"Never Fade" by Alexandra Bracken | Book Review

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As promised last Sunday, today I'm talking about the second book in The Darkest Minds trilogy—Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken. I always approach sequels with caution because most of the time, in my experience, the best book in the series is the first one. Imagine my surprise when I found myself loving Never Fade more than The Darkest Minds (reviewed here). No spoilers ahead. 

Series: The Darkest Minds (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Page Count: 512
First Published: October 15, 2013

Never Fade continues Ruby's story, but now she has to also deal with the difficult choice she made earlier. It's obvious right away that she has changed as a person: she's not as naive, she's tougher, she is determined to get what she wants, and willing to make sacrifices. Of course, she's not made of stone, so her struggle between being efficient in reaching her goals and being compassionate is one of the most interesting things to witness. It's also frustrating at times—there were moments when I wanted to shake her so she would  finally allow her humanity to come through. What I also loved is seeing Ruby slowly get more comfortable with her powers, try to use them, master them, and not be afraid of what she can do. 

There is a lot of character development in Never Fade for almost everybody, which is always great to see. There also are a lot of new characters, which kind of overwhelmed me in the beginning. Because of this, it took me a bit to get into this book—I was immediately thrown into action, while I was still trying to figure out who was who. Speaking of action, there is a lot of it, and it's just as good (if not better) than what was happening in The Darkest Minds. I would say the book really picks up after about 20-25%, and after that it just keeps going strong. The pacing worked really well for me, and there was only one part where I got a bit annoyed with the drama between Ruby and her love interest. Nothing to consider a big issue though. Overall, I thought the plot developed really well, and there were a few very strong scenes that got my heart racing or got me emotional. The cliffhanger at the end isn't as frustrating as the one in The Darkest Minds, but it's still a very good one—I'm very excited to find out what happens next.

As I've already mentioned earlier, I loved Never Fade, and enjoyed it even more than the first book in the series. I can only hope that the final book is just as good—the bar is set pretty high in my mind now. I was originally planning to marathon through the series, but I'm taking a little break before reading the last book—I know I'm going to be sad when it's all over, and I'm just not ready for that yet. 

Have you picked up The Darkest Minds trilogy?
How did you think the second book compares to the first one?


UPDATE: If you are thinking about getting into The Darkest Minds trilogy or you've already read it and want to talk about it, you should check out my review of the entire series in the video below!