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4.3 out of 5 stars
Never Fade (Darkest Minds)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2014
This review, and many more, can also be found on my book blog: aobooks.wordpress.com

The first word that comes to mind to describe this book is amazing. This book totally blew my mind, it broke my heart, made me giggle like crazy and laugh out loud, it made me yell at the characters and stay up WAY too late on a school night. I was a little hesitant, or unsure as to how I would manage to read this book, especially because of the thing Ruby did to Liam in the end of The Darkest Minds. I was really mad at her for erasing his memories of her, and I will admit, the first few chapters were hard to read. They were a little confusing, since the book starts when Ruby’s already been with the League for a time. It picked up really quickly though, and I was so excited that we finally got to meet Liam’s brother. We also get introduced to a lot of new characters, some mean bastards and some kick-ass wonderful ones.

“So a thought crossed my mind,” Liam said suddenly.
“That must have been a lonely journey,” Chubs said, flipping the page of his book.

If you ask me, saying that Liam and Ruby meet again is not a spoiler. Yes, it is telling you about something important that happens in the book, but really anyone could have figured out that they would. Now, saying what happened after they met, would be a spoiler. I’m not going to tell you anything more about what happened, just that it was heartbreaking and mind-blowing at once. I was THIS close to crying, because they’re both such wonderful characters and have their beautiful flaws. Liam is so helpless in a way, broken on the inside, but still really determined. Ruby, as well, is very broken. She is often looked on as a leader, and where this might be flattering, I think she feels bad about it and very responsible for everything that happens. Because if or when Ruby makes a mistake, she always takes time to forgive herself, which is really sad but understandable.

“I don’t want to just see someone’s face; I want to know his shadow, too.”

I can’t name just one character that was my favorite, because one moment it was Ruby. Then it was Chubs, and a second later Vida. Then Jude, Liam, Cole and Cate. They are all so amazing, and different. Chubs and Vida pretty much hate each other, but I’m not sure… Do I sense some romance there…? Cole is just hilarious, and the way he reminds me of Liam is just adorable. There was a scene in the end of the book that really showed us their relationship as brothers, because it is a very special one.

“Has anyone ever told you that your head is shaped like a pencil?”
“That is physically impossible,” Chubs groused. “He’d be-“
“Actually,” Liam began, ” Cole once did try to – what?”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Chubs said, “apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.”

Never Fade is what I can honestly call a quality book. There are books where the author is very good with describing the action stuff, then there are books that do well in the world building, some have brilliant characters, and others amazing plot twists and scenes. Alexandra Bracken is one of the very, very few authors I have come across that does ALL THE THINGS! I am not kidding, because I do think she is really good at what she does, and that it reflects very well in her choice of words and scenes in her books.

My eyes drifted up to his, and it was over.

I recommend this book to pretty much anyone over 14 years, especially if you like fantasy, mystery and all kinds of kick-ass stuff. I also have to mention, the ending of this book… It was pretty awesome, especially what we find out about Cole and the research stuff! I also think the title and the cover are perfect for the book and plot.
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on 21 December 2014
Seriously, if you don’t like roller coasters, get off this trilogy now, because you’re in for an emotional one. I mean seriously. In this wonderful sequel to The Darkest Minds, Bracken spares no emotions for her reader and plunges you straight into the heart of the novel. There are tonnes of new characters to care for, millions of more reasons to care for the already existing ones and heart-breaking relationship developments. Not only this, but there is seriously some crazy action and plot development. Never Fade is basically fantastic.

Apart from one thing. It’s probably personal opinion that loads of others will be like “uh, no!” to me on, but this book took too long to start. Bracken basically drops us in the middle of whatever it is that Ruby’s doing straight away with no easing us in at all. I like this in a lot of books, I like the mystery and intrigue it causes, but it didn’t work for me with Never Fade. I wasn’t overly obsessed with The Darkest Minds as many other people were, which may be why I find this sequel difficult to get into, but Bracken takes over a hundred pages to even begin to give us some answers to the questions we had leftover in The Darkest Minds… Like, whether Chubs lived or not. Seriously, by page 100, I was like “IS CHUBS ALIVE OR NO WOMAN BECAUSE I CAN’T HANDLE THIS!”

But in saying this, after this slump went away and some of my questions were finally being responded to, I got so into this book it was unreal. Literally, I could barely put it down. The action and story she began to tell were fascinating, and there was so little info-dumping now cause I was finally into the story. And man, it was a killer. The middle part of the book was definitely the best - tension was up in the air and god Liam, just Liam… Everything Liam related killed me. His character, story and relationship with others was the highlight of this book without a doubt.

In Never Fade, we are introduced to a hell of a load of new characters, the most important being Jude and Vida. Both annoyed me at first, and seriously, the fact that the new characters were the only figures appearing alongside Ruby didn’t help in the dreadful beginning to this book. Jude and Vida were annoying in different way - Jude was a clingy sap, and Vida was a cold-hearted bitch. But I’m pleased to say both developed stunningly well, and ended up with me really liking the both. Even loving Vida. I’m a sucker for a sarcastic bitch, though.

Even with all the new characters and the old (Liam and Chubs mostly, although we get some Cate and Clancy and it’s just… awesome), Ruby shines out the most for me in this book. I couldn’t help but draw parallels with Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games because of how Ruby is affected by situations (like Katniss’s PTSD), how revolution Ruby is, the type of morals she stands up for and how she keeps her head away from her love interest to see the bigger picture, even when stakes are high between them.

