Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Never Fade
Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Pages: 512, Hardcover
Source: ARC obtained at BEA

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?


My thoughts on this book are a bit contradictory. At 500+ pages, I think this book is unnecessarily long. However, I never got bored with the story. In fact, I think I might have liked this book more than the first. But I guess I feel that, although I was entertained, the plot didn't progress as well as it should have, especially for such a high page count. 

This is through and through a road trip book. Ruby and gang do not stay in one place for very long. But unlike the middle of The Darkest Minds, I do think Bracken fills the pages better this time around. Unfortunately it still reads very much like a middle book in terms of plot development. Aside from the very beginning and very end, when we get some answers, the events that take place are probably inconsequential to the overall plot.

However, I do think Never Fade had great character development, which is probably where most of the focus goes to. This is most noticeable in Ruby's character. Ruby's learned a lot about her powers and by the end of the book she can control them very well. But the more she uses her powers, the more conflicted she becomes over the person she's turning into. There is also the return of some old characters but with an entirely new dynamic which leads to some very interesting encounters. I liked where Bracken took things for the most part. And we also meet a few new secondary characters. Most noteworthy is Vida, who requires a certain level of patience on our part not to want to slap, repeatedly. But she could also be a breath of fresh air. 

One thing I must comment on is that I was really happy to see Ruby use her powers, for better or for worse. I really hate when an MC has powers and doesn't use them much, if at all (very common in YA). Where is the fun in that?

Oh, one more thing. I am not sure I agree that the ending was AMAZING. I mean it was good, but yeah.... 

So I think many fans of The Darkest Minds will enjoy Never Fade. If you tend to be more critical of writing, you might take greater offense to how the story progresses. But overall this is an entertaining book that I enjoyed reading. I think the premise is really interesting and I look forward to reading the next book. 

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