Series: The Darkest Minds, #2
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
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!~
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