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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?

507 pages, Hardcover

First published October 15, 2013

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About the author

Alexandra Bracken

36 books24.6k followers
Hi! I'm Alex and I write books. Please note that I don't respond to messages here on GoodReads. Please send me a note on twitter or IG @alexbracken. xx A

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5 stars
42,547 (44%)
4 stars
34,292 (36%)
3 stars
13,777 (14%)
2 stars
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1 star
996 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,611 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
November 10, 2015
I liked this so much more than the first book! I can't wait to see how it comes to a close with the last book.
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
October 1, 2019
Update 8/11/2019

Dropping my rating to 4 stars to reflect my more recent thoughts. It did drag a bit more than the first installment and I was not *as* invested, but I adore the new characters and increased political intrigue. It's a satisfying sequel I managed to enjoy five years after the first time I read it :)
Profile Image for Christine Riccio.
Author 4 books101k followers
June 6, 2013
Couldn't put it down! Suspenseful action packed and full of wonderfully lovable characters. Can't wait to release a discussion video... in late october? November? WHENEVER this baby get's released =)
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,943 followers
May 19, 2019
UPDATE: 99 cents Kindle US 5/19/19

This book surely ended on a cliffhanger!


But it was more of an in your face cliffhanger =)

Ruby has joined the Children's League and the others in the first book are out on their own. I should have re-read that one first but it's all good.

Some of the older characters do make their way back into this book. Along with some new ones that Ruby has met in the League. Vida, Jude, Nico and I liked Cate who was sort of their supervisor. I wasn't sure about Alban at first but it seems he was working for the greater good. Unless of course they pulled the wool over my eyes.

Ruby goes out on OPS with different groups to try and help some other kids that have talents like she does. The kids in the book have different colored labels. Ruby is an orange and she's one of the most dangerous with red being the top one. There's this whole description about it you can read about in the first book!

Ruby can change your memories or just read your mind. Or she can kill your brain so to speak. But she's a good girl and doesn't do harm to those that aren't dangerous.

In the first book Ruby had a thing going with Liam but he is out of the picture for now because of reasons. But his brother Cole is brought into the League and then all kinds of things start happening.

Runaways, finding kids that were thought dead that are still alive, search and rescue kids, try not to die while being shot at or bombed. And then we always run into jerk kids that want to run things and be over other sweet kids and gah!!!!!!!

Oh there is a jerk kid in the League named Rob, I loathed him. You can't trust everyone.

Then toward the end a sweet person dies............................NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

At the end there is a big ole revelation that I wonder if it will come to pass in the next book. I want it for the kids but . . . . lets just say I like them the way they are to a certain extent.

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for SerenaSmiles.
8 reviews
Want to read
January 12, 2013
Me reading The Darkest Minds
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Me reading all the Liam scenes
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Me reaching the end of book 1
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Me patiently waiting for Book 2
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NOTE: Please check out my review for The Darkest Minds and tell me what you think of the book!
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
269 reviews162 followers
September 19, 2017
✨✨Español -- English✨✨

Yo lo sabía. Lo sabía. Los segundos libros casi nunca son buenos. Y este definitivamente no es una excepción.
Me pareció absolutamente aburrido, me encontraba haciendo otras cosas en el tiempo que usualmente dedico a la lectura. No me atraía leer. Porqué? Tengo mis razones:
1. Pasan una cosa tras otra, volviéndose predecible. Demasiados plot twists.
2. Ruby tiene ocho meses entrenando con los de la Liga de los Niños y ese entrenamiento no se nota. Le dan una paliza tras otra. Tiene el síndrome Celaena Sardotien: uno solo le da una paliza y luego ella sola puede sin esfuerzo vencer a varios.
3. No conecté con Ruby y me desesperaba lo mucho que se quejaba de ser un "monstruo" en vez de pasar a la acción.
4. No me creí el que Ruby le borrara la memoria a Liam y que luego con un simple beso el lo recordara todo.
5. El final tiene un cliff hanger horrible.
6. Y por sobre todo, porqué debía morir ese personaje? Porqué? Por supuesto que voy a leer el tercer y último libro de la serie, pero estoy segura voy por el momento a darle unas pequeñas vacaciones a las distopias.

I knew that. I knew it. Second books are almost never good. And this definitely is no exception.
I found it absolutely boring, I found myself doing other things in the time I usually spent reading. I was not attracted to read. Why? I have my reasons:
1. It is one thing after another, becoming predictable. Too many plot twists.
2. Ruby has eight months training with the League of Children and that training is not noticed. They beat her up constantly. She has Celaena Sardotien syndrome: one only gives her a beating and then she alone can effortlessly beat several.
3. I did not connect with Ruby and I was desperate how much I complained about being a "monster" instead of take actions.
4. I did not think Ruby would erase Liam's memory and then with a simple kiss he would remember everything.
5. The end has a horrible cliff hanger.
6. And above all, why should that character die? Why?
Of course I'm going to read the third and final book of the series, but I'm sure I'm going to give a little vacation to dystopias for the moment.
Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews46k followers
June 9, 2017
3.5/5 Stars

After I finished reading Never Fade, I'm quite sure that if I read this trilogy back when I was 15-17 years old (well the books weren't out yet 10 years ago so it's impossible), it would've been included into my favorite shelves and received 5 stars from me, for both books so far. However, I'm 27 now and again I should state, Never Fade still doesn't provide anything new to the genre. I've seen everything here before in movies, video games and it's still the same teenage-survivor-dystopia genre which have been done to death but at this point it's safe to say that I enjoyed reading this much more than watching Hunger Games or the disastrous Divergent series. It's probably a bit unfair to compare them since I haven't read the Hunger Games or Divergent books but I watched the movies and I don't think this time the books can redeemed the stain I have towards them, especially the Divergent series.

Never Fade is actually better than the first book in almost every aspect and yet I decided to give a 3.5 star rating. The reason for this is because of the two cons I have on the book:

1. There's still nothing new here.
2. Ruby, the main character is so irritating.

In the first book I was so-so with how I felt about her but this time, she grew to be much more annoying and considering everything in the story is from her POV, it's quite painful to read. It's like she's in an endless PMS cycle which made her emotional as fuck in all her decisions. One moment she act like she's the strongest person with her self-called "I'm a monster, don't come near me or I'll kill you" <-- not exact quote and the next second she broke down because of that strength with the same reasoning, over and over again. Sure there's a reason for this and she's a flawed heroine but it's still annoying seeing this repeating since the beginning of book 1 until now. Luckily, there's a positive outcome to be taken from this. She made all the other side characters shine bright like a diamond (yeah you can sing that Rihanna song now)

All the side characters are well created. Liam is not as bright as he is in book 1 but after all the things he's been through from the beginning and the novella, it's really understandable why he act like he did. However, Chubs is back in full throttle and he became my favorite character so far, I still have to read book 3 to see if it will remain that way. He's the epitome of what a true friend should be, doesn't matter how young or old you are. You look at what he does and you know you should aspire to be like him in maintaining your friendship. He's realistic, not afraid to tell your mistakes straight to your face, loyal and despite all the disagreement, he will do anything to help his friends. The greatest new addition side character goes to Jude but I can't tell you anything about him since he appeared since the beginning of the book til the end and I don't want to spoil you, just know that there's a lot of humor coming from him and Chubs.

There's more actions this time compared to before and yes, most of them occurred around the Powers the characters have. Red for Pyrokinesis, Orange for Mind Control, Blue for Telekinesis, Yellow for Electrokinesis and Green for Superb Intellectual but I find it there's still some unexplained reasoning behind how Orange's power work. Hopefully it will redeemed in book 3.

Lastly, there's much more plot progression this time and the writing is still great as before. Seriously, I really like Bracken's writing as she managed to pull me so much into caring towards the characters she created and stories that's been overdone before. I'm almost quite sure by now that when they made the movies of this trilogy, I will dislike it cause you know the simple equation, books is always better than the movies.

