GENRE: Dystopian, YA
SERIES: The Darkest Minds, #2
Hello my lovelies! Today we are discussing the second installment of Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds trilogy, Never Fade. What this series is about is the majority of the American population under the age of 20 is dead from this plague that targeted children, the children that survive are mutated and have these powers that fall into 5 categories and the government deems them a threat so they are put into concentration camps. Ruby, our main girl has escaped from one of these where she was help for 7 years. That is the first book. This book has so much happening in it, we start out with the Children’s League who obviously doesn’t really care about the children at all they’re just a tool. And the end of the first book, I think we all remember (ahem, we’re emotionally traumatized) by that. Go pick up this book, I didn’t love it as much as the first but it was still fantastic and I can’t wait until the last one! (in October?) Spoilers past here! Bye if you haven’t read the book!
When we first start this book it 6 months later and she’s on an op for the Children’s League to get back this guy. It was incredibly confusing at first becasue we are given so much information, out of order, all at once. I didn’t remember Rob was a bad guy at this point, I had completely forgotten that relevance which was my bad becasue it’s the entire reason any of the first book happens. Important details. Ah. Should pick up on those. Anyway we get this captive they came to rescue, pull of the bag at it’s Liam! Oh my god, he’s back in the story already! Nope! It’s Cole, his older brother. At first I didn’t like Cole, I didn’t trust him, partly becasue everything we know about him we heard from Liam and it wasn’t a lot of good things, and partly becasue I don’t trust people over the age of 20 in this book. That changed, super abruptly right at the end, Cole is a RED. An adult has these powers that only kids are supposed to have! I had to read that paragraph twice just to be sure I understood it. How many other adults have powers? I get keeping it a secret, it’s a way more powerful tool if no one expects it, but why not tell Liam? Your brother? That would probably help patch up that relationship and bit for him to understand, Cole has these powers to and he was struggling to figure them out like you were. But before we find this all out, zero trust for Cole. While the shower scene was hilarious I didn’t believe he wasn’t with Rob, or setting some sort of trap. Then Vida shows up and I’m convinced she’s a double agent. Well, she is, but a more evil double agent.
We have this new character Jude and he mirrors Zu a fair bit and what Zu could be. We better see Zu in the next book! But Jude is so sweet and has so much control over himself. He’s also very young, not age wise becasue he is 15, but I found him very naive which made me feel protective of him the same way Ruby did. I love when he’s explain why he doesn’t mind being called Judith becasue he does find anything insulting about being called a girl. It such an odd thing to think about a 15 year old boy saying. When we realize at the end that he isn’t out there with them and Liam and Chubes go looking for him I so thought he was going to come back, maybe hurt but he was so innocent and young he just couldn’t be killed, not like that. And Liam brings back the necklace and still didn’t believe it. Someone comes out of the rubble and I was so hopeful, but it Clancy. It’s just so unfair that Clancy was the one to walk away and not Jude.
When we are first reunited with Chubes at Liam’s house, first I was all “yay Chubes!” then he calls out for Liam and I reread that bit so may times becasue I was so confused. I thought Liam was with him, but no. That was TWICE Alexandra Bracken convinced me he was back in the story, right at the beginning too! We aren’t even halfway and she’s had my hopes up twice!
I loved the woman with the tickets and how she wrote “Stay Safe” on them when Ruby thought she had her under control. Then Andy who helped them out too, it was really touching to see that not all people were awful and wanted to contain these kids and turn them in for money.
Ruby in the first book was super hesitant about using her powers and in this book, she has no such problems. What she did to Rob with torturing him with the images of these kids he killed and ending up killing him. On the one hand, he probably deserves t and I was so thrilled she had complete control over her powers but on the other hand it was so evil and dark and twisted. She really stooped to the level of the other oranges in my option and I was really disappointed with her becasue I held her to a better standard. The fact that she feel bad about it gives me hope that she’ll be able to dial it back and not do something like that again, but it was really a bitter-sweet scene. The heart-to-heart she had with Vida about it though was so great. I loved seeing Vida’s character develop becasue she has a tough shell but below that she really cares about her group so those little bonding moments were great.
Fake East River. We are captured and told we are going to “the slip kid” obviously I think it’s Clancy! I’m panicking, get your butt outta there! We can’t be trapped by Clancy again! Have you forgotten last time?! But it’s not him. It’s this fake kid, Knox, and he’s this Blue-as-the-superior-race dictator guy. Clancy was the same for orange, but he at least pretended he was a fair leader and that he gave a shit. We go into that tent and Liam is in the middle of it…oh wait, he’s dying! It was this emotional roller-coaster. So Ruby goes and she says she’s going to fix it and that was really anti-climatic. I was expecting her bust in and kick-ass but engages Knox in this conversation trying to get him to touch her and her burns her hand with his cigarette. Who does that?! Next day we have the girls fighting in the ring of fire. And this Red comes out! I was a little confused up to this point about what reds actually did but they are fire. They control it, they generate it. Ruby finally gets her shit together and figures out how to control her power and this was probably her best moment becasue she doesn’t hurt anyone or force anyone to do anything, she just frees the red from his “programming” and frees the kids and kicks out the evil leader.
Liam and the mind-wipe. We know he sort of remembers her because he says he recognizes her and he clearly cares about her. He’s on the team that picked her up after the Rob fiasco and he’s freaking out (understandable, our main character was stabbed and captured, I was freaking out too!) Then Ruby sneaks away and Liam comes to comfort her and she tells him that lie! I just wanted to shake her! Stop! Tell him the truth! He’s a big boy, he can handle it! We get this scene in the gas station where Ruby is like “I know you hate me.” and Liam says “Hate you? I love with you! I don’t even know you, but I love you!” And then she takes down the blocks on his mind somehow and immediately I’m super excited because maybe she can fix her parents!
Back together with Clancy, she has a gun on him and she doesn’t shoot! Why would you even let him speak? A) he has the ability to lie like everyone else, seriously you are skeptical of everyone else except him?! B) he can control your mind. When we realize he isn’t there when everyone asks Ruby who she is talking too. Ah! Idiots! Knocking him out and putting him in a closet, sweet victory! But no. he gets out of the closet and escapes a collapsing building being bombed. WHY WON’T YOU DIE?! Then when he appears no one puts a bullet in his head. They want to trade him? No! Why? He could mind control his way out of this situation any minute, if he’s not, it means he’s bidding his time and using you until the opportune moment. But he was helpful becasue we find out that there is a cure to the disease and to the powers. Why Ruby needed that hard copies I’m not sure becasue I’m pretty sure that is what is on the flash drive Cate has safely. Apart from the dramatic revel of them, of course. Where was she keeping them?! I’m picturing a folder or binder, or even if it’s just pieces of paper where have they been? Hidden in her shirt?
This is so long! But there are so many things happening in this book, I didn’t get them all, I know. But I have to cut it off. Bye guys!