Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: October 15, 2013
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 is a thrilling, dangerous, and explosive sequel to Bracken's The Darkest Minds. This time around, Ruby's on the hunt instead of on the run. She's searching for someone, someone she'd hoped to keep safe from everything dangerous, safe from her, but the world isn't that easy on her. It never will be. And even though she's afraid of seeing him again, afraid of what might happen after she finds him, she doesn't have a choice.
Ruby's in more of a leader-type of role in this book. She's in charge, which means she's dangerous, ruthless. She has to be in order to keep herself and her team alive. Not that she wants to be. She still fears her abilities as an Orange, she still sees herself as a monster, as something that will only cause pain. Things will never be easy for Ruby, she will have to fight and claw her way through every situation. She will have to make those painful decisions, and that's what makes her human, the fact that she feels so much pain.
She's going where she doesn't want to go, searching for someone she never wanted to see again. It was her actions at the end of the first book that were supposed to keep him safe, but Liam as something she needs to find, something the Children's League wants, and she doesn't have a choice. She'll never have a choice, so long as someone has a need for her. So long as she's afraid.
The darkness and the danger of Ruby's world is almost palpable. Everything is in ruins, cold and bleak. America no longer exists, not really. Not with the camps, the skip tracers, and the Children's League. When the disease hit and children started to exhibit strange and dangerous abilities, the country crumbled under the weight of fear. Fear that they could take over, that they would be uncontrollable. The need to keep them locked away rose, but it only served to push some of them. Push them closer to the edge, push them into rising up. Into taking control.
Ruby has changed over the course of two books, changed from a frightened little girl to a dangerous (but still frightened), emotional, and battered young woman. As afraid as she is, afraid of becoming a monster, she will stop at nothing to keep those close to her safe, even if it kills her. This second book was just as tense and just as lethal as the first, and, hopefully, the third will be as well.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Disney Book Group through NetGalley.)