I'm closing this review with my favorite quote from the book by Ruby for you to sink in when you're having a bad day. (there's a lot of great ones by the way)

“Life isn’t fair." I said. "It’s taken me a while to get that. It’s always going to disappoint you in some way or another. You’ll make plans, and it’ll push you in another direction. You will love people, and they’ll be taken away no matter how hard you fight to keep them. You’ll try for something and won’t get it. You don’t have to find meaning in it; you don’t have to try to change things. You just have to accept the things that are out of your hands and try to take care of yourself. That’s your job.”
Profile Image for mich.
651 reviews234 followers
October 27, 2013
In a word, disappointing.

I thought The Darkest Minds was awesome, I found the plot interesting and the supporting characters and their relationships with each other to be very well done. I had only 2 issues with that book -- the pacing and Ruby. Unfortunately, in this sequel, those 2 things still sucked and worse, the suckiness was actually magnified.

The thing is, I really liked how the first book ended. I didn’t like that it came about as a result of Ruby’s stupid decisions, and the cliffhanger itself came from her Worst Decision Ever , but it sure did intrigue me and had me highly anticipating the sequel -- I thought it opened up all kinds of doors to the story and I was excited to see where the author would take it.

Turns out, she didn’t take it anywhere interesting. This book dragged A LOT. It was just the same things happening over and over again, which made for a really boring and tedious read. The only reason I diligently kept pushing through was because I wanted to see what had become of Liam. I do love me a good emotional reunion and I was hoping to get something amazing here. Did I get it? Um, not quite. It was ok, but I was left wanting.

And then there’s Ruby.

Ruby is more stupid than ever, to the point where I just can’t root for her anymore. Her decision making process is completely fucked up. The things she does MAKES NO SENSE. The worst thing about it is that she fails time and again to learn anything from her mistakes.

And her pity parties, ugh, her damn pity parties! I was hoping my invitation got lost in the mail (seeing as I didn’t particularly enjoy myself at the ones she threw in the first book), but no, that hope was futile. The girl is still moaning on and on and wallowing about being a monster, blah blah blah.

Some other thoughts:
Ruby and -- one of the few things I liked in this book was their relationship. His character gets some good development and his friendship with Ruby is done really well and feels authentic.
Ruby and Liam -- their relationship on the other hand, didn’t quite feel as believable. I thought their romance in book 1 was very sweet, but it wasn’t close to what this book tries to ram down your throat. Where the hell did this deep, deep soul love between Ruby and Liam come from? I for one, wasn’t convinced of it.
Vida and Jude -- like the supporting characters we met in the first book, these two were really nice additions. Bracken does a great job again of giving us a diverse and memorable supporting cast.

Oh well, that's that I guess. I don’t think I care enough anymore about our main character Ruby to make a point of reading the next book. If I happen to come across it when it comes out, maybe I’ll check it out (if only to hopefully see Zu again).
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
294 reviews432 followers
May 27, 2017
“Sometimes you're the one speeding along in a panic, doing too much, not paying attention, wrecking things you don't mean to. And sometimes life just happens to you, and you can't dodge it. It crashes into you because it wants to see what you're made of.” 

This book is AMAZING!!!! I could not stop reading it and there were so many things happening so I was never bored. This is really one of the best books I’ve read. Everything was perfect and the plot was so so good and throughout this whole book when I was reading I experienced so many different emotions. This was a very big improvement compared to the first book. Never Fade was, even more, action packed and there were so many new characters.

First of all, I did not expect to give this book a 5-star rating like I did with the first book because, to be honest, it took me three months to actually get into this book. I got 21% through and put it aside for a long time because I just wasn’t enjoying it that much. Before I picked this book up, on my feed there was a review by someone (I can’t remember who), they said that they didn’t enjoy the book as much as the first because they didn’t read it straight after. I was worried because I didn’t pick this book until a while after so I thought that was going to happen to me. Then when I got 21% through and didn’t continue I was even more worried that I was going to hate it but I actually ended up loving this book so much.

There were a lot of new characters in this book. But, there wasn't only new characters but all the character from the first book changed drastically. Ruby went through a lot of character development in this book. She was stronger and had a lot more control over her abilities. This was mainly due to the League and all the training she received from them. She finally had control over her life and knew what she wanted to do. Chubs also changed immensely and so did Liam. Liam sadly wasn't in the book the whole time he was there for the last 60% I think.

There were a lot of new characters like Vida, Jude, Cole, and Nico. I really liked Vida a lot and all her sass. I totally ship her and Chubs together. I think they would be so cute together. She was so funny with her sarcastic comments. I loved Jude so much but I felt like despite the fact that he was 14/15 years old I pictured him more as a 12-year-old because compared to the other characters he was scared most of the time but then he did start to stand up and fight. I also really loved Cole and his personality. I feel like all these new characters were amazing and I liked them a lot. Although Zu sadly wasn’t in this book.

I know I won't be reading the third book anytime soon and with that cliffhanger, I don't know what I'm going to do. I mean sure it's totally okay for an author to just leave their readers hanging. Absolutely fine. Now I have to wait until I can get my hands on the third book. This book was a big improvement from the first but I still love the first book. Also, I recently found out that THE DARKEST MINDS IS BECOMING A MOVIE AND I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT WHENEVER IT COMES OUT!!!!
Profile Image for Lazaros.
271 reviews525 followers
July 28, 2015
Abso-freaking-lutely amazing. Go figure why it took me 8 months to read this. I don't even know why. I'd loved the first book and I guess delay after delay, I forgot about it entirely. A grave mistake because this is a swoon-worthy sequel that had me hyperventilating from page one to page.

In case you're not familiar with the plot, then let me hook you up. Some years before, a disease that targets children spread. Some died but some didn't. Those who didn't die have powers. The government with the excuse of rehabilitation took those children from their parents and kept them in special facilities in order to keep them under control.

In the first book, Ruby, as sixteen-year-old girl wanders about after breaking out from Thurmond (a rehabilitation facility) when she meets some kids from the League of Children, an organization leaded by a former politician, who wants to take down the current governor of the United States. Ruby is an Orange, meaning she can get inside people's head, see their memories, take control of them. In the first book she's not able to control her powers all that well which is why when she touches the hand of a member of the League of Children, she sees his memory of killing two children mercilessly because he thought they were worthless. She then runs away and comes across, Liam, Chubs and Zu and thus the adventure begins.

Ruby has evolved so much in the sequel, it's impossible to think of her as that fragile, broken little girl she was when all of this began. Now, she's working with the League, and runs ops for them. But something is brewing inside the League, someone is trying to take control and do as they please with those they deem worthless. With the help of Jude and Vida, fellow LoC members, she must retrieve the lost usb stick that Liam's brother, Cole, lost. Liam is unaware of the existence of such a stick sewn inside the jacket, which he took from his last visit home, and was his brothers. So, that means Ruby has to search for Liam.

“I feel like I'm losing my damn mind, like your face has been carved into my heart, and I don't remember when, and I don't understand why, but the scar is there, and I can't get it to heal. It won't go. I can't make it fade. And you won't even look at me.”

Hence the name of fhe book: Never Fade

Don't worry, there's lot of Chubs in this, I love the guy too. I promise you, you're going to love the new characters. Jude is really young and he's so protective it's kind of cute. Vida, well she's badass, and "bitch" is her favorite word, but you're gonna warm up to her.

There are lots of twists, lots of unpredictable moments, and a cliffhanger in the end which accounts for an omg moment. Alexandra Bracken, despite her age, she's pretty brilliant when it comes to describing military procedures and writing amazing, action-packed scenes.

If you liked the first book, then I don't doubt that you'll like this as much. In my case, I loved the first book and loved this book even more, because of the character development, and evolution of the world, that's been taken to a whole new level.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,756 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
April 30, 2017
DNFed at page 140.

I liked The Darkest Minds, but it's been about a year since I read it. I thought that I remembered how things ended, but I felt so lost getting into Never Fade. I couldn't connect to the new characters and didn't know why Ruby was... doing... whatever... she was doing?? See, I really don't know?

