Title: Never Fade
Series: The Darkest Minds, #2
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Length: 507 pages | 15 hours, 23 minutes
Source: Borrowed from my local library
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?
The Darkest Minds ended with such a heart-wrenching scene that I was curious where it could pick up from there. Turns out, it opens about three months or so after the end of book 1. Ruby is a fully trained Children’s League asset, and still having issues with her power, and trying not to think of Liam. She’s the leader of a team, which is where we meet new characters Jude (the spazzy kid) and Vida (the spiky one).
I’ll just get this out of the way right now: the reason I’m rating this 4, not 5, is because the new team felt like an excuse to repeat the same dynamic and relationships of book 1. Because of this, some scenes and driving tension were redundant. Those relationships and dynamics *did* change, and the second half of the book didn’t feel like a repeat of the first.
In fact, the second half of the book was fraught with tension, and awesome. Ruby becomes a monster, but she’s self-aware. So there’s plenty of internal angst, to match the external challenges, both within the League and within the country. The overall plot, things like the question of what IAAN is, is further developed in this story. So I’m comfortable saying, whatever you liked about the first book, you’ll like about the second one.