Friday, October 18, 2013

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: Never Fade
(The Darkest Minds #2)

AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
PUB DATE: Oct 15 2013
Summary 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?"

Rating:

Be wary, this would contain spoilers from the events that occurred in the first book, The Darkest Minds.

“I love you... I love you every second of every day, and I don’t understand why, or how to make it stop–”

In the events that follow The Darkest Minds, readers find Ruby in Never Fade as a member of the Children’s League, one of the groups she has been desperately trying to run away from after escaping the camp. Narrowly dodging being captured and brought back to the camps after finding the Slip Kid, Clancy, then getting separated from her friends, and having to deal with Liam so the League would leave him at peace, Ruby is just trying to keep it together... long enough for her to get the chance to escape and to hopefully find her friends. But having one of the most powerful abilities among the gifted kids, she is assigned “Leader” to her specific group, and one mission puts a halt to her plans and changes everything...

I was stunned to find Ruby in such a different state of character from how I met her. The once scared and despondent girl from The Darkest Minds has turned into one badass chic. Although she still has that fear over being corrupted by her powers, she is a lot more confident than before. I like the change. It goes to show how much she had to grow up to survive at such desperate times.

I may love the grace of independence I witnessed grow into her character, but I was still longing to see Ruby reunited with Liam. The result of the reunion? So. Many. FEELS!!! It was messy, confusing and gushy, and although heartbreaking, was also swoon-worthy all at the same time!

I was happy to see characters from the first book make a recurring appearance. Although there was one in particular whom I wish I would never set my sights on again. Yes, Clancy I’m talking about you! You worthless piece of sh– *takes deep breath* never mind. As interesting as seeing Chubs, Cate, Liam and the others return, there are also new characters added to the mix, like Vida, Jude *sniff*, and... wait for it – Liam’s brother Cole. There is a lot to say about that, but I’ll leave you to figure that out.

As if the problem occurring with the country having children with abilities being sent [and locked up] at camps isn’t enough for our protagonist to deal with, the League has problems all on its own. There are times that it’s hard to figure out who the bad guys really are. Although I like that there is more than one villain here, and that they come from different areas and with different agendas. I have to admit, it’s a lot to take in. Everything is pretty much as crazy as it can get – and then that ending... Oh my goodness! Damn that ending! I can’t even...

I am left surprised and in awe once again by Alexandra Bracken’s writing and storytelling style. Just when I thought I was already blasted with a heart stopping adventure from the first book, turns out it happens to be just a peak of what’s to come in the succeeding books from this series. I am eagerly waiting to read book three!

*Thank you, NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the copy of Never Fade.

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