Monday, October 20, 2014

Never Fade - Alexandra Bracken

Summary:  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? (Summary and image from

My Review:  Ruby walked away from her friends, from her love, and from any chance of security she had in order to save them.  She's joined the Children's League - a splinter organization labeled a terrorist group by the government - not only to keep her friends safe, but to figure out what to do next.  Uneasy about the choices she's made, worried that the Children's League may truly not have the interest of the children in mind, and desperately missing Liam, an opportunity presents itself giving Ruby the means to fix things.

Middle novels are always tricky.  There's just so much information to convey, but there's also no resolution - just movement.  And sometimes, (really a lot of times), the movement can feel forced.  That isn't the case here!  Bracken has done a wonderful job moving the story forward, creating tension, showing the hazards of the promise of a utopia, and reuniting the majority of the group we saw torn apart in the first book.  New and old villains resurface, Ruby is compelled into a position of leadership and growth, and yet that urgency and tension that was so delicious in the first book is just as present here.

She also drops a huge bombshell at the end of the book that reminded me of the end of Catching Fire.  And darn it all ... the next book doesn't come out for months!!  Do you know how frustrating it is to wait?!

My Rating: Four stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  There is definitely more adult language in this book than in the first.  There's also some pretty brutal battles and a scene in "East River" that demonstrates the depravity that power can give.

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