I loved The Darkest Minds and when I was approved to read an early copy of Never Fade, I was ecstatic. The Darkest Minds ends in such a heartbreaking way, where Ruby chooses to give herself up to save Liam. She actually erases every trace of her from Liam’s mind, so he has a chance to be free. Obviously after an ending like that, I couldn’t get my hands on Never Fade fast enough.
Never Fade jumps right back in where The Darkest Minds left off. Ruby is working with the Children’s League and learning how to control her power. Even with this new control, she is uncomfortable using her powers. Ruby continues to struggle, as she did in The Darkest Minds, as to what her power says about her as a person. Does it make you a monster to use your power for the good of others? Is there a way to use it that is less damaging? At this point, Ruby knows that she has to continue working with the league in order to make a difference in the world around her. Of course, things aren’t always as they seem and there is a rift in the league. There are two dueling factions and one wants to murder the kids working in the organization.
Never Fade is darker than The Darkest Minds and we are given more of the overarching story of where the virus that infected the kids came from. We also learn of new people pulling the strings and about the politics of this world. I am so glad Alexandra Bracken decided to get more in depth with the governmental fracture and history behind the league, this information really takes the story to a new level.
Without giving anything away, Never Fade is a good balance of continuing the stories of characters we already know and introducing new ones. Ruby continues to demonstrate strength and selflessness with a determination to see things through in the face of terrible odds. She is loyal, almost to a fault, and strives to save those she loves.
The world created by Alexandra Bracken is dark and full of unsavory characters, making it impossible to know who to trust. I love that the story is so full of shades of gray and there are times when terrible people may have to be trusted or kept around for the information they know. The internal struggle that Ruby faces, how using her power to delve and shape the minds of others is such an internal conflict. It gives such an added dimension because there aren’t any right answers here. Ruby can only do what she thinks is right and hope she makes the right choices.
Never Fade is full of so many layers that it draws you right in. As in The Darkest Minds, there is a love story here. At times tragic and sad, it is so well written. The passion jumps off the page and is such a bright spot in an otherwise dark world.
Never Fade is a second book that is as strong as the first. The characters have grown and changed in reaction to living in a world with little hope. I highly recommend Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken and am already feeling desperate for book three.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.