Review of Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never FadeNever Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
By: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: October 15th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Barnes and Noble

A copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

If you’ve not read The Darkest Minds check out that review and not this one since the summary (below) has spoilers for the first book.

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.

The Story:
I didn’t have time to reread The Darkest Minds before jumping into this book. I was able to slowly remember all that had happened so it wasn’t necessary to reread though I think it would have been helpful since I was foggy on some of the details. Never Fade picked up where the last ended and gave the reader a new viewpoint from within the League. I found this incredibly interesting to see things from their side and to get a feel for their everyday tasks.

As with The Darkest Minds, Never Fade had wonderfully descriptive action scenes yet had real heart. I felt the pacing varied from slow to fast but though it is a long book it didn’t drag (though I could easily see some pages edited out).

This is one of those sequels that is nearly impossible to write a spoiler free review because so much has happened from where our character’s journey began in the first book. I love Bracken’s writing and feel that it pulled me into the story and kept me riveted to Ruby and her struggles.

The Characters:
Ruby has grown so much since we first met her character. She is much stronger and has started to understand her ability though she still hates possessing it. Throughout the book she struggled with her choices in regard to her old friends and tried, in her own way, to make amends for her guilt. I love how well developed and rounded she is. I find her emotions to be incredibly realistic and relatable.

I found both this and the first book greatest strength to be the connection I’ve formed with the characters. We do get to see some of the characters from The Darkest Minds but the majority of the book is focused on the people that Ruby comes to know in the League. I connected to the new characters easily, especially Jude. He is the perfect foil to Vida’s bravado and Ruby’s coldness. Jude’s loveable nature and anxiety helped to connect me with what was happening to them and really brought an element of relatability (since I’d be freaking out and anxious like he was).

Final Thoughts:
Though Never Fade is a bit long in parts the story moves fairly fast and the characters are once again the strongest feature; a stellar sequel that progressed the storyline and characters effectively. Needless to say, I can’t wait for book 3.



  1. says

    Ooh I’m very curious to see where this one will take us. Boko 1 was great and I found it was the same pacing though some faster and some slower parts which I’ve seen others didn’t like but I didn’t find it boring at all. I thought it was kind of required to build the world and characters, actually. I’m glad this one is a strong sequel it sounds like the character growth is awesome. And yes, the action scenes were awesome I remember!! Glad you enjoyed it I can’t wait to get started on this one myself! 🙂

    • says

      I totally agree with the slower pacing being essential to building the world and characters. Sometimes I really love a slow burn (esp when there are some good action scenes scattered about). I hope you really enjoy it!

  2. says

    Great review Kristen. <3 It's been a while since I read book one, but I remember not loving it. Which is kind of sad, but yeah. I don't remember much from the book at all. I did get this book, though. Hope to read it one day 😀 Glad you enjoyed it. <3 (I'm worried about reading it, since people said that there is not much of Liam in it 🙁 I need a good romance to enjoy a book, lol.)

    • says

      Thanks Carina. I really enjoyed both of these books. I hope when you read it you enjoy it more than you did the first book. It doesn’t have much romance in it 🙁 I could have used a tad more to be honest.

  3. says

    I’m so very glad to hear you loved this one too! I of course skimmed the review since I still haven’t read book one!
    Hopefully I’ll get to read both of them soon!

  4. says

    Agreed…really difficult to write a spoiler-free review for this sequel, but I think we managed. 🙂 Also, I wish I’d had time to re-read The Darkest Minds…I can’t believe how much I forgot! The author had to remind me of some of it…hehe. But even so, this sequel was outstanding….I can’t wait for the next book! It’ll probably be the most explosive one yet! 😀

    • says

      I felt like mentioning anything in this book was a spoiler for the second book! I had to triple check over and over to make sure. I hope we achieved it! It was pretty shocking how much I had forgotten since it wasn’t that long ago I read the first book. I think Bracken has really gone in a great direction with this series. Excited to see what she’ll do next.

  5. says

    I still need to read this one! I loved the Darkest Minds so I can’t wait to read it but the slow-pacing makes me feel hesitant. I’ve read that Never Fade is an amazing sequel but I hate that some parts are dragged out, I want to know what happens and the wait (even while reading the book) would suck! Awesome review 🙂

    • says

      It has some slow points but there were some really nice action scenes thrown in to keep it from dragging imo. I hope you read it and enjoy it. The last third is really amazing.

  6. says

    I only skimmed your review, as I haven’t yet read the first one, but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it overall! It’s reassuring to know that the characters are well written. I’m looking forward to getting started on this series now! Great review, Kristen. 🙂

    • says

      I hope you enjoy this series when you get around to it. I’m very eager to hear your thoughts—you typically notice things I don’t so I love seeing what you think 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Sam

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