Author: Alexandra Bracken | Pages: 507 | Series: The Darkest Minds Trilogy (#2) | Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I suppose, all things considered, that I should have just waited to finish Never Fade before reviewing The Darkest Minds and then reviewed them as a set, but oh well. This review will just end up being a little different, as I don’t want to give too much of a synopsis and risk spoilers.
Basically, the story takes place about six months after the end of The Darkest Minds. With the help of some new companions, Ruby goes on a trip to find a certain C.S.’s “jerk-ass little brother”. Said brother has recently come into accidental possession of an important flash drive – one that may contain important information about IAAN.
Yes, I know. That was incredibly descriptive, right? That was first-class non-spoilery description.
Okay, yes, I know it sucked. I’m sorry. Moving on.
As with its prequel, I found myself greatly enjoying Never Fade. The writing and plot were just as interesting, and once again Alexandra Bracken proved that she could easily write a huge variety of character personalities. No two characters in these books felt the same, and I really appreciated that. In addition, every individual character’s past and backstory affected them in real, honest ways which is something I find can be somewhat lacking in some stories.
I think the one thing I’m somewhat on the fence about is that there were six months between the books, which was six months of character development that we didn’t get to see. Due to this, when the characters started coming together again there was a sort of ‘getting-to-know-you-again’ period while we tried to figure out how they had changed and why. Some characters were a little easier to figure out, because we had more of an idea of what they’d been up to during those months, but for some of the characters we only got a small glimpse of what had happened to them and so it was a little more difficult to understand the changes they’d gone through.
That being said, I also appreciated the character development during the time we didn’t get to see. More often than not, I find books skipping large periods of time and then when it comes back to the story, the characters are just like they were when we left them. In a few cases that works alright, but most of the time it just comes across as unrealistic. People are always changing, and to expect them to be the same as they were six months ago (especially considering the challenges and conditions they’re faced with) just doesn’t work.
SPOILERS UNDER THE TAG.
Liam. Jude. Liam. Jude. Clancy.
Liam was heartbreaking, watching him trying to come to terms with the things he felt vs. the memories he couldn’t remember. If I felt like crying at all during this book, Liam was 2/3 of those times.
Jude was the final 1/3. I had suspected for most of the book that he wasn’t going to make it out, but I honestly didn’t realize how attached I’d gotten to the little guy until he was gone. And to have a character who hates the dark and the silence go like that, and in a situation where there’s no guarantee it was immediate… Jesus.
Finally, Clancy. What to say about him? Nothing much, other than that it’s always the self-righteous assholes like him who manage to make it out of the deadly situations intact.
Moral of the story, kids: be a self-righteous asshole like Clancy. Other people may want you dead, but you’ll survive impossible odds anyway.