Title: Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
No. of pages: Paperback; 507
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: September 30, 2014 (first published October 15, 2013)
Date Read: July 26, 2018
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 flash drive 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?
I originally picked up the first book of this series because of the movie that just released based off of it. But this series just keeps getting better and better as it continues. The air of intrigue and the never-ending twists and turns in this series are ones that keep you hanging on. Never Fade leaves off almost right where The Darkest Minds ends. Ruby has joined with the League after erasing herself from Liam’s mind. We’re introduced to her team and see her on the field in an operation to recover one of the most valuable assets to the League, Cole Stewart, Liam’s brother. Cole once recovered lets the leaders of the League know that he was captured in Philadelphia and a flash drive was left behind and in the hands of Liam, who doesn’t know that he has it or what it holds. The League wants the flash drive and Ruby wants to protect Liam. After striking a deal with Cole, Ruby ditches an Op in Boston to find Liam while taking Jude, a Yellow, with her to protect him from those in the League that want to destroy the children who have powers. As Ruby searches for Liam, she finds Chubs, Vida finds her, and they find Liam in a camp in Nashville. As Liam joins the group, it’s obvious that his memories of Ruby are gone, but his feelings have not. Trying to find a line between this and seeing what she’s done with her powers since, Ruby is afraid that she may not be able to save the people she loves and she may not be able to control her powers and may lose herself to the monster she thinks she is.
This book was so well written and I absolutely loved seeing Ruby begin to grow into her powers and into her strength. I love her resiliency and how she is beginning to recognize her limits and where her boundaries are. I also really like how all the little details begin to add up until you can see the bigger picture. Small things like Olivia from East River is found at the Nashville camp helping to do the same job she was doing in Virginia. There was a Red who had gone through Clancy’s Project Jamboree that he had influenced his father to create. We see just small little details like that pop up later and realize how important the information actually was. Bracken does such an incredible job of setting things like this and other plot lines up. I’m absolutely in love with this story and these characters. She’s done such an incredible job of building this world and drawing you in by making sure that you never know what will happen next. I’m completely sold on this series.
I think one of the most resounding things in this book for me was the fact that they could never be too far gone that they couldn’t be loved. Ruby swears that she is monster based on what the League has made her do and some of the things that she has done in order to survive. Knowing these things, Chubs and Liam don’t love her any less. Liam, freaking Liam, knowing that she’s sobbing and is losing her crap, wakes up and takes her hand even though she swears he hates her and just holds her hand to his chest. A) This is adorable. B) This helps my point. Chubs: alive and well in South Carolina, has to become a tracker in order to keep an eye on making sure his friends are safe. NEVER is he seen differently because of what it took to do so. Vida: A pain in the freaking butt, but once we truly meet her, Ruby would do anything for her. Jude: This little spark of light, when he continues to think that he’s the reason Rob and the other League agents are targeting their own mutant-kids, Ruby NEVER ONCE lets him think that he is any less and that it could’ve happened to anyone. Gosh. The relationships built in this book are too good. I actually can’t get over them.
I’m so excited to read the third one and see the movie. I’m excited to see these characters portrayed in a way that makes them a bit more and brings out another side or perspective of the book/script. I really hope they do this series justice.