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on 12 August 2017
Bought the series for my 16 year old who finished it during the summer break. She thought the story was fast paced, even riveting. The characters were well constructed and grew coherently with the books. Loved it.
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on 20 April 2017
Book arrived with tear in the back cover, bit disappointed but otherwise okay
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on 31 July 2017
as expected
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I have to say that unfortunately Never Fade doesn't live up to the first book at all for me. While I enjoyed The Darkest Minds even though the plot isn't all that original anymore, I found Never Fade to be overlong and at times even on the border of boring. The writing style was as good as ever, but it sure took me a lot longer than expected to finish this one... And that is probably due to the fact that both the plot felt a bit thin and some of the characters started to annoy me. Basically, the sequel is about Ruby trying to find someone and messing up along the way, with various people betraying her or not being what they seem to be. Which might still be interesting, but it mostly felt like a 'copy-repeat' plot to me instead. Warning: this feeling might also be caused by the fact that Ruby started to frustrate me with the whole ‘I’m dangerous/I can’t be around others/I need to be alone’ thing. It does have a pretty explosive ending though! All in all not what I was expecting at all and yet another series that suffers from the 'weak-sequel-syndrome'... I will still be reading the final book some time soon though, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed In The Afterlight will make me enjoy this series again.
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Review originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction:[...].

Ohhh I left it too long.

I knew this would happen. I’ve been going off so many series lately, I just knew it would happen.

It’s so strange, because I reread The Darkest Minds before Christmas and loved it. But this one? …Meh.

It could just be because of this phase of not-liking-books-I-used-to-love-anymore. It could be because I really wasn’t in the mood for it. I don’t know.

Starting the book, I was really confused. It wasn’t clear to me how much time had passed, and it sort of just seemed like a huge jump had been made. Somewhere between the end of the first book and the start of the second, a whole new bunch of characters made it to “main character” status, and our lead character Ruby had gone through a whole heap of training. But compared to everything else – the situations, the other characters – it seemed not that much time had passed.

This book definitely takes on the same themes as the first. It’s a conspiracy type story, where you don’t quite know who the villain of the story is because what’s the truth? That just seems to be the driving force of the book – what’s the truth?

There’s just constant action. The entire book is a journey to find the truth, and all the “boring” parts of the journey are left out. It’s usually a good thing to have a book that’s non-stop. But for me, it sort of got to a point where I’d be thinking “oh my goodness, what now?!” purely because THAT MUCH goes wrong. There’s so many problems during this book, it got a bit tiresome for me. When it’s just one bad thing after another, one constant stream of problems…it just made the story unrealistic to me. Maybe if a bit more of the waiting period between events had been shown, or the actual travelling around, it would have been better spaced.

This book is much more plot based than the first. But that made me not care about the characters as much as I should’ve. Especially with the amount of arguing. Oh god was I sick of the amount of arguing in this book. It’s understandable. If we were living in their situation, I’ve no doubt arguments would happen thanks to fear and built up tension. But again, because there’s hardly any pauses between events, it all just build up too much. I’d just roll my eyes every time someone started arguing and think *sigh* “Not again”.

Granted, the story did pick up a bit more halfway through. There was a scene with “East River” – if you’ve read it, you’ll probably get which part of the book I mean – that really caught my attention compared to the rest of the book. And I did have hope that I’d enjoy the majority of the book after that. But…then the story moved on again and I fell back into my slump-ish mood.

It just got to a stage for me where so many supposed “plot twists” happened, it made the story predictable. “How does THAT work?” I hear you ask. Well, when there’s so many plot twists of people being betrayed / someone being a bad guy / a much worse event happening / someone being caught / etc etc, you start to expect it. Which means…they’re not really twists anymore. It’s almost like the book was written in a way that tried too hard to be complicated and shocking.

