Narrator: Amy McFadden
Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Published by Brilliance Audio on 2013-10-15
Length: 15hrs and 20mins
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, 2019 Finishing the Series Challenge, Beat the Backlist 2019
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?
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken is the second book in The Darkest Minds series and picks up a few months after the events of the first book. A little recap….if you haven’t read The Darkest Minds, there are spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk. View Spoiler »The first book ends on a massive cliffhanger. Chubs was shot and left at a hospital. Liam and Ruby are taken in by the Children’s League. Ruby is given a choice to save Liam or allow him to remain in the Children’s League’s custody. She chooses to save him. To do this, she has to erase herself from his memories. Yep, that’s right she erased herself. Y’all not what I was expecting AT ALL. Liam leaves with no memories of her and Ruby leaves with Cate. « Hide Spoiler Ok you’re all caught up.
It’s been a few months since Ruby was taken by Cate to the Children’s League headquarters in California. In those months, Ruby has honed her skills as an Orange becoming one of the League’s “leaders” and interrogators. She sees herself as a monster, but believes in what the League is doing. They are rescuing Psy kids from the camps, getting intel on the president, and causing all kinds of havoc in general. But there are those inside the League that want her and others like her dead. When Cole Stewart reveals that Liam has a flashdrive the Children’s League wants, Ruby accepts the mission knowing she must leave behind those she’s come to love.
Ruby is a fascinating character. She struggles daily with her Psy abilities. She doesn’t want them. The guilt for leaving Liam the way she did eats at her daily. Because there is nothing she can do for Liam or Chubs or Zu, she fights to protect her team at the League. She’s fiercely protective of them and will do whatever she can to keep them from harm.
While key characters from the first book are noticeably missing *cough* LIAM *cough*, Alexandra Bracken introduces new characters that I instantly fell in love with. Jude is like Zu, a Yellow and young. His childlike enthusiasm and love for Ruby tugged on every single one of my heartstrings. He is a sweet and lovable character that I just wanted to reach out and hug. Vida is a tougher character to like. She is a Blue (I think….if I remember correctly). She gives Ruby heck, but that’s just her. Vida sugarcoats nothing, and doesn’t love easily. But she is loyal to a fault.
The plot of the story is convoluted and fast-paced. As the reader, you find out things as Ruby does which means you are left wondering the truth behind other characters’ actions. Who can you really trust? When Cole asks for Ruby’s help in finding this flashdrive, she’s anxious to do the job. One it will give her a glimpse of Liam and two it will serve as closure. She did the right thing and can move on….at least that’s what she thinks. But things are never that easy.
Amy McFadden is a brilliant narrator. I found myself at the edge of my seat many times as she flipped her tone or change inflection just enough to give insight into the characters. I was completely lost in her telling of the story.
Overall I really enjoyed Never Fade. Ruby, the new characters, and the revelations that shake their world at its core left me breathless and wanting more. If you enjoy dystopias, this is one that is a must-read.