Another Friday! So last Friday I talked about The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken here and this month I’m proud to have finally finished the sequel and hope to finish the trilogy by March if all goes well. So today I’d like to discuss my thoughts on book 2, Never Fade. This review will contain spoilers for the first book so if you haven’t read it be warned, seriously, it kind of left in a cliff hanger.
You’ve been warned. We left off with Chubs being shot and the only option to save them Ruby brings the Children’s League to them to save him and offers herself for Chubs and Liam to be free. Knowing Liam would never leave her in their hands she used her gift on him to wipe herself from his mind and keep him safe. She now works for the League as a team leader using her powers and becoming the monster she’d feared she could become breaking the minds of enemies. Now she is thrust into a new mission, one with a huge secret that could change everything. The only problem is her mission will take her to the one person she thought she’d never see again, Liam. Pushed back into a world of old friends and the promises she’s made she is torn. One thing she will do is everything in her power to protect those she loves.
Never Fade, for me had lots happening in it. There was the overall mission but also so much growth with the characters. Ruby has really grown into her power and while that could make her a horrible monster thrilled on her power she hates having to use it and that keeps her very human and relatable even as she tries to shut out all emotion. Her struggle doing what she does working with the League and her knowing that she feels she made the right call saving her friends even when she misses them. We also get to know some new characters, some we just love from the start and others…let's say a bit less so. Still the new dynamic of the League and getting to know more about them from the inside was great. While they were one of the bad guys in the previous book, we learn there is more than one side to things.
When Ruby is reunited with Chubs I was just beside myself. I missed him so much. I was happy to have his huge brain full of facts and comments around. He's grown some as well and we get to see more of him and how he's progressed on his own, both having been through some things since last they were together. Then Liam. I was so terrified of that moment because…well honestly just him not knowing her was hard. To know how cute and sweet they were and how much love was between them before she took it away to save him expecting to never see him again and to see him look at her and not know who she is. Heartbreaking. And poor Chubs is in the middle of it all as well.
This book moves along pretty steady as there is never a shortage of things happening. The world is not their friend and that leads to danger around most turns which keeps pace well with the emotional growth of our characters. It also gives insight slowly into the overall big picture of things. In book one we focused more on staying free and away from the government and the League, Never Fade focuses more on the bigger picture of the broken US and possible solutions, oh and staying alive of course. I can't wait to see how the series wraps up because this one grew the story and I have high hopes for what will happen as it concludes.
Again my own negative really was the same in the other book and I expect it will be in the next, long chapters. Just my personal preference is all and in no way detracted from the book. I did take longer to read with life getting in the way but I was able to dive back in where ever I'd leave off without issue which I always think is a positive. I'd love to know if you've read the series and what you thought of it in the comments below. I'm excited for the last book and the novella bind-up.
Until next time…