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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

The Darkest Minds


Alexandra Bracken’s most famous story, according to Amazon, The Darkest Minds, is a dark and gritty dystopia about the balance of power when it’s distributed randomly in different quantities to anyone who can grab it. Whether they wanted to grab a hold of it or not. 

   The story is set past the year of 2012, in which a massive pandemic was released in the United States. The youth of the United States are under threat of a new virus called the “Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration” virus, “IAAN” for short. It targets only children between the ages of eight to thirteen. In the beginning, any child afflicted by this virus would die after a short time. This pandemic ravaged the States to the point that 98% of the nation’s children died from IAAN. But after a small time the remaining 2% of children now have a bigger threat than death. The surviving 2% that survived now suffers from an incredible, hidden side effect of IAAN that grants its host superpowers. That side effect now means super-powered youths now dubbed as “Psi Children” by the government are now seen as public enemy number one.

These superpowers are categorized by colors, based on the nature of the abilities, by the government. Green subjects wield advanced intellect and mental capabilities beyond that of normal humans. Blue subjects have powerful telekinesis. Yellows can control and use electricity as a weapon. Reds control fire like Yellow’s can electricity. And the most threatening power belonging to the Oranges. Oranges can control, read, and manipulate minds to their will. 

   Mercy is granted at first for all the Psi Children at first in Rehabilitation Camps but the Oranges and Reds are seen as the most dangerous and are killed if they are found at all. Which is where the main character, Ruby Daly, enters the fray. She manages to survive by lying about being a Green despite being an Orange when she’s entered into a Rehabilitation Camp. She stays in Camp Thurmond as a fake Green amongst other Greens from the ages of ten to sixteen years old. 

The book is meant for teenagers between the ages of 14 to 16 interested in dystopian novels or for those who like the darker twist on superheroes. The book is very dark at times with violence, swearing, and suggestive themes, but the heavy topics are tackled well when they’re addressed. But the most incredible part of the entire story to me is the ending. The ending was so unexpected and sad it nearly brought me to tears when I finally read it. It upset me deeply, but I still will accept that it readied the story as the first part in a saga of the world where power belongs to everybody and nobody at the same time. 


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About the Contributor
Britton Mazey
Britton Mazey, Staff Writer & Photographer
Britton Mazey is an Eagle Scout who is currently in Journalism to be part of a team that shares a larger common purpose for the improvement of the school. He joined for the sake of improving his writing skills for when he becomes an author. He seeks inspiration from others and his hobbies. These hobbies include spending time with family, playing video games (normally ones that are driven by exploring worlds that are story-driven), watching movies, hanging out with friends, and is also currently learning to drive with a learner’s permit. As a staff member of the Wingspan, Britton plans to create and bring light to stories with his writing skills and take pictures to breathe life into them. 
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