Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Book Two of the Darkest Minds series
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
What I Liked:
****POSSIBLE BOOK ONE SPOILERS. THOU ART WARNED****
Ahh, I have no idea how to write this review. I just read this book Monday morning (today is Tuesday), and my head is still whirling from everything that happened. Like book one, this book is jam-packed with nonstop action! I feel like the characters couldn't catch a break, especially Ruby. Not that that's a bad thing!
So, book one ends with Ruby joining the League. She dislikes the League, but she's joining so that she can train to be able to shut down the camps, and fight back. She trains physically and mentally, so that her body is able to handle a fight, and her mind (her ability) is more controlled.
Ruby is given a task: retrieve a flash drive, and in return, the flash drive will be used by the League to help shut down the camps and help the children (supposedly). Ruby and her League friend Jude, and a League agent Vida, set out to find the flash drive, and run into some familiar faces.
I really simplified the first part of the book, but the plot is kind of complex. I feel like things happen, event after event. This is fantastic, because my interest NEVER dwindled. And we get to see how Ruby handles things, situation after situation.
Ruby. Ruby has changed a lot since book one. She is better prepared to use her powers, and she WILL use her powers whenever necessary. She isn't really afraid to do so anymore. Ruby wields her powers expertly, and never backs down. She is brave, calculating, and has much better instincts than in book one.
The romance... well, we all know what happened at the end of book one. Liam isn't present for a lot of this book - and when he is, we don't get a lot on him and his condition. I mean, we know he is there, but at the same time, so many things happen constantly, and Liam is a bit of an afterthought.
But not necessarily for Ruby. She always thinks of him, and sometimes regrets what she did (as she should!). There are moments towards the climax and end of the book, in which I wanted to cheer for the two of them... but then there were some in which I wanted to punch Ruby. Hard.
But don't give up on the two of them. Trust me. Don't. The romance is bittersweet for most of the book, but do NOT let that stop you from reading this book. Romance is important, and in this series, the romance is heartbreaking, but don't NOT read this series because of that. I have high hopes for the romance.
Things kept happening, so I had an interesting time deciphering what exactly was the climax. The ending though... WOAH. Way to drop a bombshell, Bracken! I mean, it's not really a cliffhanger, but oh my... can't wait to see how that works out in book three!
As a sequel, this book is FANTASTIC. Like, this series does not undergo the sequel slump. You all know I'm scared of sequels. Well, this is a great sequel! And an awesome book, in general.
What I Did Not Like:
It's not that I didn't like this particular part of this book that I'm about to explain - because I think it's totally necessary to the plot, to the direction in which Bracken is going with the story... but it still mad me sad.
I'm talking about Liam and Ruby.
How? How could Ruby do that? I feel like she was trying to be selfless, but really, she was selfish. She took away his choices for him, without asking him. Yes, this happened in book one, but the repercussions are evident in book two.
And I kind of hate Ruby for what she did to Liam in book one. But I still think she is amazing heroine and protagonist. And if everything ends up being well with Liam, and with her and Liam, then maybe I'll forgive her. But she... she shouldn't have done that.
So, now you know Ruby isn't perfect. See why this particular isn't necessarily a bad thing? It's character development. But it's also cruel. CRUEL AUTHOR.
Would I Recommend It:
I most certainly would! If you loved, liked, or enjoyed The Darkest Minds, then you'll enjoy this sequel. If you're debating on whether or not to read this series - do it! The Darkest Minds is on sale RIGHT NOW ($0.99, I believe), and I'm telling you, this sequel is amazing. So, read this book!
4 stars - what a fantastic, solid sequel! I'm super glad that I enjoyed this one, because sequels still scare me. But Bracken does not disappoint!
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