Bracken places a good amount of emphasis on Ruby and Liam’s relationship (one thing that has most of us readers hooked… I mean, okay, hold on, she ERASED the memories of her?! Who else was bloody heartbroken as hell?!). There basically wasn’t too much romance, or too little - and there was a good lot of confrontation. I won’t spoil it, but… it’s seriously bloody good. MY POOR, BROKEN HEART.

The ending of this book is very, very fast-paced and pretty much crazy fuelled. You’re going to have to read it slowly and re-read over certain bits to make sure you get it, because I had the same problem with The Darkest Minds in that Bracken doesn’t write action scenes very well. Sometimes, I had no idea the revelations that were being told to me were and I had to really read between the lines for some of it. But it’s totally worth it.

I’m SO SO SO excited to read In The After Light. It’s gonna be awesome.
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on 13 January 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
This is book 2 in the `Darkest Minds' series, and kicks off six months after the end of book 1 `Darkest Minds'.
**Warning - some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 `Darkest minds'.**
Ruby is now working for The Children's League, and has no idea where Liam is.

When she discovers even more corruption within the organisation, she takes a chance and escapes, only to find herself in more trouble, and still having no idea how to find Liam.
Can Ruby find Liam? Can she avoid the Children's League? And what other evil plans are being constructed?

This was an okay story, but it just felt really long.

Ruby was holding things together quite nicely in this story, even though she missed Liam. It seemed that she was determined to do the right thing, and reserved to her fate as a Children's League member. I liked that she took her responsibilities seriously, but I wasn't impressed that she never regretted using her abilities on Liam at the end of the first book.

The storyline in this was okay, and it was nice to see some old faces from book 1, but this book just felt way too long. Reading in 50 page chunks was fine, but trying to read more than that just dragged. I don't know why, but I just felt that the story was going so slowly, and I could read for an hour and only be 5% further on in the book, and the fact that I still had such a huge portion of the book to go was a bit disheartening.

There was stuff going on in this book, and there was some action, which was good, but again the pace ruined this a bit for me. Even pushing through the last 15% was difficult, which should probably have been the best part of the book. I seriously considered just not finishing I was so fed up by the end. This was a real shame, as I really liked the beginning of the book, and thought it was better than the first.

The ending itself was alright, and there was some action and an unexpected death, I was so bored by this point though that it had less of an effect on me. We were also left with a freaking cliff-hanger, and at the moment I'm not sure whether I can even think about dragging myself through the next book.
Overall; okay story, but way too long.
6.5 out of 10.
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on 2 November 2014
This is a really excellent book. 2nd of trilogy, the first book was quite slow-moving and a bit tedious in places, whereas this one starts off at a pace and keeps it up all the way to the end. Very well written and good characters. If you like books like Through the Ever Night (trilogy), divergent, prodigy etc you will like this.
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on 2 June 2014
I loved this book a great second instalment, can't wait for the third to come out. I got this book super quick even though it could have a very long wait. And it also came in excellent condition, so overall I am very pleased with the delivery and contents of this book!
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I love it. every twist and turn, the development of the characters' how they grew stronger. I cannot spoil it for the anyone who has not read this book just do yourself a big favor and buy it you can always thank me later.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2013
The second in the The Darkest Mindsseries.
An interesting YA dystopian story with some fresh ideas.
Due to a virus certain DNA has mutated in children and those mutations eventually evolve into powers. The afflicted children are given specific colour codes so they can be identified. Unfortunately this leads to a class culture of sorts, with red being the strongest colour for instance and each colour representing the type of power.
The people who have not been affected by the virus treat the children/teens as a threat. A threat that needs to be contained in camps, tortured and exterminated if need be. Then there are other adult fractions who use the children/teens and their abilities to fight their political battles. Not exactly easy being a hybrid when everyone stops thinking of you as a human and regards you as a monster instead.
Living in a society that is rewarded for handing over any of those lucky enough to escape the camps is difficult, when there is a bounty on your head and any person could be a collaborateur.
Although Ruby and her relationship with Liam is bandied about a lot in this book, the real focus is on Ruby. After experiencing Ruby as the weakest link in book 1 it was quite a pleasant surprise to see her show some strength, dominance and leadership qualities.
In the previous book she viewed other Oranges (her own colour) as power hungry and out of control, because they used their abilities to get what they wanted regardless of the consequences. Now she is confronted with a dilemma, she can either use her powers to save herself and her friends or die with her sense of righteous nobility intact.
Not such a hard decision when your back is against the wall and you really want to live.
Except for Ruby it is the beginning of an inner conflict. She fears the lack of boundaries she acquires when using her powers. The power seems to take over part of her conscious mind and is capable of extreme destruction. A fact she is shocked by and scared of and at the same time deep inside she is in awe of her own power.
I think Vida gets slated for being so hard and unfriendly. Watch this space is all I will say because I can see Ruby and Vida connecting on a level that defies their relationship so far.
I really enjoyed the read and highly recommend it.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.
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on 27 January 2015
very much stepping out of my usual genre, but a good sideways step. great storyline
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on 15 February 2015
Daughter really liked the sound of this book, so bought it
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on 1 February 2015
Great read and quick delivery.
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