So, I read this book back in February and was going to wait to write my review until I read the final book in this trilogy and do an overall series review. Since y’all haven’t seen a series review, I obviously never got to the third and final book, even though I had it from the library. I definitely plan on finishing this trilogy as I very much have been enjoying it, but I figured I would write a quick review for this installment, in anticipation of reading the third book…hopefully soon.
Since this is the second book in a trilogy, I won’t give a synopsis of this book, but I’ll give y’all the synopsis of the first book, The Darkest Minds: This trilogy creates a dystopian world where the disease, Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration (IAAN), that only affects the children in this world. IAAN has already killed a large number of the children, and the government has no idea the cause of this disease or how to cure this disease. The government decides to ship the kids who are affected by IAAN to “rehabilitation camps”, such as Thurmond where our main protagonist is found. Now, for the children who don’t die because of the disease, they start to develop some odd superpowers that make them a threat to the government. The children are split into four different color groups, matching their superpower (Reds, Oranges, Blues, and Greens). Ruby, our main protagonist, escapes from one of these camps and meets up with other kids on the run, and begin to start discovering government secrets about their superpowers and IAAN.
Originally, I thought to myself – oh my, yet another YA dystopian trilogy…how good can this actually be? But – I have heard some great reviews of this trilogy, so I decided I would give it a try. Plus, the first one was super cheap in the Kindle bookstore, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt. Oh my – I loved the first one. So great! I realize the synopsis sounds very similar to other YA dystopian trilogies, but the world that Alexandra Bracken created is so complexly unique. Super action packed, strong young female protagonists, and intricate socio-political themes which is always fantastic to find in books that are aimed at a younger demographic. This is definitely another YA series that gives me hope for YA writing/writers – so, good on you Alexandra Bracken! 🙂 Heads up, the next section had some spoilers – so, if you haven’t read the second one yet, go pick it up and then continue on!
Anyways – onto the second book, Never Fade. There was a bit of a gap between me reading the first one and this second one, but it was relatively easy to pick back up where the first book left off. Never Fade started off with a BANG and the action kept going throughout the book. It made the book super easy to get into, as the action kept building and going all the way until the very end. You know what that means – epic cliff hanger…the more and more I write this review, the more and more I wonder why I haven’t pick up the last one yet, haha!
I loved Alexandra Bracken’s development of her characters! The characters are definitely the top reason why I enjoy this trilogy so much. I don’t know if it’s because the characters are so young, and you just want everything to be OK for them or what – but I found myself getting so emotionally invested in these characters and their lives. Ruby – definitely the best part of this trilogy. If y’all have read some of my reviews, y’all know that I love me a good strong female protagonist and that is exactly what Ruby is. Ruby is incredibly loyal and always puts the needs of others before her own. I admired her leadership and her ability to think quick on her feet, in order to protect the good of the group. I also loved when we got to see her more vulnerable self – particularly when she was reunited with Chubs and then her entire relationship with Liam! 😥 All of the heartbreak and all of the feels!
Speaking of characters, I also love a book that gives me a good villain too. And that is exactly what Clancy is…of course he’s back! Of course he’s going to cause trouble, particularly for Ruby! And, he’s just a little bit crazy – which creates for wonderful conflict in a dystopian trilogy. Duh. And the big discovery towards the end of the book, as we learn more about his mother – WHAT?! Crazy stuff – clearly, Clancy is coming back with a vengeance in the third and final installment and I am so anxious to figure it out!
Alexandra Bracken also has a way of creating the most epic of plot twists, that leave you sitting there speechless as you read. My moment of speechless was the epic air raid at the end of the book. I mean…WHAT?! I can’t even…it boggles my mind that the government would fear these CHILDREN so much, that they are willing to not only attempt to take them out, but also innocent civilian lives! I can’t even!!!! 😥 Obviously, this is setting up for a most epic confrontation in the next book and of course, I cannot wait – but my oh my, Alexandra Bracken…way to tear at my heart!
That’s all I am really going to say – I will definitely be picking up the last book soon hopefully. I tend to get quite distracted, so I am hoping that in writing this review, it’ll remind me why I wanted to read the last one, so look out for that one! 🙂