Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

by Alexandra Bracken

3.75 of 5 stars 16 ratings • 8 reviews • 33 shelved
Book cover for Never Fade

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Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

by Alexandra Bracken

3.75 of 5 stars 16 ratings • 8 reviews • 33 shelved
"In the second installment of The Darkest Minds trilogy, Ruby joins forces with the revolutionary Children's League to find critical information about the epidemic that has torn both her life and America apart"--

Ruby joins forces with the revolutionary Children's League to find critical information about the epidemic that has torn both her life and America apart. The plot contains profanity, sexual situations, and graphic violence. Book #2
  • ISBN10 1423159330
  • ISBN13 9781423159339
  • Publish Date 30 September 2014 (first published 15 October 2013)
  • Publish Status Out of Stock
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Disney-Hyperion
  • Format Paperback (US Trade)
  • Pages 507
  • Language English


Avatar for ladygrey

Fairly early on in this book I moved from being unimpressed to disdain. the paragraphs and paragraphs of description bothered me, even more so when they're in the middle of action or dialog. I just so don't care.

Even worse, there’s too much cursing in this book. Not even YA, TV-14 cursing. Like straight up cable network, hard cursing. It’s beyond annoying. It's inappropriate and makes me not want to read the book. It's the one reason I won't add this to my YA shelf.

Also, the actions don’t line up again. Like, they’re riding under a bus in the luggage compartment but she’s keeping her eyes on the road. There are no windows down there! Or Liam is behind her but then kissing her forehead. There's fewer of them but things just don't line up.

The main problem with this book is there is too much Ruby and she’s not interesting. Jude’s barely interesting. Cole is interesting but he’s there and then he’s gone. I keep reading it but not because it’s compelling, because there’d nothing else to do. Finally, around chapter 23 it got marginally interesting - but, seriously, chapter 23! Not only did interesting characters come back into the story but I also started skipping entire paragraphs of setting description and Ruby's internal musing. I kept it to the dialog and the action and everything moved much more quickly and was moderately interesting.

Avatar for shannonmiz

shannonmiz 4 of 5 stars
3.5 Stars

Though I enjoyed this book, it took me quite awhile to get through it, which is pretty unusual for me. You can read more about that here, with full review.

What I Liked: I love the characters in this series. Sure, I like Ruby, she's fine. But oh, the others! I could probably read books on end about Chubs, and Jude, and hell, even Vida. I loved the dynamics of all the relationships, the trust issues, the lighthearted moments. The characters really make this series, in my opinion. Also, I liked that there are some questions answered, along with some new questions that leave the reader wanting to know what happens next. The second half of the book was quite action-packed, and I definitely wanted to keep reading!

What I didn't: So the second half was pretty great. But the first half really dragged for me, which is probably why it took so long to finish. That, and the book is 500+ pages. So if it is dragging, it is really dragging. I felt like there was just too much detail, events were taking too long, and I kind of didn't care anymore.

Bottom Line: I think that had this book been a bit shorter, I'd have been much more enthusiastic. As it stands, I really did enjoy the second half, and the characters were what kept me going throughout, so I will definitely be reading the third installment.

Avatar for briana

I read this book without realizing there's a book that comes before it (and it surprisingly makes a lot of sense without it!), but I don't feel I should give a full review without having the full context of the series. That said, the book has very compelling characters, believable world-building, and strong writing.

Avatar for divaboooknerd

Kelly 4 of 5 stars
The Darkest Minds was the surprise of 2012, and Never Fade was a worthy follow up, even bordering on surpassing the original. A group of kids that were plucked from their lives and thrown into detention camps around the country, for exhibiting supernatural abilities. A disease that swept through the juvenile population spared some, while others simply perished. Parents often called the authorities, scared of being harmed and only wanting to rehabilitate their young. The children are barely kept alive, tortured and abused, yet the public aren't aware that the children aren't being rehabilitated, nor will they ever be cured. But with the information that Ruby is sent to retrieve, the future of the children and their families may never be the same again.

Ruby is an awesome female heroine, she's tough and makes no apologies. But the real star of Never Fade is Vida. Vida is a member of Ruby's team at the Children's League and if you think her bark is bad, you've never seen this girl bite. She's snarky, witty and balls to the wall tough as they come. My only complaint is that for the first few chapters, I was struggling to remember where book one had left off and who some of the characters are, unfortunately Never Fade provides little to no back story until you read midway through. But as the storyline began to click into place, I absolutely loved it. The Darkest Minds is a series that challenges the young adult boundaries and is impossible to put down. Alexandra Bracken has mastered the art of submerging the reader into the storyline and allowing us to connect with her characters. And the ending? Epic. The third book is set to be explosive.

Avatar for jnikkir

jnikkir 3 of 5 stars
This review can also be found at my blog, There were books involved...


Warning: Minor spoilers for Book 1 of this series. Check out my review of The Darkest Minds here.

Most of Never Fade was "just okay" for me. Unfortunately there was a lot of "expectations ≠ reality". Which is weird, considering a lot of my problems with this book sort of reflect the issues I had with The Darkest Minds, or at least make sense considering things I noticed about book 1. So, while my expectations were high, I guess I'm not too surprised by my reaction to Never Fade.

For me, The Darkest Minds was really good, but it owed a lot of its strength to its "minor" characters. Chubs and Liam and Zu were around for most of that book, and they served to draw Ruby out of her shell, and ultimately make her a more believable - or likeable, at least for me - character. The three of them were fantastic, and I find each of them on their own a much more interesting character than Ruby.

Now that Ruby's without them for most of Never Fade, things just didn't work for me.

