by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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?
Last year Darkest Mind blew me away with its dystopian tale, and I was anxious to read the second installment Never Fade by author Alexandra Bracken. Action packed with a corrupt US government and kids with unique capabilities, this action packed tale kept me entertained. Three word review: action-packed, suspenseful and yes another cliffhanger!
The tale picks up a short time after Darkest Minds ends. Ruby is now working for the Children’s League, a rebel force working against the government to undermine the president and extract children from camps. Ruby is forced to use her powers, makes new friends and discovers a sinister force working within the league. She is sent on a secret mission to retrieve a flash drive from Liam Stewart, the boy she loves and whose memory she erased. The tale that unfolds is action-packed, with twists and turns and new characters to love and loathe.
Ruby faces a lot of trials, heartache and physical damage in Never Fade. Despite it all, she is brave, emerges as a leader and handles her abilities with class. She is tired, scared, but so dang determined that you cannot help but root for her. She makes new friends within the league, despite trying to stay unattached. Jude a soon to be fifteen year old is taken under her wing. He is smart, oh so sweet and Ruby develops a parental position with him. Vida is a powerful character with a sassy mouth and enough snark to make you giggle. I adored her as she stole some scenes and added to the tale. Zu is absent from this novel, but Liam and Chubs make an appearance. We see growth in Chubs, and a shift in his attitude towards Ruby. Liam hasn’t fared well since we last encountered him, but I loved the thread between him and Ruby. He is still stubborn and opinionated, but I adored him all the same. Other characters from book one and new ones that are introduced added to the tales suspense.
Never Fade took us on one heck of a ride, with twists and spins that kept the action and suspense running high. While admittedly, I did not love this as much as Darkest Mind, I did feel this was a powerful second book and that it avoided the dreaded middle book syndrome. Bracken continues to flesh out the world and reveal things to us that had my jaw dropping and stomach flipping. Despite all this I was still left wanting more world-building and answers to some nagging questions. Liam and Ruby’s fragile romance/friendship sees some development. The author made it feel genuine all while delivering a fuzzy warm feeling. Bracken allows us to become attached to the characters emotionally and takes us from laughter to tears. This is war, and it isn’t always pretty and she delivered some realistic scenes. The last part of the book evolved at a maddening pace and just when I had a moment of happy we end on a cliffhanger. I will say that as anxious as I am for book three, this book wrapped up well, and I have a clear idea of where the next book is headed and for that I am grateful.
Fans of action-packed dystopians will enjoy Never Fade and the Darkest Minds trilogy. Bracken does an excellent job of fleshing out the world and characters she has created making them memorable. The third and final novel is scheduled to release in 2014 and has yet to be titled.
Oh love dystopias! especially if the world is created right and it seems like this series has it! Have not read it yet (surprise surprise) but I am glad to hear this book did not suffer the MBS
*giggle, snort* Ya know sometimes Lily I visit blogs and feel like I don’t read any books at all. I mean I have read 257 books this year..and there are 1,000 more I would like to read. Then I stumble on the final book of what looks like an awesome trilogy and think..What? Wait, have I been living under a rock…what we need is more time! Hope you find time to read these, Darkest Mind really blew my mind last year.
Yup! that is exactly how I feel! and with new releases every week, its like woah <3 but 275 books is an amazing number!
I remember my first dystopian book: The Hunger Games. It’s what got me into reading! Anyway, I can’t wait to get my hands on The Darkest Minds for my birthday! Thanks for the giveaway, by the way!
I love that dystopian novels got you reading! Happy Birthday and you are welcome 🙂
I would like Darkest Minds first. It’s too hard trying to jump into a series mid-stream. So, dystopian literature. I read it because it’s fun to see what people think society will be like in the future or on different planets. The imaginary and creative worlds that are written fascinate and excite me. Like The Wizard Of OZ–who doesn’t find alternate realities fun??
I so agree, I love them and yes in order is a must 🙂
Thanks for the giveaway! Also, an extra thank you for always hosting giveaways where you respond to the comments people post, I really appreciate that. I like YA Dystopian books, but lately I’ve been reading so much of it, I’m looking for one to really stand out to me. I haven’t read The Darkest Minds Yet, though I met Alex Bracken very briefly last year (no autographed book, unfortunately), but it’s been on my to-read list.
Hi Jayne, thank you for the feedback. I always comment back whenever possible and I am glad you appreciate it. I love dystopian and agree I try to look for ones that stand out. Last year Darkest Mind blew my mind, and I truly feel this series is worth the effort. If you don’t win a copy, try to snag it from your library. I think its so cool you met Alex!
i just started The Drakest Minds and it is soooo good i can’t wait to start reading Never Fade!!!
