Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)

Release Date: October 15, 2013
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Length: 512 pages

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?


Protagonist: Since the previous installment Ruby has been working with The Children's League, and right away I could tell she's different. She hasn't been corrupted by the League or anything, but I saw that she was a bit or confident and could handle herself in tough situations. This was a great move for her character, since a lot of other sequel almost revert their protagonists back to square one from the beginning and replay the same character development all over again. The beginning of this book felt almost like a checkpoint for not only Ruby but her powers as well. At the end of The Darkest Minds she had a good control over her powers and some basic functions, but as this book progressed they really grew into their own. It was amazing to see the details of her powers and almost visually see them grow and evolve, and see what exactly her mind could do to others, and what it could do to her.

Romance: I don't think it would be a spoiler to say that Liam returns in this installment, it was something that was an inevitability and it's stated in the synopsis. So going into this book I was really interested in seeing how the author was going to reintroduce Liam into the story after Ruby wiped his mind in an attempt to save him from the grip of the League, something he was very adamant against being apart of again. My fear for this installment was that even if the author had a clever way to bring him back into the story, which she did, that the romance would just be a repeat of the romance in book one just under different circumstances. I can say that my fears were entirely misguided as the romance is handled beautifully. It has a bit of a repetitive vibe but it only lasts a second, and that's all I can say without ruining the book.

World-Building: I loved getting to know more about the Children's League in this book. In  The Darkest Minds, what we know it about is really only what Ruby can gleam from her very brief time with them and Liam's somewhat biased view of it. We learn in Never Fade that the League isn't really some evil organization that misguidedly uses kids to terrorize the country. In fact it's not that black and white at all, while there are corrupt members and the organization isn't perfect, there are those who only want to help those affected by IAAN and protect them from what the government has done to them. I loved seeing that this group wasn't pure evil because it gave me a bit of hope that Ruby could really have a good group behind her as she does whatever she can to help those like her, and bring the truth to light.

Predictability: This book had some pretty amazing twists. I have to say I was pretty caught of guard at times, especially before Liam came back into the story. The build up to Liam's return was really crazy I'm not going to say when he shows up but I'll say that I was thoroughly shocked when he was because there seemed to be so many false alarms but when he is it's so unexpected and without preamble that it near struck me dumb. Also, in a world where children are left with fantastical powers it's hard to tell what's real and what's not so there are a few moments when reality may not be what the narrator is thinking which threw me off but in a very good way, a great way even because it kept me on my toes and never let the book fall into a dull moment.

Ending: I have to say I had a very smug look on my face as I red the last line. While there is a bit of heartbreak in the end of this book, there is something that happens, something so incredibly satisfying that for just a brief minute I forgot about how sad I was about some of the things that happen in the end. This one thing is brilliant and it even almost made up for the terrible things that happened at the end of The Darkest Minds, but that's just the cliffhanger of the ending. The entire ending is a bit more complex, like I said there's a bit of heartbreak which for obvious reasons I won't elaborate on, but there's also a lot of confusion as to where this story's going to go. What's next for out heroes as they fight for truth and justice... literally that's what they're fighting for, the truth to be revealed and justice for those wronged and justice to those who forced kids into camps. The ending definitely left me curious for the last installment of this series and I'm not sure if I can wait to find out what happens next.


I loved this installment, it's a bit different from The Darkest Minds, it's darker and it has a bit more of an actual mission or quest for out heroes to accomplish. It reveals a lot and has so many great twists that I'm 100% positive that if you even at the very least appreciated The Darkest Minds then you'll love this installment.


1 comment:

  1. The darkest minds is a book that could be compared to other dystopian novels, but is a whole other category, the darkest minds is a book with a level of uniqueness hard to find. It's amazing, it's sad, it's funny, it's hopeful, and its suspenseful.
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