"Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?"
Never Fade is a very, very dark book. It might take another paragraph or so for me to explain everything (well, not exactly everything) to you. (Of course, I have to avoid spoilers, so that will cut it down to one paragraph.)
Ruby, after being taken in by the Children's League, is tumbling down a dark path. She is trained as an agent and goes into heavily dangerous and hostile territories. She believes she is a monster, and she believes that everything she does only... twists people in a sadistic way. With every person she manipulates, she slowly gets out of touch with the best part of her, her humanity. It is really fascinating to see that dark spiral, and her anger just simply serves as a catalyst to that very deep and dark hole.
Of course, Liam is definitely both the brightest light and darkest horror. He brings out the best in her. But the memories of what she did to him will definitely haunt their relationship. (I'm going to throw a jab at Liam's lack of memories, before I realize how extremely inappropriate that is.) His lack of memories certainly made him confused (on 1 to 10 scale, I would say Peeta Mellark when he is trying to figure out what is real or not).
The book moves fast. There are several plots (both major arcs and minor). Each of them play in and out of each other very nicely. The mysterious flash drive Liam's brother stole is of great (and unknown) importance. (So it is like an 0-8-4. Almost.) The personal arcs (especially Liam/Ruby and Ruby's mentality) strike close to Ruby.
The ending. It is so important that I have to mention. "It" meaning a certain thing Ruby did. "It" meaning a very, very bad idea. It involves the flash drive, but I won't go into too many details, because that would simply spoil the book.
Also, I should warn you all that the ending is a cliffhanger. So... You might want to take a day off to read both books. (Wait, is the third book out yet?)
All of this is great (except for that bad move of Ruby's), but strangely, I'd taken a weird wary stance against the book. I think I'm just careful or cautious, trying not to make it personal (or something like that). (A lot of the books I read hit close to my heart. This one? Not quite.)
Overall, Never Fade is an exciting book with tons of twists and turns. It is deadly, and I should remind everyone that Ms. Bracken is serious when it comes to death of characters. (Oh, that might be a little too spoilery.) So would I recommend? Yes.
Rating: Four out of Five