I have learned that I just do not mesh with Bracken's writing style. I think she has amazing premises but I always get lost in the descriptions. I've struggled through 3 of her books and even though I've liked 2, it was a pain to get through them. I'm not in the mood to slog through something right now. I even tried this one on audiobook to help boost me along, but it was even harder to focus with the audio. I'm frustrated because I own the whole trilogy, but I've had them for like 3 years now and I just don't care about them anymore. I'm going to leave Ruby's story as a standalone for the time being. I may return to this series in the future, but right now I'm too frustrated and disinterested to continue.
Profile Image for Jessi (Novel Heartbeat).
1,044 reviews612 followers
November 17, 2015

Wow, you guys, just wow! Sometimes middle books have this thing called Second Book Syndrome – yeah, you know what I’m talking about – and you end up being totally disappointed. Such was NOT the case with this one! It was just as good as the first book. It blew me away!

As I mentioned in my review of the In Time novella, Alexandra’s prose is very engaging. She has a way with words! She’s also a pro at characterization. All of the characters felt so real. Actually, I kinda wish they were, so we could be friends in real life. I loved the characters just as much as I did in The Darkest Minds! Ruby! Liam! CHUBS! I love Chubs. I love him so much. He’s definitely my favorite character of this series!

“I’m not the same person. I’m not, and I know that. I’m not okay with who I am or what I had to do, but I’m also not okay with us separating again! Don’t do that! Don’t just disappear! If you’re mad at me, then hit me or something – just don’t think that I don’t want to stay with you. I’ll always want to stay with you!”

I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I CAN’T TAKE IT. Even when he was being an asshat, it was because he cared too much. He covers up fear and pain with anger, and sometimes takes things out on the wrong people. But underneath it all, it’s because he cares about them. He just wanted to protect them. And the best thing? There is no romance between Chubs and Ruby. It’s strictly platonic. I LOVE THIS. It’s so, SO rare to see relationships like that anymore! It was the perfect platonic best friend relationship. *hugs book to chest* (Also, I miss Zu!!)

Ruby is probably one of my favorite heroines I’ve ever read. She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and would do anything to protect them, even if it meant making the hard decision. Sacrificing something for them. It’s funny, because she didn’t view herself in a very positive light – actually, in this book she struggles a bit with the darkness inside of her. She thinks she’s a monster, and jokes about her “winning personality” – even her peers see her as a bit of an ice queen. But, I think she’s brave and selfless. She puts others above herself constantly, and deep down the most important thing to her is keeping her loved ones safe.

I had something to accomplish and people to protect, and no one – especially not Rob Meadows – was going to keep me from it so long as there was breath in my body.

I also enjoyed meeting the new characters! I really liked Jude. He was simple, and a bit clingy and okay, kind of annoying sometimes; but he had an innocence to him, and he was like a ball of sunshine. I swear, nothing got that kid down. It was endearing, though…I wanted to hug him!

And then there’s Vida. Oh, Vida…how do I feel about you? I still don’t really know. I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to knock her teeth out in the beginning. She was just so…insufferable. Good lord, she was awful. Like Chubs said, she’d drive a saint to murder. But then, suddenly, she wasn’t so bad anymore. She started looking out for Ruby and the gang, protecting them. It was clear that she started caring about them. And she started growing on me. (Like a fungus.) I started laughing at her horrible comments instead of being annoyed. She has a terrible sense of humor, I’ll say that, but the back and forth banter between her and the others was actually pretty amusing.

“You – you – I can’t -” Chubs sputtered, too furious to form an actual sentence. “Come out here. Right now!”
“Come and get me, big boy,” she sang back. “I know I don’t have the parts you like, but we can always make it work.”
“Oh, like a functioning brain?” he shouted.

“I’m trying to make up for the sleep I lost when you started screeching at each other like cats in heat.”
“Miss Vida,” Liam said, “has anyone ever told you that you are positively the whipped cream on the sundae of life?”
She glared at him. “Anyone ever told you your head is shaped like a pencil?”

Another thing I loved about this book: I was 100% emotionally invested. I got a little misty sometimes at the stupidest things! (It’s kind of embarrassing, really.) ALL THE FEELS, GUYS. Lots of warm fuzzies, lots of shocks, but also sorrow, I’m afraid. Ruby and Liam’s interactions were so heartbreaking. I hated the distance between them!

There were so many times where I was holding my breath, frantically flipping the pages to find out what happened next. So much action – this book was explosive! There was never a dull moment. Even when there wasn’t anything happening (which was rare anyway), it was interesting.

Boy, does Alexandra Bracken know how to write an ending. I should have known, though, with the way both Darkest Minds and In Time ended. I’m almost afraid to read the last book!

Favorite quotes:

“Sometimes you’re the one speeding along in a panic, doing too much, not paying attention, wrecking things you don’t mean to. And sometimes life just happens to you, and you can’t dodge it. It crashes into you because it wants to see what you’re made of.”

“Life isn’t fair,” I said. “It’s taken me a while to get that. It’s always going to disappoint you in some way or another. You’ll make plans, and it’ll push you in another direction. You will love people, and they’ll be taken away no matter how hard you fight to keep them. You’ll try for something and won’t get it. You don’t have to find meaning in it; you don’t have to try to change things. You just have to accept the things that are out of your hands and try to take care of yourself.”

This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review!
757 reviews2,349 followers
April 22, 2017
2 1/2 stars. Enjoyed this a bit more than the previous one.

Wow, surprisingly, this book wasn't some fucked up road trip!

I really enjoyed this one and imo it was a little better than the previous one. Many people said that the first one was the best in the series - which I hated - and the next two books are worse - I liked the second book better, so I have hope that the third book can work out for me. I will definitely be reading it after this horrible cliffhanger for an ending.

◇I definitely didn't expect Ruby to become a little stronger in this book. In the first book, she was a really weak heroine, always crying at small things and NOT kicking butt. However, in this book, she actually doesn't cry this much and there are small action scenes.

◇The plot was better too. I feel like we have a legit story to read in this one. 3/4 of the book wasn't spent in a car (like the previous book) and there was some pretty sick dun dun dun's and twists. It was fun reading and I enjoyed it.

※I just wish it wasn't so long. I was bored at some parts and skimmed a couple of pages and some parts in the book just didn't hold my interest.

Overall, it was okay, but I just wished it wasn't so long and was a bit more exciting.
Profile Image for Lisann.
127 reviews130 followers
September 9, 2020
“Then he was stepping back, away, letting distance flood between us again. His voice was low, rough. "Give 'em hell, darlin'."
"And for the love of God, bitch, don't get stabbed this time!" Vida added.”

I LOVE THIS BOOK! Okay after this important announcement we can now start the review.
Buddy read with Sunshine

The story:

At the beginning of the book there is a time jump of six months which I always like because it gives the characters the opportunity to have experiences without us having to accompany them all the time. According to an agreement at the end of the first book, Ruby will be trained as an agent during this time and will be prepared for various missions and crisis situations with her team consisting of Vida (thanks girl for adding some sass into this book), Jude and Nico. Ruby is no longer the naive girl who tries to keep her powers secret. She trains them within the six months to finally gain full control and to be able to interact with people without fear. Ruby is now so in control of her powers that she is being used to interrogate people by entering their memories and finding out what really happened in different situations. That's all I can tell you about the plot of the book, because everything else would spoiler too much.
“Oh, I'm sorry," Chubs said, 'apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.”

The characters:

In this book, Ruby goes through several character developments that I've wanted to see since the first book. I love reading the darker sides of characters because it just makes them more human. Ruby also likes to dive into moral grey areas which I always find great. There is nothing better than to see a protagonist grow from a broken child into a self-confident, courageous teenager who is committed to the well-being of her group and can keep a more or less cool head in crisis situations. The author manages to emotionally bind me to all the side characters from Ruby's team and her friends, which I was all the more enthusiastic about as they all met each other. Oh and to everyone who has already read this book: am I the only one who ships Vida and Chubs? I can see these two slowly starting to get friends and maybe something else?


