Book: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date Published: December 18th, 2012
Date Started: December 30th, 2013
Date Finished: January 3rd, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: The Darkest Minds, In The After Light, Passenger
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
First of all, Happy New Year! I’m happy to say that this is my first book review of 2014! I am excited for all the new things to come in 2014. One thing I am really excited for is all the books that I am going to read this year. While my list is lengthy, I know that it is all doable. For my Goodreads challenge this year, I am going for 100 books. Last year, I was only able to finish 45 books. However, this wasn’t including all the textbooks that I read for college last year. Now that I have graduated and everything, I know that I have more time for books. You can check out my Goodreads profile and challenge on the widget on this page. Now for the review!
So I was really scared to read this book. I absolutely loved The Darkest Minds. I don’t know how many times I had read the beginning of a series, fell in love with it, and then been slowly let down bit by bit as the sequels came out and the series ended. The books in the series were usually good, but never quite as good as the first in the series. With having that in mind, I tried to take my time with this book. However, I have to say that The Darkest Minds was still my favorite.
So Never Fade is the conclusion to the Darkest Minds. If you haven’t read that book yet, I urge you to stop here, and check out my review of that book first before continuing on here. But if you have read it, continue on! So when we left The Darkest Minds, Ruby had left her faithful companions Liam, Chubs, and Zu. She decided to join with the Childrens League and fight for their cause, even though she didn’t believe in what they did. The Children’s League claims that they want to free the children from the prison camps that they have been locked up in due to a disease that they were all exposed to. The disease mostly killed off the majority of the kids, but the survivors were left with side effects in the form of special powers ranging from telekinesis to mind control. However, the Children’s league may have ulterior motives, and thus Ruby doesn’t trust them completely.
While Ruby is in the Children’s League, she comes into contact with Liam’s brother, Cole. Cole sends her out on a special mission to retrieve a flashdrive that Liam accidentally took from Cole. However, Liam might not even be able to recognize Ruby. Nonetheless, Ruby sets out on a mission to find Liam.
So one of the reasons why I didn’t like this book in comparison to The Darkest Minds was the fact there was so much going on in this book. Not in the sense that there were too many conflicting problems happening at once, but that there were so many problems, one after another that kept arising. By the time I got to the end, I had almost completely forgotten the part when Ruby was thrust back into Liam’s vicinity again. Now that I think about it, the seem to be lifetimes away from each other. Maybe thats the point that Bracken was getting at- that things are much more complicated than they really are, and there are so many conflicting aspects that can change every situation.
Ruby also felt somewhat foreign to me. She seemed to have gone through a major character development change since the end of The Darkest Minds. However, this makes sense. Never Fade takes place almost 6 months after the ending of The Darkest Minds. Ruby went through a lot of special training and was in the company of completely different people than we are used to. However, she still seemed to have that self-sacrificing attitude that she had in the first novel. She was still afraid of the things that were happening to her, and she was still willing to do anything to protect the people that she cared about. I was also proud of the fact that she was still scared of the abilities that she had. She didn’t want to have the ability to change the course of someone’s mind, and I felt as though that made her human. There were points in the book where she gave in and almost let the darkness take over, but she still regretted it in the end. This is the aspect of Ruby that I love the most. She could still recognize who she was and who she wanted to be and could walk away from the darkness. However, I felt that Ruby lost some of her innocence that she had from the first book. She wasn’t as sweet. I guess thats what months of physical training can do to your mind.
I was particularly saddened by the fact that Zu didn’t make a reappearance in this book. I loved her in the first book. She was adorable to me. I guess Bracken did make up for it by writing the short novella In Time. I am hoping that she will make an appearance in the next installment of the series.
So if you have read The Darkest Minds, I recommend just diving into Never Fade. I got too lost in being afraid of being let down by the ending that I didn’t get to enjoy the book as much. Don’t let anything hold you back and just enjoy the ride!