By: Melanie | October 16, 2013 | (26) Comments

Review: Never Fade by Alexandra BrackenNever Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds, #2
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Pages: 512
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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?

There are no words to explain this book. No words. Just screams of denial. Just cries of happiness. Just sobs of the reluctant realisation that the sequel to Never Fade is yet, another year away. I hate you too, time.

After the shocking cliff-hanger The Darkest Minds left us readers on, Never Fade immediately throws us back into Alexandra Bracken’s dystopian world, with our dangerous teenagers that hold Psi abilities. And the beloved protagonist is one of the most threatening ones, an Orange. Clearly, Never Fade was a character orientated novel; these characters were what made the plot and other aspects feel three-dimensional. Ruby may not be the most kick-ass character I’ve come across, but she has to be one of the most well rounded protagonists. Ruby is full of determination to get things right, I loved her heartbreak over removing herself from Liam’s memory but what was more endearing about her charisma was that she could be strong emotionally and physically. Like I said earlier, there are not enough words in the dictionary to explain Ruby’s magnificence. She most definitely is not a flawless character; her blemishes are what shaped her admirable character.

“Oh, thank God. I saw you both on the ground and I thought you killed each other.”

Another strength in Never Fade was the relationships, friendships and romance. We are introduced to new characters, and  to old character–though I shall not divulge exactly which of the old characters. But as for the new characters, Ruby meets a few new people–maybe not as amazing as Chubs, Zu and Liam but still plentiful in depth. We finally meet with Liam’s older brother, Cole. He may look and talk like Liam but has a much harsher tone and his personality did make me grit my teeth in frustration, though still a fun character in the end. There’s also Vida, she’s full of spunk and comprehensively fierce. A little similar to Chubs in a way, a person who may seem unlikable and lame but actually lovable once you get to know them. Yet above all, my favourite was Jude. Easily excitable, curious but still a little dramatic i.e. freaking out on a plane flight. But he kept me smiling whenever he talked. These characters were all fantastically created; I don’t think Alexandra Bracken could have selected any better qualities in both the main character, and supporting characters. After all, this cast of bad-ass-ness had to be strong and persist and work together through hardships to survive.

Alas, what killed it down to a 4 star read was two small elements; the pace and not-intricate enough plot. The same issue in The Darkest Minds reoccurred in Never Fade. The pace was inconsistent. Here, I felt like all the important things were cramped up in the last half and the first half was just strolling along, at a good speed, but evening it out more would suffice better. And lastly, the plot. I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that this was a 500+ paged novel yet I felt that the book was stretched. This easily could have been cut down to 400 pages, I assume. I wanted more things happening, more problems to occur and more action. My two quibbles with this book were incredibly small, maybe even leaning this slightly towards a 4.5 star read.

Told wonderfully but Alexandra Bracken, we leave off with another cliff-hanger though not as terrible as the one in The Darkest Minds. The characters and world created by Alexandra Bracken were truly sensational. If you have not read this series, I suggest you start now.

~Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~

4 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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26 Responses to Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

  1. Oh wow, this is a new one for me and it sounds pretty great. Gotta check it out more.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: Dark Whispers by Krista D. BallMy Profile

  2. Tanja says:

    Gimme this! I cannot believe that I haven’t heard of this series before, as this sounds just like the dystpian stories I enjoy. A book with great relationship, friendship and romance is always a win for me. Glad you enjoyed this one. I hope I’ll get to read it soon. Great review Mel 😉
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#65)My Profile

  3. Wow, you’ve totally sold the series for me Mel! I love the concept of teenagers with Psi abilities. On the TBR it goes!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…October New Release Giveaway Hop (INT)My Profile

  4. I tried very hard with the first book, but it just didn’t pull me in, and then I read somewhere that it ends with a cliffhanger so I just dropped it. However, now that the second book is almost out, and it’s obviously very good, I’m more than willing to go back to it.
    And I think this cover is awesome. I haven’t seen the US cover yet, but I doubt I’ll like it as much as I like this one.
    Great review.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Banishing the DarkMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I’m actually no fan of the AUS/UK cover, it looks rather lame to me. The covers have actually been changed too, the first one was gorgeous but the new change of AUS covers is just bleh.

    • Lauren Fuchs says:

      Don’t give up!! The beginning may be a little slow but it is world building and it is done beautifully. I love this series and now that Never Fade is out you can just pick up where the last cliffhanger left off. Seems like a good solution to me! Oh and I actually don’t love the AUS/UK covers. They don’t do much for me.

