"Never Fade" continues the Darkest Minds series with what felt a bit like an intermediate book. Beginning after the end of the first book, when Ruby is now with the League, trained and running missions, we meet a whole new cast of children with special abilities who live and work with the League. Uncovering a plot within the League, Ruby has a new mission- to save the children who are working within it. Added to that, she finds an opportunity (from Cole, Liam's brother) to seek out Liam, and she takes it- but of course, he will have no idea who she is.
Chubs and Liam are back from the first book (but not Zu), and we now get to know Jude and Vida from the League. The side characters in this book are really fantastic and they really are well formed. The first half/two-thirds of the book drag a bit as the action moves very slowly. The last parts of the book really pick up and pull you in, but it still took me a very long time to get through the first parts of the book. In that way, it felt like an intermediate. I wish it had been a bit faster paced and really moved the plot forward throughout and not just at the end.
This book is dark, in the same tone as the first. There is major character death plus all sorts of terrible things happening in the desperate country. There might be some alludes to sexual assault also (not spelled out, but it seemed like it), and added together with the many violent and horrifying scenes, this book is really appropriate only for older YA audiences. Overall, I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to picking up the next book!