Book Two of the Darkest Minds
By Alexandra Bracken
Available now from Disney Hyperion
Read my review of The Darkest Minds
If you haven't started this series, no worries. THE DARKEST MINDS is currently on sale for 99 cents in ebook (and $5.99 in paperback). Once you reach the end, you'll pick up NEVER FADE immediately because that ending.
NEVER FADE picks up several months after THE DARKEST MINDS and Alexandra Bracken lets the full details of what Ruby's been up to unfold slowly, as she runs into some familiar and unfamiliar faces. Ruby is with a new group now, one that she hopes will help liberate the camps, but she's not sure how to sway people to her side. Meanwhile, some people would prefer to just start killing the kids.
I still sometimes have trouble buying into the central premise of this series. Everything I said about it for the first book stands: plague centralized to the US? I guess it could be something nefarious, but who knows. Parents give up their kids willing? Yeah, it might save their lives, but I don't know a single parent who would go five years or whatever without their kid. They would be teaming up and busting in. Where are all the parents?! But, again, I do go with it, because Bracken is a compelling writer.
If you're hoping that things get happier in NEVER FADE, then you're out of luck. Bracken does introduce Jude, an optimistic, sunshine character who I instantly fell in love with. She also introduces Vida, a tough, rough girl. Yet in some ways she isn't as tough as the kids who have been through the camps. Since they're grouped with Ruby, you know they're going to be put through the wringer.
Once more it is a trip across a changed United States, running into different factions all with their own agendas. But Ruby's after a hard drive, one that might be able to bring down the corrupt president and free the kids. All she has to do is keep from getting herself killed. She also needs to come to term with her powers and decide where she draws her moral lines.
NEVER FADE is a fascinating, heart wrenching book. Bracken's X-men meet dystopia series is full of action, romance, wise cracking, and pain. Once more she ends things with a hook, leading you right into the next book. (Oh when oh when will I have it in my hands?) If you're like me, it's also an ending that might make you shed a tear or two. I'm afraid I might be a wimp.