Author: Veronica Rossi
Published: January 8, 2013
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Rating: 4 stars
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*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Under the Never Sky*
“Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame.”My Thoughts
― Veronica Rossi, Through the Ever Night
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.
Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, 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 dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable. (Goodreads)
Through the Ever Night was a challenge to read at first. It's only been a few months since I read Under the Never Sky, but I still forgot so much from that book. My memory had to clear house for other stuff. So at the start of Through the Ever Night, I was so lost. There were characters and places and scenes I had almost no memory of. Of course, I remember Aria, Perry, and, my favorite character of all, Roar, but I was drawing a blank when it came to some others. I didn't remember what Scires, Audiles and Seers were, and actually, I'm still not 100% sure. I definitely needed more of a recap before diving into this.
It wasn't until I read about a 1/4 of the book that I started to really enjoy Through the Ever Night. It was wonderful to return to the outer wastelands where the Aether storms hover above as a constant threat. This world possesses a sort of wild, stark beauty that appeals to me, and I really liked how this book shows us more of the lifestyles of the outer tribes. In this desolate landscape, making a living is tough, but many of the Outsiders stick together and are willing to endure some suffering to protect their home.
While I wasn't as big a fan of Aria in Under the Never Sky, I have come to respect her in Through the Ever Night. She has come a long way since her days as a Dweller in Reverie. No longer the whiny, high-maintenance brat that annoyed me, Aria has emerged as a true fighter. She was willing to learn some survival skills, and I love how she's no longer so judgmental of the outsiders. In fact, she has even discovered friendship and love outside of Reverie's walls. Instead of being immersed in the Realms, she's actually living.
Aria has really grown on me, but I find Perry a bit boring. I almost wish that Roar was the romantic interest in this series because he is such a playful, light-hearted individual, while also having some more serious moments. Through the Ever Night switches between Aria's and Perry's POVs, and I found Aria's POV to be a faster read than Perry's. When a book is narrated by two characters, there's always a risk that one side won't be as interesting and I felt this way with Through the Ever Night. For some reason, I just could not bring myself to care as much for Perry's side of the story. It would be different if Perry and Aria were still struggling with the fact that they come from different walks of life. This is still a concern, but in this book, there's more of a focus on Perry's new role as Blood Lord and how he's now having difficulties proving himself to the tribe.
In all honesty, I found Aria's travels much more exciting. Her search for the Still Blue ignites hope in the hearts of so many people that have lost almost all hope in the face of Aether storms, starvation and countless other dangers. She learns more about the tribe the Horns and the conditions in Reverie. I understand that Perry is the individual best suited for the leader of the Tides, but I was much more invested in Aria's journey than Perry's experiences as Blood Lord. Aria's side of the story had exciting new characters and world building while Perry's was just slow-moving and didn't really bring much to the table.
On that note, please don't hate me, but I have to say that Through the Ever Night suffered from a slight case of middle book syndrome. It acted more as a bridge between books in the series than as a substantial installment. Don't get me wrong. Stuff does happen. There's some character development and world building. I was so happy to finally understand more about the Aether because I was completely lost as to what it actually was in Under the Never Sky. But I don't think enough happens to really warrant an entire book. I've seen fantastic middle books that change the stakes drastically and reveal so many essential plot developments, such as The Ask and the Answer, but Through the Ever Night is not one of those. It offers plenty of emotional exploration but it doesn't move the plot forward substantially.
Will I read the final book in the Under the Never Sky trilogy? Of course. I've already read the first two so I'm in it for the long haul. I just hope that many of my questions are answered and that both of the POVs hold my interest equally.