Title – ‘Never Fade’
Author – Alexandra Bracken
Published – October 15th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages – 512
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. 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?’
*Warning – Contains spoilers*
I’m going to be honest, when this book started I was a tiny bit lost and did have the thought that maybe this book wouldn’t live up to my love of the first. I was wrong. This book was wonderful, once the initial time hops were over and my slight confusion died down I was hooked. This book was full of action, lots of small twists and turns that kept you gripped and a huge amount of character development.
Talking of character development, that was the element that stood out to me the most. Ruby was amazing in this book. She really toughened up and seemed to grow up a massive amount, however in certain scenes she still kept her innocence… her humanity. The Children’s League had tried to mold her into someone who was strong, to be feared but despite taking on elements of that she still kept a certain warmth in her heart. She never forgot what she was fighting for. Who she was fighting for.
On that note I guess I should mention lovely Liam. I was so glad he was reintroduced in this book, although with Chubs. The group all had such a wonderful diversity and to see them back together with new faces and new personalities definitely brought about some interesting group dynamics. Vida and Chubs for example brought about a tongue and cheek tone almost. Constantly snapping at each other like squabbling siblings. I especially liked how Liam also developed in this story.. he took a step down from the strong leader role he’d gained in the first book. He always had a softer side, but it was shown far more in this book… his vunrability. And what can I say about innocent Jude, adorable little Jude… he very much played the same role for me as Zu did in the first book. I just wanted to protect him, shelter him and all his innocence from the world he’d been abruptly thrown into.
I’ve got to admit I didn’t see Jude’s death coming, it hit me hard and had me watering at the eyes. Equally when Liam regained some his memories earlier in the book and had the small breakdown, explaining what it felt like to want someone and not know why… that got to me as well. Alexandra Bracken did such a wonderful job at portraying the emotions of these characters, much like she did in the first book. I liked that we also got a more in depth view of the Children’s League and some of the characters connected with them, Cate, Cole, Alban and Rob. I think Alban, as the head of the league, probably could have played a slightly larger role but in all honesty I don’t think his presence is missed much. Out of the four characters listed above it was Cole and Rob that stood out for me. I rather liked that Rob very much got what he deserved and despite the fact that Ruby hated herself after torturing his mind, I’m glad she did it. I’m glad she realised her strength but I’m also glad she never lost her grip on reality… on her humanity. She never let the power get to her head so to speak.. never fully anyhow.
I honestly could not put this book down once I got into it, the reintroduction of Clancy had me imagining punching him square in the face. But I am glad he played his part in this book, I’m glad that more of his true colours were seen throughout. Of course he’d want to help Ruby, if it meant he’d get something out of it… and that he did. But of course despite not playing the ‘major’ villain in this book he still kept to that darker side, still played tricks and wormed himself around awfully well. You never forgot about his presence, it lingered around even when he wasn’t necessarily in the scene. Although, I can very much imagine the look on his face at the end of the book as he realises his plan didn’t quite work out the way he wanted too. He didn’t quite realise just how much Ruby had grown, how aware she was of everything and how much of a quick thinker she’d become.
I can definately say I’m looking froward to getting my hands on the third book. There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered.. but that is one element Alexandra Bracken has played very well. She’s given hints towards the answers of certain questions but never too much that all you have to do is put the pieces together. There’s still elements missing and that just wants to make you read on.
I very much hope in the last book we find out what exactly had caused IAAN in the first place, it’d also be nice to get an introduction on Mr and Mrs Gray. I’d like to see some interaction between Clancy and his parents, I think it’s be a rather interesting tale to see. One of the other things I wish to see in the last book is the reintroduction of Zu, her presence was very much the only thing I missed in this book, perhaps because I’d grown so fond of her in the first book.
To sum up this book… it’s a wonderfully written story full of character development, multiple villains, lots of little twists and turns to keep you on your toes and the want to know more. It covers many of the questions left from the first book perfectly well whilst never dwelling too much into the past. The story progressed incredibly smoothly whilst still adding layers too it. I really did enjoy this book, I am very much itching to get my hands on the last.. although.. I’ll be sad to see it end.
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms? Yes! Especially if you enjoyed the first book!
Will I be reading the final book in the series? I’d regret it if I didn’t I think.
Am I completely in love with this book? So much so!
[I rate this book 5/5 stars]