Author: Alexandra Bracken
Other Character(s): Liam, Charles ‘Chubs’, Suzume ‘Su’, Clancy
Synopsis: Ever child was starting to drop one by one around Ruby. Fortunately for her, she isn’t one of them. Until the day she wakes up and finds her parents afraid of her. She is then send to Thurmond to be rehabilitated.
Review: I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile, ever since the last book was released. Actually, I didn’t even know this trilogy existed until ‘In the Afterlight’ came out. The fact that everyone keeps describing this as being similar to X-Men got me really intrigued. I’m not an X-men fanatic, but I do enjoy the occasional movie or cartoon show. So of course I had to see what all the fuss was all about. As usual, though, I took my sweet time to actually get the book. This year is different. I finally had the desire to read it and even review it! Shocker! I’m really glad that I got to it, because it was really good and enjoyed almost every minute of it. I admit, there were parts of the book that didn’t suit my taste, but in the end it was still worth it. So far this book is on top of my favorite list for the year.
Ruby as a protagonist is really interesting. I understand her hesitation to get close to Liam because of her powers, but then she has no problem with Suzume and Charles, which for me is a bit weird. It kinda defeats the purpose of her reasoning of not wanting to hurt anyone. I also don’t understand how some of her touches can bring out her powers and other times it almost seems non-existent. I hope this will be answered in feature books. This became annoying because its so unpredictable, which I guess that’s why she’s scared of who she is. Don’t get me wrong, I do like her as a main character since her imperfections makes her normal, meaning not a character in a book. The one aspect of the book that irritated me at no end is how in-tune Ruby is on current events/sayings. Being in the camp at the age of 10, I don’t think she would be knowledgeable on these things. Considering most of the teens in Thurnmond arrive at a young age, I really expected Ruby to be a bit more naive on certain things, but that’s just my opinion.
In terms of the other characters, I love every single one in the group. Liam I feel is a great love interest and totally swoon-worthy. This is why the ending is so heart-breaking and yet understandable. Charles is just as lovable. He’s like a big brother that anyone would want to have. Seriously, who doesn’t want a protective big brother! By far though, my most favorite is Suzume. I love how tough she is, but she has a soft spot for everything girly and frilly! It kinda sucks that she started to come out of her shell only at the end, and her decision made me cry. The relationship that is formed between these four is amazing and I hope we see it again in Never Fade.
I really can’t think of a major reason that I would make me hate this book. It’s by far not the best book I’ve read, but it was entertaining that I couldn’t put it down at all. I love that this book has action, romance and mystery, Bracken does a great job in intertwining these things and letting it all flow together seamlessly. There were elements in this book that almost reminded me of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, but where that failed to hold my interest, this one succeeded. I really did enjoy this and hope that Never Fade doesn’t disappoint me.
Ending: Ruby is an orange, someone who can control people’s thoughts and in rare cases, like herself, can wipe the memory of the people they touch. Although Ruby was able to escape Thurmond with the help of the Children’s League, she ventures on her own when she sees the memory of one of the agents killing other teens he ‘rescues’ from other camps. She then meets the three who eventually takes her with them to look for a safe haven for teens, being operated by another unknown kid. Eventually they meet the ‘Slip Kid’ who is actually Clancy Gray, son of the current president, who approved the ‘rehabilitation camps’ for the children and teens. Clancy supposedly has been ‘fixed’, but in reality he escapes his father’s intention of assassination.
The truth of the haven is revealed closer to the end. Gray is actually manipulating people and even has created an army all made of Reds, who many believed has already perished in the hands of the president. Trying to escape Clancy’s camp, Charles is injured. Ruby calls The Children’s League for help, only to be torn between Liam’s life and the ’cause’.