The Darkest Legacy

The Darkest Legacy

Title: The Darkest Legacy

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Series: The Darkest Minds, #4

Publisher: Quercus Children’s Books

Release Date: August 2nd 2018


Four Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“If it’s the last thing – if it’s the only thing – I ever really do in my life, it’s going to be to help you get out of here. 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 shadows and create our own light.”

It’s been five years since Ruby walked out of Thurmond, since the cruel rehabilitation camps were shut down, but fight isn’t over. Zu has become a spokesperson for the government, giving talks around the country and representing the Psi children and their interests, but after using her gift to defend herself when she’s attacked she’s framed as a terrorist and forced on the run with the two strangers who saved her life.

The ending of In the Afterlight was an open one. It wasn’t happy because even though the children were finally freed from the camps it was obvious there was a lot of work that still had to be done to intricate those with gifts back into society. The Darkest Legacy goes into more detail about the work Chubs and Zu have been doing since the end of the original trilogy, but it builds the story on the idea that just because people have realised the camps weren’t the right way it doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying to surprise the Psi children.

“Everything I had done in the government had been with the goal of bringing us out of the shadows, letting us bloom in what sunlight society was willing to give us. I’d thought – I’d hoped – that we could slowly change their minds. But the truth was that they didn’t want to think about us at all.”

Together with Roman and Priyanka Zu tried to find a safe haven where she can work to clear her name, but she’s unsure whether she can trust them when it’s obvious they have their own agenda. Off the grid and out of reach of the government for the first time in five years Zu realises there’s a lot she was kept in the dark about, and that once again her countries future is being built on secrets, lies and the blood of Psi children.

The Darkest Legacy opens in the middle of the story, we see Zu again washing blood off her hands and clothes and backtrack to see what events happened to lead her where she is. From there the plot doesn’t slow down. It seems like there’s always something else she’s discovering which throws Zu off the path she’s believed in since the camps were closed. While The Darkest Legacy is a sequel to the original trilogy it feels like a new book at the same time, giving us a different fight for Zu to face.

…The Characters

“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.”

Zu spent most of the original trilogy without a voice and at the beginning of The Darkest Legacy she’s the governments voice, repeating their rules to the Psi, but the longer she spends on the run the more she finds her own voice, one she wants to use to help the Psi for real this time. Even after everything she’s been through Zu trusts the government, she believes in what she and Chubs are fighting for, but the longer she spends outside of their control the more she sees the corruption she’s been unknowingly helping to cover up.

The Darkest Legacy is told solely from Zu’s POV, and it stayed true to her development in the original series while at the same time building almost a new character. I thought the representation of her PTSD was well done, how her time in the camps and how what happened to Gabe still has such a strong impact on her.

As she turned to go, she pointed at me. “Come together, leave together.”
“Come together, leave together,” I echoed.

With the introduction of Roman and Priya Alexandra Bracken opens up a new world for the Psi children and The Darkest Minds series. Neither were in camps themselves but they have scars of their own from growing up with abilities. They’re clearly keeping secrets from Zu, they have their own reasons for wanting to help her, but when they finally open up and reveal their backstory you can’t help but feel heartbroken for them.

There some great diverse representation of LGBT+ characters in this book. I loved the friendship that quickly developed between Zu, Roman and Priya but I wasn’t as much of a fan of the relationship between Zu and Roman. They worked well together but I didn’t think they had the spark or connection that Ruby and Liam did in the original trilogy.

I took another step back, worried that I might have to knock both their heads together.
But then Chubs turned his palms up at his sides and lifted his arms out in front of him.
“Come on,” he said softly, “don’t fight the twirl.”

Although we get cameos from the characters in the original trilogy The Darkest Legacy was very much Zu’s story, and I think the way Alexandra Bracken kept Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Vida relevant to this story while not allowing them to overshadow Zu was really well done. In the five years since the camps shut down things have changed, and the different priorities Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu have driven them apart. There’s still that bond between them, but it’s been stretched to breaking point by physical distance and too many secrets.

…The Setting

“That was our lives now, wasn’t it? Even. Steady. Accepting. Never allowed to get mad, never allowed to threaten, or even be perceived as a threat.”

A lot of the world building for this book had already been developed, but that didn’t stop Alexandra Bracken expanding on it and taking the story in new directions which opened up a whole new aspect never discovered in the original trilogy. With the camps closed and the Psi children out in the open it’s created a lot more groups fighting for or against them, or hoping to use them for their own ends. I still have a lot of questions, I can’t wait to see where things go with both Mercer’s Blue Star organisation and the Psion Ring, but I know by the end of this new series Alexandra Bracken will have answered them all.

