A Darkest Minds collection: Through the dark by Alexandra Bracken

cover image

HarperCollins 2019. ISBN 9781460756447.
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Consisting of three novellas, Through the dark, portrays the world of Darkest Minds by focusing on a set of fringe characters including Zu, Sam, Lucas, and Mia.
In time follows a would-be skip-tracer as he searches for his first 'freak'. Stumbling into a trap set by other bounty-hunters, he comes across Zu, a mute girl whose expressions more than make up for her lack of speech. She's a yellow - dangerous but not as dangerous as a red. To qualify as a skip-tracer and claim her bounty he needs to reach a collection point, however, he's not a skip tracer yet and how can he be sure that this 'thing' isn't human?
Sparks rise follows Sam's imprisonment at Thurmond. As a green she has a certain amount of freedom, her memory hasn't manifested as a direct threat but that doesn't mean her independent streak is hidden. Targeted by a PSF it is only chance that reunites her with her childhood best friend, Lucas, a red who happened to resist their training. Lucas is looking for his sister but with Sam in Thurmond, his plans must adapt.
Beyond the night follows Sam and Mia as they face one of the biggest challenges of their lives. Lucas gave everything for them and now it is time to reward that sacrifice. Could they save Lucas from the limbo his life is held in?
Interrogating the system and the aftermath of Darkest Minds, Through the dark is a very down-to-earth portrayal of dystopia. Without sugar-coating outcomes, this collection presents realistic and torturous endings. Bracken's characterisation is impressive, presenting believable characters in bizarre dystopian situations. I would highly recommend to fans of the series and fans of the dystopian genre.
Kayla Gaskell