My thoughts:

The end of the first book promised drama and heartache. In addition to that there is a lot of action and plot twists in the second book that make it almost impossible to put the book down. Unfortunately I had to do exactly that because Sunshine and I agreed on reading 8 chapters in 2 days. It was really hard to stop because the tension is rising especially after the first third of the book.
“I don't want to just see someone's face; I want to know his shadow, too.”

The plot of the book just blew me away and it was a huge step up from the first book! This story has exactly the right action moments where people get hurt, die and are kidnapped. The “bad guys” in this world are, as always, not the people with powers but the society that does not accept people but wants to eliminate them, simply because they are different from the norm. Therefore I think that their society has to change, or rather the politics which from the beginning made sure that everybody is afraid of their children and acted as if they were treated in camps for their own good. If someone would have been in power who would have acted in the interest of the children by offering them to train their powers, just to not endanger others. So much good could have come out of it!


The only thing I don't love is the relationship between Liam and Ruby. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Liam in general but he is just too nice for me. I would love to read about other kind of man but that is exactly the problem. There are no men and women here, but boys and girls. They are teenagers and so I can overlook the fact that my heart is not directly addressed in this book.
I am really hyped for the third book and I can't wait to find out what goes wrong next, who dies, who survives and how the political situation changes. This series developed to be one of my favorites and I'm so really glad I've discovered it!

Special thanks to Joshita for letting me steal her little images!
Profile Image for Bex.
16 reviews
March 7, 2014
I will not be a bad person and ruin Never Fade, because that's not fair to Alexandra Bracken and all the anticipation she built and is still building leading up to the release of Never Fade, and also not fair to the people who actually don't like spoilers. (I have to say, I'm such a curious person that I sometimes look for spoilers. I know, it's a bad habit.)But also, WARNING. If you are really a spoiler-phobe you should keep away from this review and this page in general because I do glancingly talk about some stuff in Never Fade, so...
Your choice.
But I promise I will tell you when said areas occur.

Let me turn your attention to the above, where I list the shelves this book is on, which are not spoilery so much as an indication of how much I actually enjoyed this book. I have a little rating system with my book shelves- at the bottom, there is the "very bad books" shelve, where you will find my one and two-star books. I have nothing for my three and four-stars, because they basically did not leave a huge impact on me, but my five-stars are divided into two shelves: the "favorites" and the "pure-awesomeness-in-general"s. Favorites were really, really good books, that I will treasure for the rest of my existence. Pure-awesomeness-in-generals are the ones I cry over when I think about them, the ones I will guard like some hyper-active mother bear, the ones I will chose time and time again to take with me on vacation even though I have a pile of unread books under the foot of my bed.

Obviously, this was one of those books.

I'm going to skip the part about how I teared up when I first saw the book at BEA and move on to something else now, because nobody really wants to hear about that.

And now I will spare you my obsession and get to the book because I have A LOT to say. Because of the last book, I was debating whether to wait a little while longer to read it in fear of another heart-gutting cliff hanger and waiting a year for the next one. To add to it, I was in the process of reading several other books, which I don't like to do. I feel like it's not proper reading hygiene or something. I was an agitated mess, and probably resembled a caged lion with all my pacing- though most of it had to be mental pacing because I was either in a train or a car most of the day. In short, I think I looked kind of like Emma Watson that one time:

Except not really because I'm not Emma Watson and look nothing like her. Maybe if you made her shorter and more angsty...

When I opened it:

And then...

Insert WTF FACE here.

M.U.F.M. MAJORLY UNEXPECTED FIT/MELTDOWN. Also the sound your face makes when it hits the pillow promptly thrown on it because of the M.U.F.M.

Ah, well, moving on from that little... episode, I went on from that bomb at the beginning to dive headfirst into Bracken's thought-provoking, descriptive, writing.

Questions that many people (including me) had/have about Never Fade:

~Will Ruby find Liam?
I am trusting you to use your common sense about what 512 pages could possibly be about.

~Will Clancy reappear?
Knowing Clancy, is that even a question?

~Is Liam's brother, Cole, making an appearance?
Yes... hee hee.

Okay, now book talk.
Never Fade was a brutal book. Not like the Gone or Maze Runner series where it honestly was not for people with delicate constitutions, but it was pretty harsh compared to the Darkest Minds. I'm talking about getting ready for gunshots and stab wounds and a whole-freaking-butt-load of some brain-blowing mind control. We already saw Ruby evolve tremendously as a character in the Darkest Minds, but if it's possible, she changed even more.
Such a badass heroine.

Since we're on the topic of characters, let's do some in-depth:
~Ruby. As I said before, she has some new found ass-kicking skills that come in handy throughout the book, and is way more ruthless than she ever was in the Darkest Minds. She has some soul-searching moments, some badass moments, some very tender moments between herself and a new character, Jude, who has quickly become one of my favorite characters. She's fiercely protective of all her friends, new and old, and I'm happy to say that my opinion of her being one of the best female protagonists I've ever read hasn't changed.

~Jude. I mentioned him already. If you haven't read the Darkest Minds, I'm telling you to leave right now because SPOILERS. Anyhoo, Jude is part of Ruby's team in the Children's League, who she views as naive and in need of protection. Jude's fourteen, even though he could pass for twelve, and is a trained yellow. He's open, willing to trust, and while to Ruby these seem like things that could get him killed, he has a flare for seeing the reasons why people do what they do. He also affectionately calls Ruby 'Roo', which I find adorable.

~Vida. Those of you who read chapter one already (up on Alexandra Bracken's blog) know that Vida has quite the potty mouth, which I honestly find refreshing. Actually, the amount of f-bombs dropped in Never Fade is refreshing, because who on earth with a full vocabulary of cuss words would be able to keep them inside while everything went to shit around them? Unless you are either really Christian or have extremely strict morals, which is kind of what the YA genre is kind of implying-but-not-really with the low level of cursing, I don't know how anyone expects to portray an accurate teenager. Vida has blue hair, is actually a blue, and throws herself into everything she does. She's hostile towards Ruby at first, feeling replaced, but she soon realizes that Ruby isn't so different from her. I also ship Vida+Chubs.


~Cole. Elder brother of Liam, mentioned in the first book. He is important, but doesn't stick around for the bulk of the book. Frankly, he's an an ass sometimes, and though he cares about Liam, he doesn't really like people to know. I would say more, but... spoilers.


Rest assured, this isn't all the characters in the book who play a major role. Among those who are returning from the Darkest Minds are: Cate,Rob,and Olivia, new ones are: Alban, Jarvin, and Knox. Oh, and there is at least one member of the Black Betty crew (Liam, Chubs, Zu, Ruby) other than Ruby in the book, though whether their stay is short or long I shall not say...


Tee Hee.

Never Fade has a ton of twists and turns, most of them are entirely unexpected, so be prepared with tissues and don't read it while eating anything you could choke on.

The ending:

On an interesting side note: has anyone noticed that Ruby's initials spell out RED? Well, Alexandra Bracken actually answered that question, saying that all the oranges in TDM series have names relating to the color red, indicating that Oranges are actually more powerful than reds even though the government says otherwise. For example, Ruby's initials are RED, as said before, and Martin's name is similar to Mars, the red planet and the Roman god of war. She said we have to figure out Clancy's on our own, and I'm almost convinced that his initials CG, are for the chemical choking agent,CG, which is destroyed by water and is basically bad news for anyone not armed with a spray gun.

Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
July 18, 2016
Never Fade was mind blowing. I've stared at my phone for so long trying to work out how to describe my feelings on the plot and the characters. My conclusion is I can honestly not write my feelings. I just loved this book. It didn't suffer from second book syndrome. I loved the characters. This book made me gasp, cry, laugh, and get mad along with the characters. That's all I can say, I don't know why I'm incapable of writing reviews for the books in this series -- especially considering I usually start my review while I'm reading the book so I can put my feelings as I come across them, but for some reason I can't. They're honestly purely amazing and all I can do is say read them right now!
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books399 followers
September 19, 2021
Wow, this was another non-stop adventure for our gang of super-powered survivors of the deadly disease that killed off most kids in the US. Ruby has left Liam, Charles and Zu behind in order to keep them safe and is now working with an anti-government group. But with any group of people you meet in this book, who canyou really trust? Just like in the first book in the series, Ruby is still working to harness her power to control other's minds, but here she's struggling much more with the moral dilemma of it all, which was a great addition. Loved seeing some of the new characters, and the way this second book in the series ramped up the action and had some great new twists. 4.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,934 followers
October 28, 2018
3 No regret ★'s

I used to dream about turning back time, about reclaiming the things I’d lost and the person I used to be. But not anymore.