However, I don't want to start out with a major downer, so let me talk for a second about what I did like. Namely, the plot and pacing. It took about 30% of the book before things started to really pick up, but once they did, it was one heck of a ride -- totally action-packed. I have absolutely no problems with the plot -- in fact I really loved it. It's interesting and exciting and original, and has plenty of twists and turns. There was never a dull moment, and I certainly didn't have a problem maintaining my interest through the book.

However, now we have to talk about what I didn't like about Never Fade... Ruby. I really, really do not like Ruby. She doesn't make sense to me at all. Her decisions are rash, and she goes from being a super tough, badass, take-no-crap character, to an emotional wreck, almost at the turn of a page.

In Never Fade, Ruby is pretty much alone for a huge portion of the book. Not "alone" in the sense that she's not with other people, but she's isolated in the situation she's put herself in by joining the Children's League. She has a few "friends", but God knows why they stick by her. The way she acts doesn't really seem conducive to friend-making, but whatever. Without the original group of Liam, Chubs, and Zu around, I felt like Ruby's character -- and by extension, her narration -- became stark and emotionally boring.

There seemed to be a huge disconnect between the strong girl she became by the end of The Darkest Minds (as long as she was with her friends, anyway), and wherever she ended up by the time we jump back into Never Fade. Yes, she's strong in Never Fade, but it seemed to me to be a strength that came from betraying her beliefs and putting herself in a really bad position, and having to stick it out.

You might think I'm being too harsh, and maybe I am. She did something at the end of The Darkest Minds that kind of sucked (understatement - but I don't want to get into why I have a big problem with her actions there). She's living with the consequences of her decision, which forces her to become a much harder character. But the gap just seems too huge between The Darkest Minds-Ruby and Never Fade-Ruby.

And once she gets her friends back in Never Fade, she jumps right back into being the character from The Darkest Minds, like, immediately. (I literally made a note to myself when I got to that part in the book ("Oh, THERE'S the Ruby I remember from TDM..."). That's not how realistic character-development works -- unless her entire demeanor up until then had been an act which she suddenly dropped. Which is not how it read at all.

So... all that to say, I'm not a Ruby fan.

Now, regarding that awful cliffhanger at the end of The Darkest Minds... It took a while for that to be resolved (longer than I was hoping, really), but I held out hope that it would be resolved in a manner that made me feel better about Ruby's action in the first place. I had no idea what that manner would be, but I was definitely hoping there would be a bit more to the resolution than what ended up happening. It just seemed a little too convenient, to me. I was expecting to feel a lot more about Ruby and Liam's predicament when things finally started to get resolved, and while it was sweet, it wasn't really as emotionally fulfilling as I wanted it to be.


In conclusion...

It's weird, because I feel like maybe, if the books were told in 3rd person, with alternating POVs between Ruby and Liam or something, I would be completely obsessed with this series. The plot works, the cast of characters is great, but obviously the main problem I have with this series is its narrator and main character. I'm not sure whether I'll pick up book 3 when it comes out... I mean, I probably will, just because I would like to know what happens to the rest of the characters. But unfortunately, I'm not going to be counting down the days until its release, either.

I wanted so much to love this series!! Super disappointing when I just can't muster the enthusiasm. Meh.

Avatar for kimbacaffeinate

Last year Darkest Mind blew me away with its dystopian tale, and I was anxious to read the second installment Never Fade by author Alexandra Bracken. Action packed with a corrupt US government and kids with unique capabilities, this action packed tale kept me entertained. Mini review: action-packed, suspenseful and yes another cliffhanger!

The tale picks up a short time after Darkest Minds ends. Ruby is now working for the Children’s League, a rebel force working against the government to undermine the president and extract children from camps. Ruby is forced to use her powers, makes new friends and discovers a sinister force working within the league. She is sent on a secret mission to retrieve a flash drive from Liam Stewart, the boy she loves and whose memory she erased. The tale that unfolds is action-packed, with twists and turns and new characters to love and loathe.

Ruby faces a lot of trials, heartache and physical damage in Never Fade. Despite it all, she is brave, emerges as a leader and handles her abilities with class. She is tired, scared, but so dang determined that you cannot help but root for her. She makes new friends within the league, despite trying to stay unattached. Jude a soon to be fifteen year old is taken under her wing. He is smart, oh so sweet and Ruby develops a parental position with him. Vida is a powerful character with a sassy mouth and enough snark to make you giggle. I adored her as she stole some scenes and added to the tale. Zu is absent from this novel, but Liam and Chubs make an appearance. We see growth in Chubs, and a shift in his attitude towards Ruby. Liam hasn’t fared well since we last encountered him, but I loved the thread between him and Ruby. He is still stubborn and opinionated, but I adored him all the same. Other characters from book one and new ones that are introduced added to the tales suspense.

Never Fade took us on one heck of a ride, with twists and spins that kept the action and suspense running high. While admittedly, I did not love this as much as Darkest Mind, I did feel this was a powerful second book and that it avoided the dreaded middle book syndrome. Bracken continues to flesh out the world and reveal things to us that had my jaw dropping and stomach flipping. Despite all this I was still left wanting more world-building and answers to some nagging questions. Liam and Ruby’s fragile romance/friendship sees some development. The author made it feel genuine all while delivering a fuzzy warm feeling. Bracken allows us to become attached to the characters emotionally and takes us from laughter to tears. This is war, and it isn’t always pretty and she delivered some realistic scenes. The last part of the book evolved at a maddening pace and just when I had a moment of happy we end on a cliffhanger. I will say that as anxious as I am for book three, this book wrapped up well, and I have a clear idea of where the next book is headed and for that I am grateful.

Fans of action-packed dystopians will enjoy Never Fade and the Darkest Minds trilogy. Bracken does an excellent job of fleshing out the world and characters she has created making them memorable. The third and final novel is scheduled to release in 2014 and has yet to be titled.

Copy received in exchange for unbiased review and originally published @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer