Never Fade is the second book in Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds trilogy. Fair warning that this will have spoilers if you haven’t read the first book, which you can read my review for here.
Ruby must leave the Children’s League behind to set across the country on a dangerous mission. The truth about the disease that killed most of America’s children is out there, despite every attempt to bury it: being carried around on a flash drive by Liam—the boy Ruby loves, but who doesn’t remember her.
I really like the new crew we get now that Ruby is part of the Children’s League. There’s Cate, who brought her in, and then some other Psi kids as well. Jude is my favorite. He’s a Yellow and is basically the goofy younger brother. Vida is a Blue and she’s just so tough and nonsense, plus she gets a great backstory that really rounds her out. Liam’s brother even shows up! I liked getting to see him myself instead of relying solely on what Liam has told us.
First, let me talk about the Children’s League. Not all bad, not all good in my opinion. It seems like there are people trying to do some good—or they think they are—but they don’t know that other people are planning to do bad.
Ruby really worked for me in Never Fade. Not that I didn’t like her before, but in this book she’s take charge, no holds, tough and just ready to do what it takes. She still has those moments where what she can do scares or shames her, and it’s that balance that makes her great. Plus the fact that everything she does is for those she loves and to help the rest of the kids.
Liam does show up in this book. If you remember, the last book ended with Ruby whipping his memory of her. The do interact and obviously it’s complicated. His merry being gone definitely changes him a bit in this book, mainly because his actions and reactions toward Ruby are so different. I think Bracken did this really well.
The general plot of the sequel is fairly simplistic and similar to the first one. The whole leave to find something, find it, then bring it back type of journey basically. But I feel like the few complications and emotional turmoil thankfully elevates it from just being too simplistic and expected.
I don’t have too much more to say without spoiling, but I did really enjoy this book. I think it was as good if not better than The Darkest Minds. Definitely didn’t find it suffering from that second book slump. You can find Never Fade on Amazon and the author at alexandrabracken.com.