Book Review: Never Fade

WARNING. THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. It's a goddy review, of course it has spoilers!

You all know I don't really care for plot summaries. I just like to start ranting. So without further ado: The Darkest Minds never fade.

Yes, that grammatical mishap was fully intentional. This was something I realized early on in the book: 'The darkest minds never fade' is easily it's own sentence, also allowing the possibility for the third and final book to complete the sentence. 

What did Chubs say about Clancy? "The darkest minds hide behind the most unlikely faces." While that screams truth both in the book and in the real world, it also made me speculate. 

About Clancy. You see, I thought he was dead after Darkest Minds. But then I made that connection ('The darkest minds never fade' as a sentence), and even though the title of this novel refers to the mental scars in Liam's brain ("They can't ever fade," he said), I couldn't help but speculate that Clancy might possibly come back. 

Oops, I was right. That little Buttnozzle showed his ugly face again, although for much of his screen time he was at gunpoint or in a closet. Which I thought was funny. He did reveal quite a bit about himself, though. Not on purpose, but hey. When Ruby's in your brain you can't do much. 

So what did I think of the book overall? Well initially, I was extremely confused. I had no idea what was going on for the first several chapters of it, which kinda made me iffy about the rest of the book. 

Then the rest of the book started and I was instantly sucked in. 

The character development, especially, was great in this one. Seing Jude go from helpless coward to respectably brave was incredibly heart-warming. And then he died. Not so heart-warming anymore. 

Same as Darkest Minds, the writing style was fluid to the point I could feel the emotions of the characters. Which pretty much led to almost going on a ragefest whenever Vida was there, because to be honest she really, really annoyed me for over half the book. Not even her favorite word (which you know what it is if you've read the book) bothered me much, not really. Just... her. She was annoying. 

Then she character developed and was better. 

All in all, I loved this book about as much I loved Darkest Minds, but to be honest the two have about as much in common as a beat-up black van does with a sports car. Darkest Minds was a lot of running from PSFs to find a safe-haven, then realizing the haven is bad and trying to escape and failing until crud hits the fan and everyone unimportant dies and everyone important is written off. 

Never Fade is the opposite. This time it's Ruby, not a scared, running-from-PSF girl she was in Darkest Minds, but rather an agent for the Children's League we saw so little of in the first book. Naturally, though, every event that happens was set up through the first book. 

It's just that the feel and tone of the two books were different from each other. Which is good, it allows for a lot of development and plot advancement, both of which we saw loads of. 

So overall, I really enjoyed Never Fade. It's a well-written sequel to a great book that easily deserves every good rating it gets despite the rough start. Also, if the reader can't tolerate foul language there might be issues with just about every Vida scene ever written, but if they can learn to just bypass it, Vida's snarky personality and witty comments make her highlight of this book, along with the other great cast of new and old characters there already are. 

Minus Zu. 

If I have any main issue with Never Fade, it's that there was no Zu. She was, quite honestly, my favorite character in Darkest Minds, up there with Ruby. I really, really wanted to find out if she made it to California or not. I was looking forward to it. Just one answer. But it never came, sadly. 

There better be Zu in Book 3. 


- MechEngie


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