Buddy read with Nancy

Never Fade was certainly better than The Darkest Minds but it still fell a bit flat to me. The first half dragged on and on and really it was kinda boring, then it would go really fast at others. It did make up for it in the last half but damn that was a lot of pages to get through in order for it to hold my attention. But once it did I was hooked. There were a lot fewer plot holes and much better descriptions this time, so that's a plus. The characters are still great though and we meet some new friends. I love this ragtag group of characters :) Ruby has joined with the Children's Leauge and that is where we meet Vida (blue), Jude (yellow) and Nico (green). These three are a wonderful addition.

Colors and their associated abilities:
Green - Photographic Memory
Blue - Telekinesis
Yellow - Electricity
Orange - Mindfuckery
Red - Fire

“And people like you are the reason we have middle fingers.”

-Vida is bloody fantastic, her personality alone made this book that much better. She is witty, sarcastic as hell, inappropriate and almost everything that comes out of her mouth is offensive in one way or another, she's also very guarded and doesn't show her emotions easily. Vida is "positively the whipped cream on the sundae of life." Just ask Liam :D

“Apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.”

-Chubs is still one of my favorites. I was so excited when he came back into the picture. He never ever fails at making me laugh. Chubs can be a moody guy at times and he's also a bit of a control freak but Chubs is also brilliant, funny, trusting and extremely loyal. He makes one hell of a good friend!
*I sooo ship ♥Chubs and Vida♥! I ship them very very much!!! They'd be perfect together and really they could both use a little love in their lives.*

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

Oh, -Jude... I abso-freakin-lutely love this strange kid. He just melted my heart and turned it into putty. He was so sweet and funny and boisterous. He was also magnetic and you couldn't help but have this fondness for the kid. Jude was one of the main reasons the first half didn't completely suck!

“If a heart could break once, it shouldn't have been able to happen again.”

-Ruby's character has improved immensely since The Darkest Minds. I really like that her character keeps growing and maturing throughout this series. I love her kickass attitude and the protectiveness she has over her friends. She doesn't always make good decisions but that's life. We live and we learn.
“I missed him. I missed him, I missed him -oh my God, I missed him so much.”

*Ruby is trying to find a way out of the Children's League when she learns that there is a divide between the agents - there are those who want to help the kids with powers and generally care about them and then those wanting them ALL dead. Rubby sets out on a secret mission with Jude and later Vida and Chubs join the search to find Liam. Who
and so... Road Trip anyone?

“Give 'em hell, darlin”

-Liam is still my everything! Gods I missed him so much. I even held a little grudge at Ruby for well you know. Liam was so lost and felt like something was missing and nothing was making any sense. His mind was all muddled up and unclear. The moment Liam came into the book, that was the point in which I was hooked. His personality is entrancing and he just has this charismatic way about him. He just lures you into his web and you're a goner. He's just so charming, compassionate brave and loyal.
*I still very much ship ♥Ruby and Liam♥. I love them together and they have such chemistry between them its almost tangible.

“Goddammit, you stupid kid! You scared the shit out of me!”

-Cole was just perfect! I love Liam's brother. It was nice getting to know him better and like Liam, it was impossible not to like the guy. Also, Cole is !! I should have guessed this. I mean all the clues were there but I was completely surprised! I can't wait for more Cole :D

“You all can thank me when you can still fight back. I saved us.”

-Clancy is BACK! I really do like to hate this asshat. He's cunning, manipulative, untrustworthy and a complete freaking psychopath!!! But still, he knows how to keep it interesting that's for sure.

*The world Bracken has created has so much potential but sadly I'm just not loving it like I thought I would. I will be continuing with this series though and I am excited to see what happens next! That ending though, OMG it broke my heart into a million little pieces. Okie Dokie on to In The Afterlight.

“Later, gator."
"In an hour, sunflower.”

“I think I'm losing it—I don't know what's happening, what happened, but I look at you, I look at you, and I love you so much. Not because of anything you've said, or done, or anything at all. I look at you, and I just love you, and it terrifies me. It terrifies me what I would do for you.”

“Don’t to that! Don’t just disappear! If you’re mad at me, then hit me or something-just don’t think that I don’t want to stay with you. I’ll always want to stay with you!”
Profile Image for ☆☽Erica☾☆.
200 reviews675 followers
August 3, 2016
This was a pretty average read for me.

I spent the majority of the time being super bored or wondering how any person could possible travel as much as these characters did. The entire book was traveling. Traveling here, traveling there, traveling everywhere. By the middle I was legit begging the book to give me something more.

Every once in a while they would stop their traveling and I'd get irrationally excited that stuff was going to actually happen now. BUT NO. Something or someone was doing something across the country and we had to spend 50 pages getting there. Add in a handful of super close calls of being caught and then inevitably escaping, and you have the basic plot.

I actually ended up skimming (skipping) almost a hundred pages and I found I was easily able to follow the story. Probably half of this book could have been cut and would have read much better.
I also found myself not overly interested in characters because I just wanted them to fucking find Liam already. LIKE GODDAMN. It all seemed like filler to make us wait until we found him. Everything else seemed unnecessary. It just made the whole thing a bit messy.
My final qualm with this book was the raging plot holes. Why could Jude only use his powers in random desperate situations? Why couldn't he help out in between? Why couldn't Ruby use her superpowers in more than select situations? A lot of the fight scenes wouldn't even be necessary if she just stopped feeling guilty about her powers and instead focused on survival. She could easily command mental control over any of her attackers and form her own robot army instead. Why can't all the kids just murder all of the bad adults? THEY HAVE SUPERPOWERS!! UGH.

The last third of the book, including the earlier part where Lida and Ruby have to fight that Red, was the most interesting and engaging section in my opinion. Things seemed to pick up and despite the fact that they were still TRAVELING, there seemed to be more action and emotion in the story.

I'm not going to continue on with the series, but appreciate the imagination and work that went into it.
Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
321 reviews2,230 followers
April 18, 2015
3.75 STARS (if such a rating actually exists...)

“Sometimes you’re the one speeding along in a panic, doing too much, not paying attention, wrecking things you don’t mean to. And sometimes life just happens to you, and you can’t dodge it. It crashes into you because it wants to see what you’re made of.”

Okay, I need to ramble.

Do you ever feel that you're somehow forced to continue reading a book just because you fell head over heels in love with its prequel? Like you need to finish the sequel to not disappoint and betray your beloved reads?? Well, I certainly do. Freshest evidence, Never Fade, triggered that feeling for me, thanks to my officially never ending love for The Darkest Minds. Couple that with my need to finish any book once I've started it, and you have me reading any crappy sequel till the end (losing my free time in the process) even if I don't enjoy it. Yeah, I'm loyal like that.

But the thing is, I'm grateful for it in most instances, because otherwise I would've DNFed a lot of books that turned out really good in the end. Case in point as well. Honestly, from my point of view, the first half lacked a lot of things and if I were to rate it accordingly, I would probably give it a 2 stars rating. *cringes* Trust me, admitting this HURTS.

Let me develop (mild spoilers ahead): I missed Zu. I missed Liam. I missed Chubs. I even missed goddamn Clancy. I missed East River, I missed Black Betty and I missed the dynamic of our four-figured group. Want to know why? BECAUSE THERE WAS NO LONGER A GROUP. I was stuck inside Ruby's head and although the girl is admirable and badass, she was a freaking robot in the feelings department. I needed her to be a little more human. She was like a vamp from TVD with the switch turned off. Or like Celaena in one of her killing-spree phases without the actual killing. The desire to shake some sense into her was unnerving.

