October 16, 2013

Latest Read: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Here are the basics ...
Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2) by Alexandra Bracken
Publication date: Oct. 15, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian
Source: Received ARC at BEA (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission: leaving the Children’s League behind to find crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children and the survivors into feared and hated outcasts. 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, 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?(Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good:  I remember feeling desperate to get my hands on this book after reading The Darkest Minds. I needed to know if Chubs had survived, if Liam and Ruby would find their way back to each other and what exactly had Ruby gotten herself into. Even though it's been over a year, I wanted those answers more than ever.  Never Fade jumps months ahead -- Ruby is now a member of the Children's League, a soldier who can fight and has much better control over her powers. She's not happy but following orders means Chubs and Liam are safe. Not that she knows for sure. She has to trust Cate, the woman who brought her into the League, and as we should remember, trust isn't something Ruby gives out freely. Then she's put on a top secret mission to find information about the disease that gave abilities to children like Ruby and killed millions more. This mission gives her answers she's been looking for but most importantly, it leads her straight back to Liam. (You know I was anticipating that moment from page one!)

Ruby is not an easy protagonist but then again, she never has been. It's frustrating at times but given all that's happened to her, who can blame the girl for putting up walls and hating her own powers? But I admired Ruby's willingness to do whatever it took to keep her loved ones safe even though, if you ask me, they (Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu) are safer together than apart. Still, it's gratifying to see her crack instead of being so silent and tough all the time. When her emotions finally get the best of her - good or bad - and she lets people see everything she tries to keep hidden. Those are the moments I waited for. That and when she'd embrace her powers. There's this one scene where another character turns to Ruby and says: "Ruin him" and I swear I got chills in anticipation of what would happen next. 

Another moment that gave me chills? I can't tell you the specifics but it does involve Liam. Their reunion is heartbreaking and half the time their interactions made me want to scream in frustration (in a good way). For Ruby, her feelings for Liam are as strong as ever. And Liam doesn't remember her but you know (at least, I felt) that some part of him would recognize her. 

(Some) reservations: The pacing of the book is very slow and while it didn't bother me in the past, I did feel like the story dragged this time around. The plot just didn't have quite the same dark and intriguing pull. What fascinates me so much about the series is its concept. This idea that children are overcome by powers against their will; parents are told by the government that the best thing to do is hand them over for "rehabilitation". It's a frightening thought. And I get it's only natural to move onto the next phase - why and how it all happened. But a good portion of the plot was spent on missions, military/soldier jargon or with new characters who took me some time to warm up to. The heart of this series isn't Ruby alone. It's Ruby with Liam, Chubs and Zu. And the book didn't pick up me until the moment she met up with one (or more? I can't tell you!) of those original characters. Those scenes were the ones I felt emotionally impacted by (I'm talking all the feels) and ultimately what made me enjoy Ruby's journey. 

Do I recommend?:  I do! I definitely still recommend this series as a whole and I want to see what's next for these characters. 

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. I am so excited to read Never Fade! I am dying to read it but I'm worried about the whole Liam/Ruby plot because as you mentioned, Liam doesn't remember her! I'm worried of getting feels but not being able to do anything about them because of Liam's lack of memory! See, I'm already frustrated and I haven't even read it! Anyways, great review and now I am dying to read this one!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am VERY excited to continue on with this series! I haven't read it yet, but I am so looking forward to it. There are so many unanswered questions in my mind about Ruby and the others; it will be amazing to learn more about everyone and see what happens next.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brilliant, devastating, and unforgettable. THE DARKEST MINDS is now one of my all-time favorite novels (and the characters now own a pretty gigantic piece of my heart). Do yourself a favor and buy a copy. You won't regret it.

    ReplyDelete