But I am going to say this. This is not a bad book . So so SO many people adore this series. Even while I was reading, I could see why. All the action can make it gripping. The characters can be lovable if you’re invested in the first book. The conspiracies and “what’s the truth” element can make it mysterious. If you have any interest in this book, then I implore you to try it for yourself, and don’t judge just from my (somewhat disappointed) opinion.

Because for me, and my changing taste in genre and books…it’s just a “meh”.
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on 9 May 2016
What this book is about(if you haven’t read the first book, The Darkest Minds you should skip this review. Spoilers ahead!):

Ruby is now a vital part of the Children’s League as a Leader of a small group of kids. Vida, a Blue girl with a big attitude, Jude, a yellow guy who doesn’t understand danger and the way this horrible world runs and Nico, a Green computer whiz. A few months have past since Ruby swiped Liam’s memory clean of every single representation of her. Now she is a trained agent who is not afraid of her Orange abilities anymore. Now she has to use these abilities to leave the Children’s League and find Liam, the same Liam who doesn’t remember her name, and retrieve from him something of great importance for the future of all the Psi kids in America.

One thing I know for sure about this series is that if I read it when I was 16 I would have absolutely fallen in love with it. This is a great series for adolescents who are into dystopian adventures. As an adult now, I still enjoyed it but it’s not the literary diamont I was waiting all my life to read. This is a fun, fast-paced adventure, full of action and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting until the very end. It is rear from a first-person perspective, as was the first book in the series, and we follow Ruby and her new friends, Jude and Vida. Never Fade is approximately as big as The Darkest Minds and it continues off, some months after the end of the first book.

The story of the first book is, in my opinion, much darker, compared to this second book. Never Fade doesn’t need to introduce us any more to the harsh reality of life for the Psi kids and so we are more interested in the relationships between the characters but also the conspiracies taking place in the U.S. government and the Children’s League. Many things that we didn’t know after the first book are slowly unravelling for us but there are also, still, many new surprises and secrets to find out throughout the book. The story starts of with the first three chapters all ending in cliffhangers that just made me want to read on and find out what is going to happen. And, as you would expect from Alexandra Bracken after reading The Darkest Minds, the last 100 pages of the book really pick up the pace and the action and thrill climb to their peak.

We are introduced to a whole new cast of important characters in this book which was a little strange in the beginning, especially after getting to know Liam, Chubs and Zu so well. But the new guys are a great addition to the story and the writing style of the author really allows the reader to understand and know them in depth. Ruby has become more mature and taken up new responsibilities about her powers that she didn’t want to have. This has opened so many new doors and possibilities for her. Jude is like the little brother that Ruby never had and they are funny and very enjoyable to follow together. Finally, Vida is a character that made the story more realistic. Be warned though, there is a lot of heavy, I would say, cursing in this book that might not be appropriate for very young teens. This is another difference from the first book in the series.

One more thing that really helped this book advance was the writing style. It’s simple but very descriptive and powerful. Alexandra Bracken writes to the point and doesn’t use excessive sentences to get her message across. This makes the book very enjoyable and easy to read and the time flies by before you know it. There is a lot of character development taking place as Ruby comes to accept her Orange abilities. There are new adventures in which our characters get into. There are conversations and confrontations of great importance for the future of all the kids. This book is full of fun, engaging content which the author has efficiently presented in 500 pages without becoming overwhelming or boring.

As I said, as my younger self, this series would have been perfect for me. To be honest, now that I’m thinking about it, this would probably also make a great movie. I had a nice time reading this second book and I’m excited to pick up the third and final novel to see where the story is going to end and where our characters will end up. I urge you to pick this up if you enjoy dystopians or YA sci-fi/fantasy.
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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 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 16 November 2015
Never Fade was action-packed and kept me turning the pages constantly. I loved every second of it, it made me laugh and it made me cry.

Cole was definitely a surprise. I did not see that coming. But I'm excited to see his story line in In The Afterlight and how his relationship with Liam will evolve.

I loved how strong Ruby became, she kicked ass, especially in that ending!
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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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