Never Fade By Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade
The Darkest Minds: Book Two
Written By Alexandra Bracken 
Dystopian, Paranormal
Published October 15th 2013  
508 Pages
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 recognise 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 survival was never an option?
It's been six months since Ruby has seen Liam, after wiping his memory clean and leaving her freedom behind in the ashes of East River. Ruby now works with the Children's League, her only option to keep Liam safe. When children with supernatural abilities were thrown into rehabilitation camps, parents believing in president Grey's philosophy that their children will be treated and sent home. But the colour coded children never see their families again. After Ruby escaped the clutches of the Children's league, she stumbled across Liam, Chubs and Zu. Three unique personalities with abilities to rival her own, it's a past that Ruby needs to leave behind. The powers of control that she possesses are being tested as her role of Leader within the league, but it seems that not everyone at HQ believes in utilising their abilities. Suspicious incidents during missions are thinning the field, and Ruby knows that it may very well be her who's next. The league aren't the revolutionaries they claim to be, once established to expose the truth behind the children being detained within the camps, now seemingly have lost their way.

A fellow agent enlists her help with a mission off grid, to retrieve a data device that is potentially holding crucial information to cure the ability infected children, releasing them from the rehabilitation camps. Her only hesitation is seeing Liam again. He holds the information that has been unknowingly sewn into his jacket pocket, making him an instant target, should the League find him first. The League are sending untrained and underdeveloped children out on missions, so when Ruby accepts her next mission, with the intention of fleeing to find Liam in the process, she never expected that she would need to keep fellow team member Jude safe. Jude may be able to draw energy through himself in order to burn through circuits and electronics, but Jude has never been inducted for a mission before, and has seen what happens to new recruits.

Smuggled into a cargo plane bound for Boston, Jude and Ruby need to survive long enough to shirk their mission Minder and find their way to North Carolina. They never accounted for their team member, the sassy and often crude Vida finding them, along with the Beta Team. But how have they been tracked to the middle of nowhere bus station? Their only escape comes when truck driver Andy stows the two away, in exchange for information on the rehabilitation camps, where his grandson is rumored to be held. Before long, the truck approaches the outskirts of Wilmington and the house where Liam's last whereabouts were tracked. Not only has Vida caught up with them yet again, but Ruby discovers that she isn't the only person who is looking for Liam, as a friend from her past joins the search. But Vida isn't looking for justice for Ruby derailing from her mission, she's here to help and together they only have two weeks to find Liam, retrieve the data device and return to HQ.

With bounty hunters on the prowl and agents looking to bring the teens back to the Children's league or taking them into government custody, they stumble across Knox, who claims to be The Slip Kid and running his own camp called East River. His followers believes his spiel as gospel, bringing up the painful reminder of Clancy and the smouldering East River sanctuary. But little do the group know, that Liam is closer than they think. While Ruby and Vida are forced to fight for their lives against a dangerous Red, the oppressive camp drifts into a state of unrest and Knox has lost his hold over his followers, apart from the rogue and dangerous few who are relentless in maintaining the powerhold.

But what they discover may just change the course of history, the government and president Grey's lies coming to fruition along with a heavily stocked airport hanger. Liam's has never held back on his dislike for the Children's League and frustrated why he can't shake his attraction to Ruby. He isn't supposed to remember who she is, she wiped his mind clean of their time together. But she didn't account for his feelings. Could Liam really remember her? When the group returns with the data device, HQ is thrown into chaos. Friendships will be tested, bonds will be broken and not everyone will survive. Ruby is in for the fight of her life, for the detained children and for a better world that starts with the information on that data device.

My Thoughts

The Darkest Minds was the surprise of 2012, and Never Fade was a worthy follow up, even bordering on surpassing the original. A group of kids that were plucked from their lives and thrown into detention camps around the country, for exhibiting supernatural abilities. A disease that swept through the juvenile population spared some, while others simply perished. Parents often called the authorities, scared of being harmed and only wanting to rehabilitate their young. The children are barely kept alive, tortured and abused, yet the public aren't aware that the children aren't being rehabilitated, nor will they ever be cured. But with the information that Ruby is sent to retrieve, the future of the children and their families may never be the same again.

Ruby is an awesome female heroine, she's tough and makes no apologies. But the real star of Never Fade is Vida. Vida is a member of Ruby's team at the Children's League and if you think her bark is bad, you've never seen this girl bite. She's snarky, witty and balls to the wall tough as they come. My only complaint is that for the first few chapters, I was struggling to remember where book one had left off and who some of the characters are, unfortunately Never Fade provides little to no back story until you read midway through. But as the storyline began to click into place, I absolutely loved it. The Darkest Minds is a series that challenges the young adult boundaries and is impossible to put down. Alexandra Bracken has mastered the art of submerging the reader into the storyline and allowing us to connect with her characters. And the ending? Epic. The third book is set to be explosive.


  1. Ooh, 4 stars for a sophomore installment is very promising! My coblogger really liked the first book but I still haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this, it's such a bummer when sequels disappoint if you like the first one a lot.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Hey Wendy and thanks for stopping by.
      It was pretty impressive, my only gripe is the lack of back story. At least you'll have the advantage of now reading them both in succession.


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