Review: The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

2:49 PM

I finished THE DARKEST LEGACY and I'm A MESS. 



The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken | Rating: ★★★★★

"Nothing about failure is final unless you accept it." 

There are a handful of authors that I have on auto-buy. And, to be honest with you, "auto-buy" is actually code for, "There are a handful of authors who have me in an emotional choke-hold."

If you're new to my blog, Alexandra Bracken is 100% one of those authors. If you're not, chances are you already know how much this series means to me. In short: Bracken just has a way with capturing my attention with an equal balance of all things good in YA literature. The Darkest Minds being one of my all-time favourite series (as well as her stellar M.G. novel, and start of an unrelated series, The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding) in all genres.

To say that I'd been highly anticipating The Darkest Legacy would be grossly understated. I have been practically vibrating in excitement to finally make my way back into the world it is set in and I'm so sad that it took me as long as it did. But so, so, so happy that I was finally able to get to it because (a) Bracken is in fit form with this one, it's just as brilliant as the original three (b) I felt like I was reunited with old friends and even some foes and (c) getting to know Zu in a more grown up light was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, Bracken outdid herself and truly blew me away with every last punch-in-the-gut moment of The Darkest Legacy.

Punch-in-the-gut is the ONLY way to describe this book, really. Armed with just as much snark and high-stakes choices and action as its previous three installments, The Darkest Legacy has the ability to set itself apart from the other books in the series. It's dripping with heartbreak and heart pounding moments; mystery, romance, humor and more. Longtime readers will be able to acknowledge this as Bracken's calling card and the very notes that make the original run so well received by its fans.

As far as the original series goes, it ended on a satisfying note. Well, as satisfying as soul-crushing series can go. Everything changes in The Darkest Legacy and reminds us that there are no real HEA in real-life, and sometimes history has a nasty habit of repeating itself. What makes this work is that it's a reflection of how flawed society becomes when it's (a) fearful and (b) unable to learn from past mistakes. I think that Bracken handles the bleakness of this fact wonderfully and it really sets the tone for Zu, and the struggles she faces in The Darkest Legacy.

Bracken shines in expressing these human complexities. She doesn't forget where the original story took us and she honors it in a way that feels real. Although this is a continuation of the original three stories, it feels very much like it could stand on its own. Fans will be eager to catch a glimpse of their beloved characters (although, these glimpses will likely break their heart) and fawn over newer characters such as Roman and Priyanka.

Things to love: kick-a*s characters and Bracken's signature flip-the-script on tropes, family found plotlines that will make your hearts soar, sweet romance that doesn't fill up their narration and pollute it with something that could draw away attention from the characters singular development and central plotlines and MUCH, much more.

Overall, I thought The Darkest Legacy was fun and jam packed with action and suspense. I was unable to put it down, just as its predecessors, and found myself aching for more, despite its nearly 600 page count. I only hope this isn't the last we've seen of these characters, because the ending felt very loose and I couldn't help but to cross my fingers and hope for a fifth installment in the future. 

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