HIM! HE IS SUCH A JERK!
Then a certain character shows up, and I about cry.
And the rest of the novella, I was right on the edge of tears the whole time. So many emotions!
Then the ending came.
I cried so hard! In just, like, 70 pages I had gotten so attached to the characters and the story, and the ending made me bawl.
I thought it couldn't get any worse. So, I read the preview of NEVER FADE, and I felt like this.
I can't I just can't.
I NEED NEVER FADE SO BAD!!!
In short, one of the best and most emotional 90 pages I have ever read.
Thank you, Miss Bracken, for writing such an amazing novella to tide me over until NEVER FADE comes out. I cannot wait!
My heart just broke into a thousand pieces. I can’t believe what just happened. This is one of the best novellas I have ever read. I have no words to describe what I’m feeling. This book was short but it made me so emotional and right now I’m sobbing, I just can’t believe it. Other than the tragedy that just happened I finally got to met Zu again considering she isn’t in the second book. I missed her a lot. I'm so glad to know she is safe. Even though its been like 10 minutes since I finished the novella, I am still heartbroken. This novella was perfect and I was able to really feel something for a character that I only read about for a small period of time.
I don't think I can possibly write a full review for a novella but I just want to say -- what the heck? That ending crushed my heart and the whole process of seeing inside someone who is not a kid with powers was so engaging. I couldn't put it down once I was given time to read. Seeing Zu as well filled my heart, but damn Gabe turned out to be a great protagonist. If you're reading this series, I would without a doubt recommend this novella!
This novella follows from the first book in The Darkest Minds trilogy. At just under 100 pages I wasn't really expecting a lot, but wow. Bracken really knows how to write a novella!
This is centered around Gabe's perspective, a character not featured in the original series. Gabe represents the average American citizen, attempting to struggle through the economic repression that has ripped through America in the wake of the mutant abilities suddenly conjured in almost all teenage and pre-teen children. An old knee injury means he cannot join the forces controlling these 'freaks' and there is little place left for him in society: he is a collateral victim in this futuristic community. His subsequent hatred for the 'freaks' that caused his current state is almost palpable. That is, until a small, mute 'yellow' makes his acquaintance...
Whilst short, this managed to incorporate a well-rounded story, featuring characters both new and beloved, in a well-formulated world. The action and intrigue was kept at a maximum, and there were so many places where I was reading this with my heart in my mouth. This is a great addition to the series, providing further details to the main plot, as well as maintaining itself as a single spin-off story.
Apparently my problem with The Darkest Minds was just Ruby and Liam, because I really like this short story with Gabe and Zu. As I said (in a review I didn't expect to be as controversial as it's turned out), this is a series that excels at gritty dystopian - or it would be, if it didn't spend so much time making Ruby out to be this weak, self-loathing victim in a black and white adults versus kids world; it was all just a bit too much for me the way the book blatantly tried to play every. single. emotion. card. ever. (Nor did the meandering plot help.) Anyway though, In Time is different; it's a great companion that adds exactly the perspective I thought was missing from the first book - that of the reluctant bounty hunter who's supposed to be on the trail of these kids (Gabe). Sure, his reasons are a bit trite (the economy tanked; he's in it for the money) and I probably liked his character for mostly the wrong reasons (think of kids like dogs! you're just returning them to the pound!) but you know the whole thing is, in a way, absurd, and I really like his side of things (even if that kind of absurdity and dark humor may not have been intentional) as opposed to Ruby's whole 'woe is me!' thing she's got going (yeah, I know it's a natural reaction to being locked up the way she was, but I just thought the book for fiction was trying too hard in that regard). Plus, this story addresses a whole bunch of flaws from the original setup (not perfectly, but still) - how the color coding came to be, what's going on with the parents on the outside, etc., Zu's pretty great as usual, and heck, even the ending, while in the same style as The Darkest Minds, worked for me because I actually liked these characters (let's just say no good deed goes unpunished). All in all, pretty good for an original short story and I'm definitely glad this isn't another weak rehash as many tie in novellas have been recently. Still have zero interest in Ruby and Liam (sorry), but this was great.
Wow...that's how you write a novella! I really appreciated that this was a true sequel and not a random prequel. I love back story as much as the next person, but sometimes you just want story 1.5 to actually be story 1.5, so thank you for that Ms. Bracken.
I was riveted while reading this and yet, to be honest I despised Gabe. I can't remember the last time I cursed a character so much. But the writing was so good and the story was so interesting that even with my hatred for the main character, I still loved this addition to the Darkest Minds collection.
Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: For $0.79 I would say this story is definitely worth a Buy.
This little tidbit depicts the world Bracken previously introduced us to perfectly. Focused on a new character, Gabe -- a collateral victim of the scary universe the author has created -- is trying to take the reins to his crumbling world and join the skip tracers. But for his big debut, he needs to turn a "freak kid" in. And that somehow proves a thousand times easier and harder (trust me, I do make sense) than he initially thought.
“But I’m telling you now, you ever find someone who likes the job, you better goddamn run the other way because you’re looking at the real monster. You’re looking right at him.”