“Who I was and who I had been disconnected, leaving me stranded somewhere in the middle.”

And that was my main issue regarding Ruby -- I couldn't quite connect with her because she kept these walls up all around her, turning into a cold, overly rational and uncaring person. She was this numb shell whose only goal was survival in the snake's pit -- the Children's League -- and not becoming a product of its laws, without realizing that that only speeded up the process.

“I’m so tired of this,” I told him. “I know I don’t have any right to be; I know I did this to us, to myself, but I don’t want to fight anymore. I’m so tired of everything, of all of this, and knowing it’s never going to get any better—that nothing I do will ever make anything better. I’m so sick of it all.”

Then there was the subtle sensation from the first chapters of info-dump due to the lapse in time from the end of TDM and the start of NF, like meeting the new characters in a matter of pages -- Jude, Nico, Vida, Cole, Alban -- and updating on the known ones such as Cate and Rob. Then the countless scenes with bloody fights from the earlier parts that painted the whole book in a dark, scary shade from which I couldn't completely extract myself from once I put the book down. Oh, and that. The whole putting-the-book-down craving that happened a lot and that implicitly made me finish the book in 3 days -- because I. Was. Bored.

Yep, the plethora of action scenes had me skipping paragraphs to get to more interesting stuff, but, sadly, there weren't any nearby. I wanted a plot with defined elements to keep me engaged, but all I was getting were rather dull attempts of inducing some rush into my yawning system.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he breathed out. “I feel like…I feel like I’m losing my damn mind, like your face has been carved into my heart, and I don’t remember when, and I don’t understand why, but the scar is there, and I can’t get it to heal. It won’t go. I can’t make it fade. And you won’t even look at me.”

Miraculously, when the second half tipped over, it was all sunshine and rainbows and flying unicorns because I was suddenly getting almost everything I wanted (the things happening in the book, however, were pretty shitty but RAINBOWS AND SUNSHINE AND UNICORNS YAAAAY).

And that's the reason why, after enduring that downright unexpected first part, I was so happy to see it finally turn around into a 4-5 stars area that previously enraptured me in the first book. Ruby started to de-mummify herself back into the brave, intelligent and protective young woman I cheered in TDM and I felt like doing a happy dance. The glorious romance was back in full-swing with a side of anguish, deceit and gut-wrenching vulnerability that only amplified my adoration for the couple (I did say that they're better together than separated, didn't I?) and it turned out oh-so-great for my love-hungry, sappy heart. *sigh*

“If a heart could break once, it shouldn’t have been able to happen again. But here I was, and here he was, and it was all so much more terrible than I ever could have imagined.”

Afterwards I finally managed to get attached to the secondary characters and see them develop friendships with the old gang (Chubs + Vida anyone?) and they got a laugh out of me every now and then and that's all I was hoping for. The varied array of twists and turns were ranging from "oh, how could I not see that" to "HA! I CALLED IT!" and to "SWEET BABY JESUS NO FREAKING WAY". I was kept on the edge of my seat until the very end, which, by the way, was a powerful blow, one that had me a bit scared about what's to come, broke my heart into pieces and, somehow, managed to plaster a smug grin on my face at the same time ("suck it, asshole").

Also, I really loved Cole. And Cate. But COLE. *swoons* I need to find a Stewart of my own, because hot damn.

“I look at you, and I just love you, and it terrifies me. It terrifies me what I would do for you.”

To sum up, I'd say that Never Fade is a solid, powerful sequel. Not spectacular, not perfect, not splendid -- but enjoyable and exciting nonetheless, like a gem that needs some polishing or a cake with delicious fruit flavors at the bottom. Darker than I would've expected (and maybe liked), this book delivers the swoony romance, action-packed storyline and holy-shit-twists we've come to expect from Bracken, even though in a more unbalanced manner than in TDM. Heartbreaking, captivating and thrilling, Never Fade brings the stakes up a notch and paves a glorious way for the third installment, In the Afterlight, to hopefully end this series with a bang. Now I'm off to find whether or not my wish turns true. *grabby hands*


Am I the only one that finds the presumed love triangle from TDM similar to the one from Grisha? Just think about it -- Alina = Ruby (girl with untrained but astounding powers); Mal = Liam (brave, kind and lovesick boy); Clancy = The Darkling (basically the boss). Even the dynamic between Clancy and Ruby in the first book was the same as the Darklina one (powerful vs. powerless). And both Clancy and The Darkling honestly believe that their ideology will turn things for the better.

Still, somehow I want Liam with Ruby and The Darkling with Alina (I will go down with that ship) and I don't really know what's the difference behind my choice. Must be the darkling-esque allure. Or maybe the fact that The Darkling, badass psycho and broken precious baby as he was, never treated Alina superiorly.

Any thoughts on my revelation? :)
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
407 reviews911 followers
June 3, 2017
I have to go back and change my rating for the Darkest Minds because Never Fade was a solid four stars, but definitely better than its predecessor.

So guess what? MORE ROADTRIPS!

I love the spontaneous, emotional, on-the-run roadtrips Ruby and Co take to go find people. Last book they were trying to find the Slip Kid; this time it's Ruby & Chubs with some new kids looking for Liam.


Indeed there were less glaring inconsistencies in the story and the dystopian world this time around - or maybe I'm just getting better at ignoring them.


Of course I'm talking about my love, Chubs, and my new idol, Vida.
Vida is the kind of person that laughs in the face of emotions and actively combats them with witty and mostly offensive remarks. Basically, she's my favorite kind of person. Or, as Liam puts it, Vida is "positively the whipped cream on the sundae of life."
Then there's Chubs: high-strung, brilliant, control freak, loyal as hell. Also kind of a Grannie, according to Vida.
Cue catfights (and sexual tension? *wink*) 24/7.
Am I the only one who ships this? It can't be just me. They're meant to be! Chubs deserves some love in his life!

I love Clancy. Yes I know he's a psychotic ass, but he spices up the story with his mere presence. However in this book we do meet Cole, Liam's brother, and he's spicy in his own way ;)
About Cole -

This is one of my less coherent reviews, I'm starting to notice. Oh well. This series keeps getting better! Can't wait to finally finish it.
Profile Image for Pinky.
514 reviews430 followers
June 21, 2015
That was just so amazing, I WANT TO CRY!!!!!!!! I went through a roller-coaster of emotions. So much more questions and we got answers too!! I loved this so much it was an amazing sequel to The Darkest Minds!!!!!! I loved it even more and it was just so interesting. I couldn't help but cry at some parts because of all the feels. Why did I wait so long and why couldn't the book come faster? I was missing out on this trilogy and now I know why it's so good!

This is the second book in the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken. There was so much that happened and I can't mention too much because I don't want to spoil the book. But it was worth continuing and I am so glad I read this. I want to read the After Light ASAP. I can't wait to finish this series and see where it ends.

One of the main reasons of why I like this series is because of the characters. All the character development was just so nice and sweet to read. At first, I felt so annoyed by Vida, but she grew on me and I really liked her even though she can be harsh at times. She was kinda like how Chubs was to Ruby when they first met and I ship her with him!!!!!!!!!!! Ruby is much stronger and more confident with herself, although some of her decisions are things I would never do. Cole is okay and I don't know if I should trust him, I mean part of me feels like trusting him. Liam is same old Liam but more frustrated!!!!!! The characters feel more realistic and I just want to grab them all out of the book! Cate feels like a motherly figure who protects Ruby but I don't trust her too much for some reason... Chubs is hilarious as always and I love Jude!!!!!

The relationship between Liam and Ruby was frustrating and I wish they could talk about everything and catch up with each other. But there isn't time for that but I am hoping they will talk and catch up with each other in the next book. It was frustrating to see their pain, UGH THE FEELS!!!

The plot just keeps getting better and better and I love all the character bonds in this book. There were times when I cried and other times when I laughed. It all evens out and there were scenes that were heart-warming while other times it is heart-breaking. I just can't get over the things that happened in this book, it was a rush.

