Ruby never chose to be an Orange. She never wanted to be able to control people’s minds or be a detainee in Thurmond. She didn’t want to lose Liam and Chubs and Zu. She didn’t want anything to do with the Children’s League.
But Ruby hasn’t been able to make her own choices for a very long time.
After escaping the Smoke and trying to save her friends as best she could, Ruby is now part of the Children’s League, More than that, she’s the Leader of her team. But all Ruby can think is that they’re trusting a monster. Because isn’t that what someone with her ability must be–a monster?
Something is wrong in the League. Secrets and lies threaten to bring the entire organization down with deadly consequences for Ruby and the other children in the League. Worse, crucial information about the virus that has cost the country, and Ruby herself, so much has gone missing.
Desperate to gain control over her life and keep the people she cares about safe, Ruby embarks on a desperate mission to track down the missing information even if it will lead her back to Liam Stewart–the boy Ruby thought she’d never see again, the one who won’t remember her either way.
Ruby has bartered away her own freedom to protect her friends. As she tries again to keep everyone safe, she has to decide how much more she can lose before nothing of the real Ruby is left in Never Fade (2013) by Alexandra Bracken.
Never Fade is the sequel to Bracken’s novel The Darkest Minds. It is also the second book in this trilogy.
This book picks up a few months after the events of The Darkest Minds. It also relies very heavily on events from book one making this a series you should start at the beginning.
Bracken strikes a perfect balance between old and new characters here. Readers will recognize some familiar faces (even some surprising ones) from book one. At the same time newer characters that Ruby encounters at the League add a lot to the story with new personalities that jump off the page.
Never Fade opens with some intricate action sequences that are a serious departure from the tone and rhythm of book one. However after the action packed opening the story returns to pacing and structure more in line with what readers of The Darkest Minds would expect.
It’s impossible to say more about the plot without seriously spoiling both this book and the first. Suffice it to say that this one has just as many twists and surprises as the first along with some new locations. Despite the fast-paced plot, the focus remains on the characters as Bracken highlights the changes Ruby (and others) have been forced to make after the events of book one.
The characters are also central to this story and a huge part of why this series works. Without ever being overly romantic or twee, Never Fade is a testament to the power of connections even as those bonds are tested and broken. It’s not an exaggeration to say this book will break your heart even as it puts the pieces back together.
Action and suspense will keep readers turning the pages anxiously but the bonds between Ruby and her friends and the surprising revelations at the ending are what makes Never Fade another sensational read from a great author.
Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, False Memory by Dan Krokos, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2013*