The Darkest Minds is one of my favourite series, and The Darkest Legacy is an incredible sequel which stays true to the original trilogy while creating a new battle for the characters to face. I did feel the ending was a little rushed, but overall this was a solid first book which wonderfully developed Zu’s character and left me excited to see where she goes next.

What did you think of The Darkest Legacy? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

22 thoughts on “The Darkest Legacy

  1. I did like The Darkest Legacy but I am really hoping there is a sequel because I heard her mention it was a standalone which is my biggest gripe with this book. The ending was rushed and things could have been taken out but overall I really enjoyed it. I liked Roman and Zu but it’s not like Liam and Ruby. Hopefully we will get another book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I didn’t realise it was supposed to be a stand-alone book! I get what you mean though because it didn’t feel like that to me, like it felt like there was supposed to be another book after that one. I really hope there is, she can’t leave Zu, Liam and Ruby the way we left them in The Darkest Legacy!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yea I watched a video with Alexandra Bracken saying that there is no cliffhanger because it’s a standalone and I was like “What no that can’t happen there’s too much to resolve” so my rating went down because of it. Also the pacing felt off to me. Like I felt like she had too much packed in one book and maybe she should have shortened it. Yea the way she left them in The Darkest Legacy is not th ending I want so I’m hoping she changed her mind and makes the trilogy sentence again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get what she’s saying but making this book a stand-alone doesn’t make the ending any less a cliffhanger. A lot of the time I don’t mind open endings but that was just too open. I genuinely thought there’d be another book! Also I get what you mean now about about the pacing being off, knowing there’s not another book to continue the story I completely agree!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Yes exactly! She has open endings in her books but this one was just like in the middle of the action and you’re just like “Huh?” So I was a bit disappointed. Yea I’m hoping she changes her mind and does another one because the book just feels kinda there if it’s not continued.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The open ending in In the Afterlight wasn’t so bad, it felt like an open ending more than a cliffhanger and it would have been possible to wrap everything up in that trilogy. But yeah that wasn’t how I felt when I finished The Darkest Legacy; kind of disappointed now I know there’s not going to be another one. :/

        Liked by 1 person

    4. I liked the ending in In the Afterlight because it was open but it still felt complete in some way. This just didn’t. Sorry I ruined the experience but who knows, maybe she will decide to change her mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My uncle was so kind and bought me the Walmart exclusive edition that is signed and contains a annotated chapter, and I the first book in the series is still on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow that sounds amazing, I still haven’t brought my copy of The Darkest Legacy yet but I’d love a version like that (now I have to see if I can find one!)
      I hope you enjoy this series, The Darkest Minds isn’t the best but it quickly became a favourite of mine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was originally going to buy The Hazel Wood but I decided that I could basically get that anywhere, this was my only opportunity for TDL.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve not read The Darkest Minds nor was planning to, especially after the movie came out. I think all the hype made me lose interest in it a bit and I feel like it’s been a bit overdone. However, your review definitely made me much more curious about the world and characters Bracken has created!

    It’s nice that she managed to keep consistency throughout four whole books, which is pretty hard to do, and gave this new character the spotlight. I’m more inclined towards her Passenger series, though I might still try this one 🙂

    Amazing review, Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a lot of hype around this series again now the movie has been released, and I can’t really speak for the movie given how I haven’t seen it but I’d really recommend the series, especially if you’re curious about the books now! 😀
      Oh definitely, the first book was a little generic but I’ve loved all the other books after it, and this was a great continuation to The Darkest Minds series too. Passenger is a great duology, so I’d recommend that for sure.
      Thanks so much Sophie. 🙂 ❤


      1. Well, if you say so I will trust your judgement! You haven’t failed me so far hahaha
        Oh so I get a glowing rec for both series? Wow! I’m feeling excited about this author now 😀
        You’re very welcome, Beth! I should thank *you* for the encouragement ^^ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to hear that this new addition to the series doesn’t exactly feel like the author was trying to milk the series for you! Have you seen the movie adaptation for the first book? I don’t think it was too well-appreciated the critics, don’t know what fans of the books thought of it though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah there’s nothing worse than that is there? No the ending to In the Afterlight was open so this next book didn’t come out of the blue you know?
      I haven’t seen the film yet, I want to and I will one day but I haven’t seen too many reviews for it at all yet.

      Liked by 1 person

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