Overview (No Spoilers):
I’ve had such wonderful luck with regard to the books I’ve been reading as of late that I knew I was well overdue to pick a bad apple. Alas, Never Fade, the second installment of The Darkest Minds trilogy, assumed that unfortunate mantle. This novel takes place approximately six months after The Darkest Minds, with Ruby well acclimated to life as an agent with The Children’s League. We are introduced to a wide assortment of new characters, with varying agendas, all relatively two dimensional in nature. As a whole, all of the characters, even the ones from the initial book, seem to fit into stereotypical roles that made their interactions predictable. Also, despite people actively hunting children on the run, minimal survival training, or various hostile governments/organizations at play, our main characters miraculously keep finding each other despite the odds. Those happy, too convenient coincidences tend to drive me crazy. Overall, Never Fade felt like a placeholder in a bigger game that has been yet fully developed. With so many other wonderful YA trilogies to pick up, this is one that despite the promising premise, can unfortunately be safely avoided.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Jude’s death was so underwhelming. I’d recognized that of everyone of the group he was likely going to be the one killed off due to Ruby’s growing warmth toward him and his endearing nickname for Ruby, “Roo,” however there was so much going on during the actual elimination that the reader couldn’t even process what had happened because of the chaos.
- How would the President have actually orchestrated the attempted suicide? How would he have controlled where the Blue kid would have shot?
- Where are the army of Reds that Clancy talked about and that we saw a glimpse of with Mason in this trilogy? It seems like they are a huge variable that lies unaccounted for.
- I could totally be making this up but it seemed to me that the whole finding a cure for the Psi situation aligned too neatly with one of the many X-men movies. Children have strange powers, are ostracized and worse, then have to decide if they would like a cure or not. Poor, poor Rogue.
- Where is the awful Orange, Martin? He was sent to the other Children’s League facility in Kansas. When will he show up?
- Also, what happened to the other facility in Kansas, or the rest of the US. Upon HQ went down, no other mention was given with regard to the other operatives or active places where the survivors could go other than an abandoned ranch in Texas.
- Where is Suzume? I thought for sure she would conveniently show up at some point in this story. Thus, predictably she will be in the follow up book.
- Almost the only plot twist in this book that wasn’t utterly predictable was Cole being a Red. Personally, I really enjoyed this curve ball, but it makes you ponder who else is hiding powers. Also, what caused the powers to show up or the children dying?
- The whole last book Ruby pines for her Grandmother, however I don’t think she was mentioned once in this book. Now that she knows that she could potentially ‘cure’ her parents of forgetting her wouldn’t she be obsessed with wanting to try it?
- Is Cate still alive? Does she still have the flash drive?
- Also I just realized they’re making this series into a movie. How is this a movie and not Red Rising or The Demon Cycle?
- PS. Vida and Chubbs are totally going to hook up.