If you read the first book and are hesitant of reading the next book, I assure you that this book is much better. If you haven't read this series, START READING!!!!!! It's so good and you are missing out on an amazing series packed with action, adventure, humor, and suspense. It was a fast read and by the time you finish this, you will NEED the next book... TRUST ME!
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews842 followers
August 4, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Book Two of the Darkest Minds series
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC provided by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

What I Liked:


Ahh, I have no idea how to write this review. I just read this book Monday morning (today is Tuesday), and my head is still whirling from everything that happened. Like book one, this book is jam-packed with nonstop action! I feel like the characters couldn't catch a break, especially Ruby. Not that that's a bad thing!

So, book one ends with Ruby joining the League. She dislikes the League, but she's joining so that she can train to be able to shut down the camps, and fight back. She trains physically and mentally, so that her body is able to handle a fight, and her mind (her ability) is more controlled.

Ruby is given a task: retrieve a flash drive, and in return, the flash drive will be used by the League to help shut down the camps and help the children (supposedly). Ruby and her League friend Jude, and a League agent Vida, set out to find the flash drive, and run into some familiar faces.
I really simplified the first part of the book, but the plot is kind of complex. I feel like things happen, event after event. This is fantastic, because my interest NEVER dwindled. And we get to see how Ruby handles things, situation after situation.

Ruby. Ruby has changed a lot since book one. She is better prepared to use her powers, and she WILL use her powers whenever necessary. She isn't really afraid to do so anymore. Ruby wields her powers expertly, and never backs down. She is brave, calculating, and has much better instincts than in book one.

The romance... well, we all know what happened at the end of book one. Liam isn't present for a lot of this book - and when he is, we don't get a lot on him and his condition. I mean, we know he is there, but at the same time, so many things happen constantly, and Liam is a bit of an afterthought.

But not necessarily for Ruby. She always thinks of him, and sometimes regrets what she did (as she should!). There are moments towards the climax and end of the book, in which I wanted to cheer for the two of them... but then there were some in which I wanted to punch Ruby. Hard.

But don't give up on the two of them. Trust me. Don't. The romance is bittersweet for most of the book, but do NOT let that stop you from reading this book. Romance is important, and in this series, the romance is heartbreaking, but don't NOT read this series because of that. I have high hopes for the romance.

Things kept happening, so I had an interesting time deciphering what exactly was the climax. The ending though... WOAH. Way to drop a bombshell, Bracken! I mean, it's not really a cliffhanger, but oh my... can't wait to see how that works out in book three!

As a sequel, this book is FANTASTIC. Like, this series does not undergo the sequel slump. You all know I'm scared of sequels. Well, this is a great sequel! And an awesome book, in general.

What I Did Not Like:

It's not that I didn't like this particular part of this book that I'm about to explain - because I think it's totally necessary to the plot, to the direction in which Bracken is going with the story... but it still mad me sad.

I'm talking about Liam and Ruby.

How? How could Ruby do that? I feel like she was trying to be selfless, but really, she was selfish. She took away his choices for him, without asking him. Yes, this happened in book one, but the repercussions are evident in book two.

And I kind of hate Ruby for what she did to Liam in book one. But I still think she is amazing heroine and protagonist. And if everything ends up being well with Liam, and with her and Liam, then maybe I'll forgive her. But she... she shouldn't have done that.

So, now you know Ruby isn't perfect. See why this particular isn't necessarily a bad thing? It's character development. But it's also cruel. CRUEL AUTHOR.

Would I Recommend It:

I most certainly would! If you loved, liked, or enjoyed The Darkest Minds, then you'll enjoy this sequel. If you're debating on whether or not to read this series - do it! The Darkest Minds is on sale RIGHT NOW ($0.99, I believe), and I'm telling you, this sequel is amazing. So, read this book!


4 stars - what a fantastic, solid sequel! I'm super glad that I enjoyed this one, because sequels still scare me. But Bracken does not disappoint!
Profile Image for Lexie.
181 reviews135 followers
August 20, 2018
Holy great God! This book was amazing! I am speechless but I will still attempt to write a review. Man that was awesome, oh my God.

Never Fade was an epic and wild ride from beginning to end. Almost everything that happened in this book I never came close to guessing. This was even better than the first book. I was on edge the whole time reading it. Parts would make me literally laugh out loud or go "what?!" or put my hand over my mouth in shock or raise my eyebrows as I read. Multiple times after I finished a chapter I would shut the book put it down on my bed and just sit for a second going "Oh my God". Its legitimate to say this book ruined me! Damn. The last... Ten or so chapters though, just one huge shock after another. The whole plot was just full of action, epicness, mystery and suspense. I loved all the characters, Ruby, Chubs, LIAM! CLANCY! Even the new characters Jude and Vida were awesome, I loved them. The writing style was really great, really descriptive and engaging, I really like this writing style even though I'm not the biggest fan of first person, Alexanda Bracken is a master at it. Anyway, overall, absolutely amazingly awesome! What will happen in the next book? I am at a complete loss. I just hope the conclusion is as epic as this series has been.

I just want to quickly talk about the two main new characters we met in this book.

To be honest I was a little hesitant towards Vida at first. She's kinda like Chubs in that she's highly sarcastic but she is much more so and even goes towards being much more aggressive and violent and well hers is the kind of sarcasm I don't like, leaning into mean and hurtful a lot of the time and especially with how much she swears. But you come to understand it is a defense mechanism for Vida because of her past and that changes my opinion of her a lot, I came to really like her even if I wouldn't exactly be friends with her in real life. Her personality is just not one I'd personally get along with, but she is certainly a great character and I love when we eventually see her softer side, more in the third book though admittedly.

Like Liam Jude is just precious but even more so because he's so innocent and adorable. But don't just think he's dumb and naïve although he is definitely kind of naïve but you gotta give Jude more credit than you think, he is smart and deep and comes out with some hard hitting wisdom multiple times. His limitless energy and unbreakable spirit was just a pleasure to behold and he is such a great character!

Ok, now for the part of the review with spoilers. MAJOR SPOILERS! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVENT READ IT! Rating is at the bottom.

Let's talk more about the characters. (These are also my completely initial reactions I didn't really bother to change them).

First, Ruby. I really liked her in Never Fade, considerably more than in the first book. She kind of annoyed me very slightly in the first book, but I get that it was character evolution. I just liked her so much in this one, I feel she was easier to understand and a little more realistic. Her relationship with Jude was hilarious, oh man her reunion with Chubs though, and then Liam, LIAM, oh, had my heart pounding. Ruby with Clancy though, that was a side of her I didn't expect to see, and I loved it. By the end I was loving her, she is really taking responsibility and taking charge, finally facing up to what she must. With all she's been through you can tell that she is really strong. You go girl Ruby!

Chubs did not change at all. Not one bit. And that's good. We get the exact same Chubs. I liked him just the same as in the first one. Wow I didn't realise he actually cared so much for Ruby though, so sweet. Their reunion, oh my goodness. Chubs and Liam's bond though, a beautiful friendship. Oh God his interactions with Vida though, they seemed that were at each other's throats most of the time. Lol poor Chubs Vida kept calling him Granny. Chubs is really great though, he provides the logic reality when the others get a little too carried away. I've warmed to him even more and will probably do so in the next book.

Liam, LIAM! Oh God! As you can tell I love Liam, he is my favourite. It was so heartbreaking in this one, Liam so close to dying, and then he was trying to say all that, but Ruby had wiped his memory of her and he couldn't remember her, but he still had the feeling of loving her and he didn't know why. Oh, Liam's character was absolutely heartbreaking. When I thought he got shot in that chapter holy shit I freaked out so much, and it was too late so I had to stop reading and couldn't find out what happened next. But thank God Liam went back to himself in the end, beautiful Liam. If he somehow dies in the next one, I swear to God!

Vida. Vida was interesting. She didn't really change that much throughout the book, and sometimes it felt like she was just there to pull off some mean comedy relief. It was funny though, all her interruptions, she definitely has a strong presence. She's definitely an interesting character, I'd like to learn more about her. I eventually started warming to her towards the end. She's a very strong character, and I am eager to read more about her.