Enjoy Vanessa, I remember last year it blew my mind 🙂
The Darkest Minds – dystopian books allow you to experience a different world. Thanks for the giveaaway!
Totally agree, I really enjoy them. Good luck Jana 🙂
I’d pick Never Fade, I read it and loved it and would love to own an e-copy. I like dystopians because they’re darker than contemporary novels without the paranormal twist.
So glad you loved this too 🙂
Sounds like another good one! I see that the next one is coming in 2014, so I think I’ll try to start this series in the coming months. That way I’ll be ready for the 3rd one and not have to wait too long for the cliff hanger. I do love a good cliff hanger – but waiting too long can be seriously rough. I might wait for you to read it and confirm there are no more cliff hangers lol!
Ha, I think it is a trilogy and so you will be safe 🙂
I would choose Never Fade. I’ve already read The Darkest Minds. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Good luck Mandy, and I hope you enjoy it as well 🙂
I would love Darkest Mind! Sounds like an amazing series and can’t wait to get started!!
Good luck Jolene, Darkest Minds blew my mind last year!
I loved your review! I had no clue what this or the previous book was about and your review totally has me interested in both! Talk about the cover not conveying the story to me (err, duh!). I’m adding both if I don’t have them on my TBR – I love “superpowers”, err abilities!!
this series is cool, and I hope you get a chance to try them 🙂
I’m not familiar with the first book but this sounds like a great dystopian read!
You can choose book one or two if you win, and I so recommend this series 🙂
I’d have to read DARKEST MIND first. I love the struggle in Dystopian reads.
you can choose book one or two for giveaway, good luck!
I’m dying to get started on this series!! It’ll be a nice addition to my already mile long dystopian shelf.
Good Luck Ashfa and I hope you get to read this series, I am loving it!
I think the nature of second books, in a trilogy, makes it so difficult for them to be as strong as the first book. The Darkest Minds is an exceptional book and I agree that Never Fade is really solid. I do hope more people pick-up this series because it is really good.
I so agree, I am enjoying the series, and really feel like this was a sleeper hit. It is one I recommend whenever I get the chance.
Sharon - Obsession with Books
These cliffhanger endings are so very frustrating! Despite this I did enjoy this book but not as much as the first, I love the characters, Vida was fabulous!
A great review Kimba! 🙂
I like Vida too, and book one was just so incredible but I was impressed with Never Fade.
A lot of other people also wanted more from the worldbuilding, and I hate that we have to do the whole cliffhanger thing again, but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it overall and that some beloved characters make reappearances. Wonderful review!
Well hell … the first book was one I went back-and-forth on about reading. One moment I wanted to, and the next I was meh. If only I could fit more reading in, then I probably would for sure!
I am really enjoying this series…you need to add it.
I need to find time to read this series! Everyone raves about it.
It is good and I hope you get to read them!
I have heard some great things about this series. I have it on my list and I want to read it very soon. I am so glad that you liked it as well.
thanks Heidi, this is a stand-out series and I hope you get to read them. Is it November yet? :snort:
I’m not familiar with this series but the premise reminds me of this new show on TV. It’s like mutant/superhero thingy. I think my kid will like this series.
UGH, now you have me searching the TV guide for mutant.superhero thingies!!
Melissa (My World...in words and pages)
Hmmm, sounds like a good series. Thank you. 🙂
I REALLY want to read this series! It sounds really cool. I have heard loads of good reviews for the first book. Thanks for the giveaway!
As for why I love dystopian books:
I love dystopian books because they are part of a genre so different, especially when compared to genres like paranormal romance and contemporary (except for maybe science fiction). They usually have really cool worlds that you may not have even thought of before. Usually, they are really fast paced with strong characters.
I hope you get to read them 🙂
It’s rare that I love the sequel as much as the first in a series – often because I have forgotten so much while waiting for it to release. But it sounds like this is a pretty good one regardless. I love how action packed and twisty it sounds! Glad you liked it, Kimba!
compared to the sub-par middle books of late this was a strong book, where we saw growth in both the characters and world. Thanks Giselle 🙂
I am happy there was a sidestory explaining Zu’s whereabouts!
Me too, I always hate when characters just disappear and are never mentioned again..it is downright creepy when that happens 🙂
I just took a glance at your review, as you know this how I find fill my list of “to be listen to” books. I just added this series to the list, I got to check if the first book is on audio, or if there’s any plans for it.
