Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Paranormal
Release Date: November 1, 2013 (Aus)
Source: HarperCollins Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis. 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 - 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, 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.
Review by Nara
I used to dream about turning back time, about reclaiming the things I'd lost and the person I used to be.
But not anymore.After that disgusting cliffhanger at the end of The Darkest Minds, I do believe most people were dying to get their hands on a copy of this book. Well, bad news people: WE GET YET ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER. I mean, sure, it's nowhere near as horrible as the one from the first book, but it's bad in a different way: a my-curiosity-is-exploding type way rather than an I've-been-stabbed-in-the-feels-and-lay-bleeding-on-the-ground way. That being said, though, there are certainly an abundance of feels inducing moments in this book one of which stems from a death. YES PEOPLE, THERE IS INDEED A DEATH. *cue dramatic music*
I really think the best aspect of this series is the character cast. They're all just so likeable and multifaceted and incredibly well developed. Which is why it's so devastating when ONE OF THEM DIES. We're introduced to a few new characters in Never Fade: Jude- a yellow, Nico- a green and Vida- a blue. Initially, you definitely think Vida's just this brat who's out to impress the higher ups in the Children's League, but later on, Vida is hilarious. She's the source of comedic relief- completely uninhibited with no filter...some of her one liners were so damn good. On the other hand, Jude was likeable from the outset, and he only grew on me as the book went on. For people who have read the book: THE COMPASS FEELS. And Nico- I feel like we didn't really get to see that much of him, and perhaps his role will be expanded in the third book. (Also, was I the only person who pictured him like Nico from the Percy Jackson series? haha)
I was terrified of the guilt and shame that would come flooding in when I retraced my steps, turned the lock, and found the girl I had abandoned. I didn't want to know what the darkness there had done to her, if she would even recognise herself in my face.The Ruby/Liam dynamic was probably what I was most looking forward to in this book. After the devastation of the Darkest Minds, I wanted them to get together again- I mean, who wouldn't? And when Liam finally finds out the truth of what Ruby did to him- that seriously was the most heartbreaking scene. You know when you get that funny feeling in your chest that isn't quite a physical pain, but it kind of feels like your chest is being squeezed? Yeah, that happened in that scene. THE FEELS.
By the way, random sidenote, did anyone else notice that Alex really likes ending her chapters with the word "darkness"? I swear, every second chapter seemed to end with that word haha. Also, the characters really seem to like shortening already short names to one syllable nicknames- Suzume- Zu (which, fair enough, because it's slightly long), Ruby- Roo, Liam- Lee etc.
It's interesting- these days, not many series seem to be suffering from Second Book Syndrome. It's almost as if the authors are consciously making the effort to make their second books much better than their firsts. In any case, those who have read The Darkest Minds should definitely grab a copy of this as soon as possible. And those who haven't dug into this series yet- do it.