Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Dystopian, YA fiction, Action
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?
Plot: The plot is filled with action. Maybe it’s a bit less compared to the first book, but it’s still there.
We have Ruby in the League now without Liam. She is in the League as Leader. She is teamed up with Nico a shy Green, Vida a fiery Blue, and Jude a talkative Yellow.
She is sent on a mission to find a prisoner. Cole, Liam’s brother. She finds out that Liam has an important flashdrive, and Cole puts her on the mission of finding Liam.
That’s the mission of the rest of the book. Ruby finds a healed Chubs who is acting as a bounty hunter for ‘freak’ kids. Ruby, Vida, Chubs, and Jude search for Liam, finally finding him ill in a tribe of blues. Ruby rebels against the blues’ leader Knox, or Wes. She prevails, unlocking the ability to control people’s minds without touching them. She goes to help Liam and ends up being caught by Rob. And Rob is hurt by Ruby who tortures him to get back to her friends. When she comes back, Liam is distraught. He is confused by his feelings for a stranger. Remember that Ruby wiped Liam’s mind. And he remembers after a kiss with Ruby. The group meets up with Clancy again who pretends to be Cate. Clancy tells them that the rebels in the League intend to hurt the kids there in California. And the group races back. Only to be bombed. Only to be betrayed by Clancy. They end up having to struggle until the last moment. And the cliffhanger happens. (Which makes me want more.)
Ruby. Ruby Ruby Ruby. I see you have grown. Not in an amazing way. She can control her powers better, but she can’t control minds unless she touches them. This ends up changing. I like Ruby more. She seems to care more. She has more determination than before. I don’t think that wiping Liam’s mind was good. It really wasn’t. It causes too many problems. I know she meant well. But it didn’t end up well. I think she is a good character, and she gains her independence and gains a voice. I think she might be one of the best dystopian heroines I’ve read so far. Might.
Jude. I don’t particularly like energetic characters. I simply don’t like them. I’m not someone who likes keeping up with them. Jude is part of the exception. He’s such an innocent and cute kid. You just have to like him. He doesn’t understand the things going on around him. He sees it as Jude, not as other people do. I think his innocence and clumsiness is actually a good part of his character.
Vida. I think Vida should have her own novella. There is so much background and personality to her. I feel like she should be her own heroine in a story. She’s daring and heroic, the typical heroine you think of. She has her flaws. I truly thought she would be the one who whip out Red powers, not Cole.
Chubs/Charles. I do love Chubs as a character. I’m one of those people who loves both the head-in-the-clouds characters and the down-to-earth ones. Chubs is the later. He has a great bond with Liam, Zu, and Ruby. I think that bond will soon be tested. I can just tell. Chubs has changed. He isn’t much of a kid anymore. He acts more like an adult. While I admire him for growing into his eighteen years, I wish he was still a kid. I preferred him that way.
Liam. I don’t like Liam. I just can’t seem to like him. He’s easygoing and laidback. He’s crazy and has a broken heart. He’s a broken soul, yet I don’t feel for him. I do think that Ruby should have spared the poor guy’s heart, but I guess I can see why she did what she did. I do think Liam can be a leader; he has the potential for it. If only he could break free of being ‘Ruby’s boyfriend’.
Nico. While Nico is a small character until we bring in Clancy, I do feel like he should be recognized on this list. He is important. He’s the Green. And he’s part of Ruby’s team. I do think that the plot twist with him and Clancy is a bit farfetched, but I do love how Nico is put into this story. It seems, oddly enough, the Nicos of the book world are just…quieter. (Think Rick Riordan here.)
Clancy. I still hate Clancy. I can’t help hating him. He’s the antagonist, and he’s a good antagonist. I don’t want to say much since there isn’t much to be said. I feel like he can be redeemed, and the third book might have him being redeemed. I hope so. I like the redeemed characters for some odd reason.
Cole. I feel like Cole should be added. He’s the typical, laid-back, don’t-care guy. He does have heart. He does have personality. He has history with Liam, which makes him much more interesting. Plus, he’s part of the League. I don’t particularly like him, but I can see why people might like him.
Problems: I feel like this book isn’t predictable. In a good way. I don’t have much to complain about really.
I do think that Cole being a Red is a problem. How did that happen? I don’t believe his ‘late bloomer’ excuse. Maybe he was an experiment. Could be. I don’t know. I think it is interesting to have a Red, but he doesn’t act like a Red. Reds are more dysfunctional in a way Greens and Blues aren’t. Realistically, I don’t see him as a Red.
Another thing is the Nico-Clancy situation. I feel like that alliance is crooked. I would prefer a random Green not Nico, but I think Nico did deserve a bit of spotlight. He is a genius Green, and I think that Greens should be recognized, not just Yellows and Oranges and Blues. I feel like Clancy is someone who would use people like Nico. I just don’t like the alliance.
The cliffhanger is another problem. I thought the third book would be out by the time I finished the first two books, but we still have a while to go. Not that I mind waiting. I waited for the newest Rick Yancey book, and I didn’t mind that. I just thought that I would be able to smoothly move from book to book. And the cliffhanger just tears me apart. What happened? Who was she speaking to? What will the evidence do? Where is Clancy’s mom?
My last problem that I can think of is the romance. I have the nagging feeling that Chubs and Vida will end up together. I don’t want that. I like Chubs as a single guy who third-wheels with Ruby and Liam. Ruby and Liam are a problem altogether. I don’t see the spark. Where is the romance? I also think Ruby is cruel for doing that terrible memory swipe to Liam. Liam doesn’t deserve that. He deserves much better.
Good points: This book is a good book, though. I really think so. The action is quite book. The plot is exciting. You’re kept on your toes; you’re left wondering. I do think the characters are growing quite well, especially our Ruby. I do like the antagonist because Clancy is portrayed as this sociopathic Orange who is used to getting what he wants. We have these good characters with interesting backstories. The plot of this book is quite amazing in itself, and I think that the way the book is written is interesting enough to keep you going.
I feel like most YA fiction, dystopian readers should read this book. It is a very good read.
Recommended: If you liked the first book. If you like more rebellion.