Thanks for reviewing, I never heard of The Darkest Mind Trilogy before.
this was a sleeper release last December and boy-howdy was book one good, and this was a solid middle book.
Melissa (Books and Things)
A Cliffie???? NOOOOooooOOOOOO! I hate those things. At least it is a trilogy so none for the next book. 🙂 Oh this one sounds so good, I’m moving the first book up the wishlist. I do think I’ll wait for the third since this one lacked some answers. Still, you enjoyed it so much it IS going on the wishlist with the first. 🙂
I am really enjoying this series, cliffs and all Melissa!
Kimba, great review. This is the kind of YA I really can sink my teeth into.
And for those of you who don’t know what a terrific lifesaver, blog helper you are I’d sing your praises from here to eternity.
thanks for the invaluable help you gave me over the weekend. What a gracious and generous person you are.
*blushes and shuffles feet* Gosh, it was nuttin’ 🙂
I would pick never fade it looks really cool and i love the cover.
thanks Jan, good luck!
I never really paid the first book much attention but with the release of this one I have been noticing the reviews more. Once the third one releases I may have to try them out! We’ll see how people like the ending of it all. 🙂
These are worth the read Candace 🙂
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
I really enjoyed the first book though it left me completely drained…glad to hear that the second lives up to it!
I hear you Melissa, I consumed the first novel in one long gulp, barely coming up for air. LOL 🙂
I skimmed your review, I am about half way done with this one. Not really thrilled about the cliffhanger ending coming, but I am still enjoying it. 🙂 Glad you did too.
I am glad you are enjoying it, and look forward to seeing your thoughts!
Thanks for the review. It’s great to hear that the second book of the series is as good as the first. Too often they just don’t measure up. Looking forward to it.
Enjoy Carl 🙂
This series sounds so good! I can’t explain why I love dystopians the way I do, but there is something about them that just completely and utterly fascinates me. This review is so exciting, and these are definitely going on my list! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway!
I know exactly what you mean, the whole lore to the YA genre was dystopians and post-apocalyptic tales..I love them.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series (even though I’m still unhappy about the whole memory erasing thing). And I’m sad there won’t be any Zu. But I’ll come back for more Chubbs 🙂
Chubbs really surprised me in this second book…enjoy it is an exhilarating ride! 🙂
Ugh! Cliffhangers. I’m so tired of them lately.
I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed Never Fade, Kim. I loved the first book in the series too. You’re not the only one who has mentioned the lack of answers to some question and I think along with the cliffhanger it would annoy me.
Ruby’s relationship with Jude seems incredibly sweet though. I need to meet this little guy.
Great review, Kim!
Well to be honest Nick, I am never satisfied regarding answers..LOL and yes the cliffy sucks, but it also makes the wait exciting. Well worth the read, and a solid second book. The characters alone make it worthy.
I am dying for a blurb for a new book right now, I do hate t wait to I get it
Agreed..I want something, anything please!
I have heard about the cliffhangers in this series! As much as I want to try it, I still think I will wait until all the books are out. I am so glad that you are enjoying this series even if this one wasn’t quite as good as the first.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have when you read them!
Sounds like this wasn’t *quite* as good as the first (darned middle books) but I love how Ruby is really making a difference in the fight and the new character sounds fantastic!
Darkest Mind was a tough act to follow, the world and characters blew me away, but compared to other middle books released this year, I was more than satisfied.
Felicia The Geeky Blogger
Can I just lament the resurgence of cliffhangers? GAH! I am seriously iffy about buying books these days just because of that. I have almost given up on dystopian not having any and have been waiting for complete series to be out before starting. Even though that isn’t optimal for the author (credit for buy wise), I am just not a fan of cliffies.
:snort: I love them and hate them!! Although if I am honest, series that I continued in 2013 were higher if they ended on cliffhanger last year compared to those that didn’t. Eep.
I’m new to this genre but based on your review I’d like to read these books. I think my daughters will like them too.
You could read them together 🙂
I still haven’t had a chance to start this series, although it sounds very cool!
The first book released at the end of last year and was such a surprise. Hope you get to read them Megan 🙂
Cliffhangers seem to be popular again. I really like the sound of this one and I have heard amazing things about the first book and I must read it. Great review 🙂
Ya know Tanja I love and hate them 🙂
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I almost can’t believe that the second book is out already. I’m glad Ruby made some new friends, she was so very isolated in the first book, it made me terribly sad. And the romance sounds exactly like the type I enjoy most, not dramatic or exhausting, but gentle and believable.
Can’t wait to read this now!
Thanks for the lovely review.
I agree Maja although she is still reluctant to open up. Enjoy!