Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Source/Format: Hardback, Borrowed from the Library
More Details: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher/Publication Date: Disney Hyperion, October 15, 2013

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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?
Whenever I pick up a sequel to a book I really like there’s always that lingering worry that it’s not going to be good—that it might suffer from middle book syndrome where nothing happens, no plot development or otherwise. But thankfully, with Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken, stuff happens, lots of it actually.

Ruby is back and dealing with the consequences of her decisions from the end of book 1. She’s in the Children’s League, and right from the start I already knew that it wasn’t everything it first appeared to be, and the truth behind some of the agents was pretty much terrible—but their mindset tied in with the attitude that was often cast at the children. It wasn’t justified since Ruby and the others had no control over what happened to them, but at the same time these details fit with the established world set up by The Darkest Minds.

There were a few additions to the cast such as Liam’s older brother Caleb, along with Vida, Jude, and a few other kids she meets in the Children’s League. There were appearances by a few of my favorite characters from book 1, but they were changed by their circumstances and partially by some of Ruby’s decisions.

The plot was very interesting, and I felt like Bracken did a pretty good job with expanding the world. The pacing was excellent. The opening chapter really set up the tone of the story, and it was consistent throughout. There was never a point that I got bored with the book.

Really, my only complaint was that Ruby seemed to make some questionable choices again. But that minor details didn’t detract much from the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed Never Fade and look forward to eventually finishing this trilogy.

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