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.
3 1/2 stars
Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for this eARC! This title will be released on January 8th.
The middle books in trilogies always make me nervous. The sophomore slump is somehow always a threat, and this book was no different.
For me, it just fell flat.
When the book opens up, Perry and Aria are finally meeting again after a long time apart. Perry has spent this time with his tribe, and Aria with Roar at Marron’s. Aria plans to go up to the Horns (the people who Perry’s sister/Roar’s girlfriend was supposed to marry into to cement an alliance) because apparently their leader knows where it is. However, since the mountains are frozen, she can’t go quite yet, so she goes back to the Tides with Perry. Except that they think it would be better if no one knew they were dating, because the Tides won’t like Aria for being a Dweller. (They don’t.) It’s obvious from the get-go that the Tides don’t like Aria, even though she does make a few friends. Perry makes the big mistake of picking Aria over a tribe member, so everything just starts to go to pot.
Aria leaving Perry is not a surprise. It’s basically there in the blurb. Still, though I guess that, I didn’t exactly guess how we’d GET there, and that I liked a lot. There were some things Rossi could have done that would have been totally cliché but she didn’t do them and I LOVED IT. Must I say it again?
Despite what the blurb seems to suggest, this book doesn’t really deal with Perry and Aria’s relationship. We actually get more of Roar and Liv, and Roar and Aria than Perry and Aria. Not to mention all the side character relationships built-in. Personally, I liked the switch. Unlike other books, where the relationship takes center stage, Perry and Aria get the chance to grow up as individuals rather than just be stuck on each other all the time. I also cannot get over the fact that Roar and Aria are presented as clearly just friends who love each other, rather than the love triangle that could have cropped up if Rossi was taking a more cliché root. Aria and Roar are the best friends.
Honestly, though, the plot itself just felt like filler. Perry spends the entire book learning how to be a leader. That’s great, but it really didn’t have an impact on the book at large. It’s Aria, in fact, who makes the most progress towards the end goal of finding the Still Blue, with Perry only coming in to help her save the day at the end of the book. But still, Aria spends the entire book running around the continent for almost no reason except to meet a guy and then go back to the Tides. Yes, yes, it’s much more dramatic than I make it seem–and several key things DO happen–but I didn’t feel like much of anything but character development was really happening. Which is weird, because the book never stopped moving.
I gave this book 3 1/2 stars basically because I appreciated the individual character development and the way it occurred. Rossi really does know how the write relationships. As a central character, I still think Perry needs to find a personality and stick with it, but I really do love Aria’s resilience. I wish the identity of her father had been a bigger part of this book, since it was basically forgotten, but I guess I just have to wait for book 3 for that. The plot was basically straight forward and always moving. But still, I just can’t shake the feeling that nothing really happened that was really important up until the end of the book, and I find that frustrating. Still, it sets up a FANTASTIC setting for book 3 that promises to be action packed, and that makes me excited.
Under the Never Sky #3, Into the Still Blue, will be released in 2014.