Gabe is half an egocentric douchebag, half a broken boy who lost his way. Fortunately, his character development is oh-so-wonderful and the guy grew on me. But this transformation happens gradually thanks to one of the cutest characters ever, who I already loved from the first installment -- happy would be an understatement to describe my feelings when I finally got what's happening.
Ending on a high note that triggered my sobbing and instant desire to start Never Fade, this novella is a great tease of things to come. I really hope its plotline will be developed further in the sequel, because you cannot leave me hanging like that.
Also, there was a scene that got the sudden "omg" reaction from me -- it didn't have a key role in the story, but it unraveled another piece of TDM's puzzle, which I always crave for.
This being said, I honestly don't know if In Time is mandatory in order to get the gist of following events, but I enjoyed it tremendously so I don't see any point in not reading it. Plus, you get some more time with that awesome character I've mentioned and that's enough of a reason for you to read this novella.
At the beginning I didn't connect with the main character, he was so annoying, and because he was a new character and totally by his own, I was just wondering why? I was not very interesting to know him at first, but I kept thinking that he was going to change which it happened but I didn't like that change, at some point I was really annoyed because the only thing that he kept saying was how much he hated them and by the transition it did felel a little off.
The adventure was okay, and by the 80% of the novella until its end was really enjoyable.
But you know what's going to happen at the end, and AAHH! It did, I'm so pissed because of it, I would never understand why introduced a whole new character and bother to give him a total story under 100 pages just to that to happen, it just feel weird it's something like Are you sad? How? If he's new. Are you okay? How? If he could be so much.
And what thing even worse than anything, it's not really develop your characters before their deaths, especially someone who just got introduce.
But again, really interesting and good writing, I really like the author mentioned all kind of cities and streets, etc.
Oh goodness! That was a nice little story, naw Zu, cute as ever. Oh but poor poor Gabe! So sad! I thought it was gonna be in Zu's POV though but no it was in Gabe's. That was interesting. Also that boy who died in the car was that Talon? Oh well, poor Gabe though he didn't deserve that. Just something a huge misunderstanding can cause. This was a nice little story with a great amount of humour and emotions. Great description, Zu cute and awesome as ever and Gabe an interesting character. 7/10.
OH MY GOD. I didn't think this little novella would be so... GOOD. It got to the point where I think I literally like it more than the real book. It is all about Zu, in fact, and what happened after she left East River with her 'beloved' Yellows. They get attacked in the middle of nowhere and then by pure coincidence there happens to be a boy, a man named Gabe that saves her, even though he doesn't know it. Not yet.
But that ENDING.
I WANT SOMEONE TO REWRITE IT. I need Gabe, the little streak of light in this dark, dark world.
In January I read The Darkest Minds and immediately ordered the rest of the books. I fell in love with Alexandra Bracken's writing style and with this dystopian world she created, but as things go I didn't get around to reading the rest of the series up until now.
I'm glad I saw that there's a connector story between The Darkest Minds and Never Fade, because this novella was just what I needed to get back into this world and the characters that inhabit it.
So now I'm ready for Never Fade. Hopefully I can get started with it today still.
WTF?!?!???!!! NOOOOO!!!!!! GABE!!!!!! WHYYY?!?!??!?!!! *BREAKS DOWN INTO SOBS AND KICKS THE WALL REPEATEDLY* WHYYYY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SOOO HEARTLESS, BRACKEN?!??!!??!!! YOU'VE CRACKED AND SPLINTERED MY HEART ENOUGH WITH THE DARKEST MINDS AND NEVER FADE, BUT YOU JUST HADDD TO DO IT AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!??!!! I'D SAY I HATE YOU BUT I CAN'T 'CAUSE YOUR BOOKS ARE SOOO GOOD!!!!! BUT WHY DO YOU HAVE TO TORTURE US WITH EVERYTHINGGGG YOU WRITE?!??!!?!!! WHY CAN'T YOU GIVE US JUST ONEE HAPPY ENDING?!??!?!??!! *WAILS*...............*RUNS OFF AND LISTENS TO MUSIC TO CALM MYSELF*
In Time was much better than I thought it'd be, though that's not saying much since I find most novellas rubbish. This was more enjoyable than The Darkest Mind, mainly because the POV character wasn't quite as insufferable as Ruby or whatever her name was. Although, I would have preferred to read the POV of an existing character (like Zu or Liam) instead of some random guy. I didn't really like Gabe (the MC) at first, he was kind of awful. But by the end, I did grow to like him — he had quite a bit of character growth considering how short a read it was. It was sad how insecure, desperate and alone Gabe was - I actually understood why he was initially willing to capture and imprison a psi kid. He had no friends, no money and no hope, and he was left behind by everyone… So yea, his attitude made sense. Even though Gabe did improve as a character, he was still rather boring. I guess he did make a nice change from the usual arrogant male POV though. I enjoyed Zu's character, she was one of the very few I could stand in The Darkest Minds. Her interactions with Gabe were actually quite sweet. Also, I loved her reaction to watching Wizard of Oz. The ending was quite sad with Gabe dying after he finally found something worth doing. I'm hoping that he ends up surviving, so he can help Zu and co avoid capture.