January 21, 2015

Shelley's Shot of YA: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Series: The Darkest Minds # 2 
Format: Hardcopy, 512 pages 
Release Date: October 15, 2013 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Borrowed Library
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
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?

NEVER FADE, the second novel in The Darkest Minds trilogy, actually picks up 6 months after the end of The Darkest Minds. 17-year old Ruby Daly never thought she would train to be a soldier, or go on rescue missions, or become a designated leader. She was just lucky to be rescued, and given a chance that a lot of others can only dream about. But, she has. Now, Ruby finds herself not only training hard, but also using her psionic abilities to ferret out the truth from agents, and those the Children's League brings in.

Bracken recreated the US into a place where a horrible virus forever changed America's children. Those who survived the disease were left with unnatural powers that could only be described by a color: the greens (super intelligent), the blues (telepathic), the yellows (control over electricity), the oranges (power over the mind), and the reds (control fire). Ruby is an orange, and a very dangerous one at that. 

Bracken's President Gray is a ruthless leader who doesn't mind putting anyone from age 7 years on up to 18 into so called rehabilitation camps where, like Ruby who spent 6 years in Thurmond, linger for years without any hopes of ever getting out. He doesn't tolerate rebellion, and yet that is exactly what the Children's Network does while it's also supposed to be rescuing children from the camps.  

With a new story, comes Ruby's new mantra which is Accept, adapt, act. But, when she finds herself in the middle of a political game of chance, she and her teammates Vida and Jude, travel to the east coast searching for Liam Stewart and even more intriguing surprises that pop up along the way. 

What's interesting about Ruby this time out, is that she actually grows as a character and becomes more in-tuned with her abilities. She still struggles with the right or wrong aspects of using them, but that's because she refuses to become a monster like one Chancy Gray. I also liked her relationship with Cat Conner, who helped her escape from Thurmond, and chose her to become the leader of the psionic children.

Another character I liked in NEVER FADE, is Vida who is about as sarcastic and sassy as you can be without driving someone up the wall. I was also happy that Liam and Chubs once again make appearances, and to say that things have changed a whole lot for both characters, is an understatement. Unfortunately, Suzume (Zu) is not around at all. The hope is that she still alive, but I guess we'll have to wait until the final installment to find out.

NEVER FADE ends on a really emotionally charged cliffhanger that leaves everyone shocked to the core and scrambling to figure out what happens next. I can't say I that I wasn't surprised that this would happen with all the political moves, and counter-moves, but not to this character. One of the most nerve wrecking part of this story is Liam and Ruby’s romance/friendship which is like watching two lightweight boxes duking it out. They both need to leave their egos at the door, and just over themselves! 

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  1. I have heard so many good things about this series that I have actually purchased all the books, now I just need to actually read them LOL!
    Great review!

    1. Thank you! Just finished the final book as well, hopefully that review will be up shortly as well!

  2. THe romance sounds a bit frustrating. I have heard great things about this series. Yikes. I cliffie, good thing the next book is already out.

    1. I totally agree Heidi! I'm glad that I was able to read it so soon after finishing Never Fade!

  3. Sounds like I should take a look at book 1

  4. Oh authors and those cliffies! lol Glad you're able to get to the next one now. Sounds like a stunning end to this one.

  5. Series sounds great, but booo to the cliffhanger! Glad to see that the next one is out already (according to the comments) :D

  6. Unfortunately, the first me left me so hopping mad that I didn't bother continuing on with the series. I'm glad things are getting more interesting for you, though. I'm also sad Suzume was MIA in this one. She's a lovely character, I know that at least. :)

    1. That's a fact! Good thing the series wraps up In The Afterlight!

  7. I'm not sure I remember what book 1 is but it sounds interesting and it's great to see that this sequel shows you the evolution of the characters like that. thank you for the review!

  8. I really loved The Darkest Minds, so super excited for the second book myself!

  9. I'm hoping to post my review for the final book soon! Bracken is definitely creative writer.


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