It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death.
Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.
Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.
Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?
Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?
In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.
Hardcover, 341 pages
Five Stars: An outstanding sequel in an astonishing must read series!
Aria and Perry are finally reunited after a couple of months separation. Perry is now the Blood Lord of The Tides, which makes their relationship complicated. Perry knows that the members of his tribe will not willingly accept a Dweller as his mate, especially after his brother's betrayal. Yet, he can't be without her. The two decide to return to the Tides to plan their trip to hunt for the Still Blue. Aria and Perry will hide their relationship for now. Once they return to the tribe, it is as Perry and Aria feared, the Tides are suspicious of Aria. Some people in the tribe begin to question Perry's leadership. The Aether storms are getting worse and food is becoming scarce. When someone tries to harm Aria, Perry acts without thinking. His actions splinter his tribe, leaving Aria no choice. Will Perry be able to lead his tribe to safety? Will Aria find the Still Blue?
What I Liked:
- I am thrilled to report that Through the Ever Night was a tremendous read. In no way does this book falter under the dreaded second book syndrome. Instead this book notches up the story line with more action, danger, romance and even better story telling. Rossi has matured as a writer and it shows. This book takes the story in exciting new directions. It will have you on the edge of your seat, frantically flipping the pages until the end. I loved that I finally got a middle book that was exceptional.
- I appreciated that some of the problems with the first book's world building were clarified in this one. The biggest problem was the lack of detail and explanation regarding the Aether. Rossi takes the time to explain what the Aether is and how the world was decimated and why the Aether arrived. I now have a clearer picture of the world. I also was pleased to learn some more of the history of the Pods. The world building is much improved in book two.
- The character growth is exceptional. Aria is no longer the frightened, pale girl dependent on her Smart Eye. She has grown into a fearless huntress able to protect and defend herself when necessary. She is far removed from the sheltered girl introduced in the first book. Perry is struggling a bit more with his transformation as he tries to acclimate to the role of Blood Lord. His rash behavior doesn't always go over with the rest of the tribe. However, he is still courageous, selfless and a born leader. It takes time, but by the end, he becomes someone who has earned the trust and respect of his tribe. I loved seeing him grow and change. The first book was more Aria's book of transformation, while this one focuses on Perry.
- The romance is still growing strong. I had my doubts and fears heading into this one as far as the romance was concerned. I was expecting a love triangle to rear its nasty head or for the couple to experience the all too familiar growing pains, but I am happy to report that for the most part, the romance stays on track with only a couple of tiny stumbles. I loved watching the couple grow more and more confident each day as they fully accept and embrace their feelings for one another. Things are difficult, but they grasp firmly to their love and don't let go. As far as the love triangle goes, I love that it doesn't develop and that the relationship between Roar and Aria remains strictly platonic. It is so refreshing to see a solid friendship without romantic feelings instead of a love triangle, if only more authors would follow this example.
- Aside from the main cast of characters, there is a terrific secondary cast. I enjoyed getting to know the members of the Tides better. Brooke, Flea, Maggie, Bear, Cinder and Reef are a few of my favorites. It was fascinated by the bad guys like Hess and Sable, and surprised by a new unexpected ally. This is definitely a series where the secondary characters are just as intriguing as the main characters.
- I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one doesn't end on a dreadful cliffhanger. After a frenetic and fast climax, everything draws to a satisfactory close. Yes, there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome and constant danger, but for now I can breathe easily knowing that things are okay for the time being. I love when the author doesn't resort to the cliffhanger ploy.
And The Not So Much:
- I have only a couple of minor quibbles. First, there are still a few things that make me scratch my head with this one. It is hard for me to fathom that there is all this modern technology penned up in the pods. They have advanced medicine, guns, hover ships and so forth while the outside people live primitively. It feels a bit off. It still wasn't clear with whom Vale was dealing, I am assuming Hess, but the details of what he traded still bother me and I still want to know where the big stag came from? This time, I was left pondering over the whole Still Blue thing. How could Sable possibly know the location and about the Aether wall, how would he have traveled out there without access to a hover ship? These are just a few things that don't quite fit. The world building has tremendously improved, but it is still not perfect.
- The ending moves the book into hyperdrive. The last few chapters are intense with an insane amount of action and heart pounding scenes, I loved it, but I thought it moved almost a bit too fast. I wanted to take it all in absorb it, but I wasn't allowed as it is crazy and frenetic. Still I can't complain as it was everything I hoped and it ends on a high note.
- This book takes a brutal toll on your emotions. Don't go into this expecting a quick, light read. You need to set aside time for this as it will suck you in and punch you in the gut!
Through the Ever Night is a shining example of what a second book should be. This book takes the story line, notches it up and moves it new directions, while continuing to mark maturity and growth for the characters, and finally allowing the romance to grow and flourish without ridiculous love triangles and road blocks. This is a series that I am sorry that I haven't read sooner, but thrilled that I don't have to endure the long wait between books. This is a top notch dystopian series that you must read if you are looking for a phenomenal experience. Outstanding! Well done, Ms. Rossi. Now the challenge is to see if the third book can outshine the rest.
"Auds say that the sea holds every sound that's even been heard. All you have to do is listen."
"You already are an Outsider. You fit everywhere. You just don't see it yet."
"A good dream was something you clung to until the last moment before waking."
"His focus completely on her. Whenever his eyes were on her, she felt so completely seen."
"I am living," she said, " I won't be chased by the sky."
"Roar went from staring at her hand to staring into her eyes, his face transforming from lost to found. From broken to whole."
"Then he told Perry that love was like the waves in the sea, gentle and good sometimes, rough and terrible at others, but that it was endless and stronger than the sky and the earth and everything inbetween."
"She'd been seeking the comfort of a place. Of walls. A roof. A pillow to rest her head on. Now she realized that the people she loved were what gave her life shape, and comfort, and meaning. Perry and Roar were home."
I borrowed this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.