And, Jude... I honestly had book intuition with this! I KNEW Jude was going to die. I don't know how but I knew. I thought Liam might die for a little while but somehow I could just feel that Jude was going to die. Oh I loved him though he was so funny and adorable. But he had an underlying deepness and sensitivity too. "I don't just wanna know someone's face. I want to know their shadow too." He is also much braver than anyone gives him credit for, for instance that scene where he shoots electricity at all the PSF's, Jude is no pushover, he is awesome. I really liked Jude, so sad that he died. I bet his death will motivate Ruby in the next book. (I was right it did big time).

Clancy. Freaking CLANCY! Oh, I admit it, I love him. He's evil but I love him. When he showed up I was like "Oh my God Yes!" And then Ruby took him prisoner! I loved that whole part. You could tell Clancy didn't expect that, and he certainly didn't like it. Lol and then she locks him in a closet. And then Cole, "IT is awake, and very angry." OMG LOL! I just love Clancy so much. Clancy is so deep though. I kind of get his motives and where he's coming from. He was awesome in this one, that ending though. What will happen to him in the next book?! I'm so eager to find out! I hope he doesn't get killed or anything though, in fact I kind of hope he gets like redeemed or something. I really love him I honestly kind of want a happy ending for him.

And finally a few other things worth mentioning:

Cole is a f*****g RED?! What the hell?! And Liam doesn't even know. Holy shit I did not see that coming! Cole was really intriguing I like him too.

Mason though, that other Red. Poor thing jeez. That scene was something else. Those poor kids need to be saved.

And finally, I mentioned this in one of my updates but again, I hate Knox with a fiery passion for what he damn did to Liam and those other kids. I don't care Ruby should have ended him.

Spoilers end.

I love how this book really sort of takes on a different direction and a whole different atmosphere. The feels I got while reading this book! It was amazing from beginning to end. I am starting In the Afterlight straight away tonight! What will happen?! I honestly have no idea. What will happen with Clancy? How will it even start? Will anyone else die. Oh I'm so excited! This book was amazing. This series was amazing! (Wow I was so damn excited XD).

Never Fade gets a 10/10 from me. It just made me have reactions worthy of a 10/10. Amazing plot, so thick, complicated, suspenseful and amazing with so many big shocks, awesome, immensely loveable characters, and great writing style. I am starting In the Afterlight straight away!
Profile Image for Rach.
179 reviews183 followers
January 18, 2016
The obsession grows. And grows and grows and grows.
I enjoyed this book so much. There's no existent rating scale that explains how much I did.

I'm in love with the characters, the ships, the writing, the story. Everything is mind-blowing.

After the events in The Darkest Minds and the damn ending, we get to read how Ruby is doing with the Children's League. Everything was going how she needed to until a man strikingly similar to Liam tells her he needs her help to look for something which one person, who she never thought would see again, has it.

Let's talk about Cole. I would like to add him to my wish list for this Christmas, alright Santa?
At first I was so scared that he would form part of a love triangle, and took all of me not to like him for that. I failed. But thank God Alexandra Bracken is smarter than that. *clapclapclap*

Now, Vida. Happened the exact same thing with Cole. I didn't know if she was going to be some kind of bitch. She ended up being one, but not the bad one! She could kick-ass and her comments always made me smile.
Can I ship her with Chubs? Or am I being crazy with the shipping?

The last new main character I want to talk about is Jude. Judith. First things first:

Clancy is meh, I really don’t care about him. I like his wit and funny comments, but the thing with Ruby… No, thank you.
There are times when I want to hit him in the face repeatedly.

I craved for Liam the first chapters of the book and when he finally appeared I didn't know how to process what was happening. I was so scared.

And last but not least, Ruby. The development is beautifully noticeable. I love female power and she got to kick some ass in this book.

“I used to dream about turning back time, about reclaiming the things I’d lost and the person I used to be.
But not anymore.”

You go, girl.

The storyline of Rubiam destroyed me in a way I can't describe. Sometimes I was squeaking and making pterodactyl noises because of the cuteness and sometimes crying and making seal giving birth noises.
I ship it like a ship shipping ship shipping shipping ships.

“Give ’em hell, darlin’.”


I really don’t know what to think about I love their powers and I get sometimes they’re breaking Ruby, but maybe, just maybe she could learn to control them?
I’m just saying their powers are useful, as long as they don’t kill my babies.

Talking about my babies… WHERE IS ZU? I MISSED HER SO MUCH.

I practically wrote a whole review about the characters, but it's just that these characters define the whole trilogy. I don't think I've ever loved a whole crew so much.



Right after finishing:

I can't think properly right now. The tears.
The second book was even better than the first one and I'm falling in love with this trilogy so badly.
Need. To go read. The third one. Now. It's 2 am and I don't care.

Profile Image for Lara.
169 reviews66 followers
April 4, 2020
My review

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

Ruby is with the League for 6 months now and she still hasn’t figured a way out. She forces herself to be cold and distant towards Cate and her teammates, doing everything they ask of her, operations and training while silently rebelling from within. Ruby’s team is sent on a mission of retrieving an agent in custody – who turns out to be Liam’s brother Cole. Things in the League aren’t as good as they seem and the number of agents who aren’t that fond of Psi children is increasing. Their selfish motives are surfacing and kids who once fought alongside them might not be safe anymore. After rescuing him from imprisonment, Ruby has been assigned to retrieve a flash drive with extremely important information that is in possession of no one else but Liam Stewart.

Two books into The Darkest Minds and I started to get fond of these books. They have their ups and downs and sometimes I get frustrated by the course author decided to take with certain parts of the book, but the second book surprised me pleasantly, especially because it was better than its prequel.

While I had a problem with pacing and lack of “real action” in the first book, that wasn’t the case with Never Fade. Alexandra Bracken throws us in the middle of Ruby’s Op, six months after events at the end of The Darkest Minds. Things shift to action almost immediately, and readers are pulled into a turmoil of plans, switching loyalties and interesting turnarounds. I enjoyed the story and its fast development. I couldn’t predict where would the plot take us, but most of all, I liked how Bracken represented the Children’s League. It wasn’t some all-mighty secret organization that was there all along and just happened to be there when MC needed help and now is going to solve everything, but a group with their own agendas, rescuing only those kids they can use.

I really liked the plot and didn’t feel like the book was too long, despite the fact that it was even longer than the first book. Happenings and action were evenly arranged, with a big amount of plot twists and revelations, but easy to follow and keep readers engaged in every part. As I said before, I had to force myself through some part of The Darkest Minds because there were a lot of empty parts with literally nothing going on, but that just wasn’t the case with the second book. I really enjoyed the story, even though some parts about the development of two certain characters khm were unnecessarily long and tiresome.

The biggest highlights of this book definitely belong to characters. I was thinking a lot about this and I can’t say I dislike one single character. Bracken keeps developing her old while introducing new, equally interesting and colorful characters.

Ruby’s narrative has really changed, her time with the League shaped her into something more than always scared and insecure girl. In the beginning, she had some really good moments, especially while interacting with League’s agents, Cole, Vida and Jude and how she tried to push them out so she wouldn’t hurt them when she betrayed them. She got a dose of badass-ness and I started to like her and her fight for her beliefs and friends. Up to the point… where all the drama with Liam started. I know those things were explained multiple times during her narrative and to her (and the author probably) made sense, but I couldn’t grasp some of her thoughts and turn them into valid arguments that legitimated her actions. All those “I don’t want him to become a monster so I’m going to wipe his memory and send him somewhere he’ll be in more danger” and pushing people away seemed like a bad attempt at making her character more complicated.

I liked the growth of the other characters very much as well, especially because they were thoroughly developed and had a lot of room to prosper despite Ruby having the only narrative. It’s hard to create a specter of diverse characters from the first person perspective of one character, but Bracken managed to deepen correlations as well as individual development of the old, and new characters. I loved Vida and Jude immediately, and old characters started to grow on me more, even Liam who I thought was nothing special.

After that cliffhanger and heartbreaking

“Oh, I'm sorry," Chubs said, 'apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.”

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