  5. I’ve wanted to read THE DARKEST MINDS for the longest of times now, but just can’t bring myself to break my book-buying ban for it! And wow, here I am, already shivering in anticipation for the sequel whose first book I’ve not yet read, because of your first paragraph. Sounds like you really got sucked up into an emotional whirlwind. O_O

    I’m glad that NEVER FADE did well in terms of characterization, and that even the newer characters were easily discernible and had their own personalities. I love their names, haha! “Chubs,” “Zu,” “Vida”… Awesome names for my future children. 😉 Though I probably don’t want to name my son “Chubs,” because that would suck.

    Sorry about the pacing, though. Inconsistency + me = enemies. It’s okay if the book isn’t action packed all the way, but at least keep it interesting for the most part! I dislike it when the book starts out all gritty and intriguing, only to turn into something slower in the middle. It’s like, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS. EITHER GET ON WITH THE STORY, OR DON’T.

    I really do intend on reading the first book soon. (Uh, maybe next year.) Great review, though! I always love how informative and neat your reviews are. Unlike mine. >.<
    Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan recently posted…Why Do Asylums Give Us the Creeps? [Horror October]My Profile

  6. Henrietta says:

    Thanks for sharing how much you’ve enjoyed reading the series! Ruby sounds so competent and strong – I think I’d like to meet her 🙂
    Henrietta recently posted…Ryan Hunter – Piper ShellyMy Profile

  7. I like this type of book. This is new to me. I love books with strong female characters. I’m so sorry that you have to wait for a long time for the next book. I don’t like cliffhangers. I read the HP series after all the books came out! 😀
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…77. Near and Far (Book 2) by Nicole WilliamsMy Profile

  8. Wow you have me desperate to pick up my copy of the first book now. I bought a copy almost as soon as it released but never actually got around to it! I’m so glad to hear the sequel is a strong one. Lovely review, Mel. 🙂
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…The Killing Woods Blog Tour: 1st Chapter + Giveaway!My Profile

  9. Shelly says:

    Once again, you review the book I am dying to read! I LOVED the Darkest Minds and I need to get my hands on this one too! AND CHUBS, please tell me it’s him we get to see because I liked him more than I liked Ruby (I usually hate YA protagonists) so I need some more Chubs!! *deep breath* Sorry for fangirling slightly but I can’t contain my excitement. Amazing review and thanks for making me want to read this book even more!! (and I’m sorry to read about the slow-pacing, that’s always the worst!) 🙂
    Shelly recently posted…Neighbouring Opinions: Forgive Me, Leonard PeacockMy Profile

  10. Emily says:

    Wow, this looks like a really great read! It’s sad that since it managed to tick off all factors, that it was pulled down by the pacing again 🙁
    I’ve not actually read The Darkest Minds series, but the way you describe it makes me want to! xD
    Fantastic review Mel, thanks for sharing with us hon! <33
    Emily recently posted…ARC Review: Waterfell by Amalie HowardMy Profile

  11. Candace says:

    For some reason I never had an urge to read the first book but I have to admit that I’m more curious now! I think I just hadn’t really read any reviews that got me interested before. I’ll be sure to watch for it at the store!
    Candace recently posted…Something Wicked Returns: Michael Pierce Flash Fiction + Giveaway!My Profile

  12. I haven’t read the first one, but I’m so glad you really enjoyed this one! I love when books have great, well-developed characters, regardless of genre!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Blog Tour/Giveaway: Stained by Cheryl RainfieldMy Profile

  13. Andrea Bracken’s books are very hit or miss for me, but I do really like the premise of this one. I wonder, however, if the lack of intricacy in the plot would bug me. Great review, Melanie!

  14. Jenni says:

    Ah! It sounds like you really loved this one. I have read a few books lately that would hav ebene just that smidge better had it been cut down in length a bit. Seems they are trying to draw them out lately and there is just no need for that. Great review, Melanie!
    Jenni recently posted…Freakboy ReviewMy Profile

  15. I love it when books make you scream, Mel. 😀 Tonya really loved Darkest Minds, so I need to get off my butt and give it another go sometime! I’m glad you loved the sequel, despite a few quibbles here and there. And now the wait for book three….
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Mini Reviews: Secret Lives EditionMy Profile

  16. Eeep! I have this on my pile and I am pretty excited. So glad you enjoyed it!!
    Jen @ YA Romantics
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  18. I loved Never Fade, but I totally agree with you. The pace was odd, and the end was a little too fast compared to the extremely slow middle. However, the character development and the cliff hanger was tied together beautifully 🙂
    Nerdy Bookworm recently posted…Mr. Moonie….. (THE MOON)My Profile

  19. Pingback: Book Review: Never Fade | Books, TV, and Me

  20. Pingback: Review: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken | YA Midnight Reads

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