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Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2)

By: Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 8, 2013

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary: 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.



Review:

Whew. I am stunned because I didn’t like Under the Never Sky at all and had my doubts about continuing this series, but I am so glad I gave this book a chance because, turns out, Through the Ever Night is the best book I’ve read in months. Very impressive. As a note, this review is mostly aimed at my fellow Under the Never Sky unenthusiasts, because for fans of the first book, I think the only thing I need to say is this sequel is so worth it.

For me, the problem with Under the Never Sky wasn’t the shoddy world building, that I can live with – rather, it was Veronica Rossi’s haphazard writing style and kitchen sink storytelling mentality. She has a great concept, a sheltered girl’s kicked out of the relative safety of her domed existence, cut off from the crutch of her virtual world, and forced to fend for herself in a dangerous dystopian landscape, but the way Rossi did it, by throwing every single generic dystopian element she could think of at me – in no particular order – just didn’t work. I didn’t like the extremely thin connections between Aria’s Reverie troubles and Perry’s Tides problems, I didn’t like the random seemingly pointless characters like Marron and Cinder, and I sure as hell didn’t like the cannibals. Thanks to all the randomness, the plot ends up being just this big, aimless, jumbled, incredibly boring mess with really no character development whatsoever – Perry was just your standard noble savage, Aria was just your average pampered princess tossed to the wolves, and frankly, none of the other characters stood out for me at all besides Talon, who’s basically a MacGuffin. In short, I was bored out of my mind.

And then I read Through the Ever Night. Let’s just say mind blown, because Through the Ever Night is such a better book, it’s like day and night. The first thing I notice? The tight plotting. I’m no longer reading about disparate storylines like Aria needing to survive outside the dome, Perry needing to get Talon back, sniffing and menstruation or all the random events that keep arising to impede their goals, because in this book, everyone – Perry, Aria, heck even Commander Hess – are all focused on one thing and one thing only – finding the Still Blue, the fabled safe zone from the Aether. And the advantage of having everyone focused on the Still Blue is simple – it’s immediately obvious what the endgame is, so that focus really helps keep the story on track without me feeling like the plot keeps wandering around or treading water. Plus, the action sequences are handled way better – rather than the cannibal attacks or aimless wandering through the wilderness as before, Rossi actually uses the postapocalyptic disaster setting she’s created to challenge and develop her characters, something I would’ve never expected from reading Under the Never Sky.

Take Perry, for example, who takes on a shit load of new responsibilities now that he’s the Blood Lord of the Tides. The last book was a lot of him complaining about how Vale’s doing it all wrong, but now that he’s stepping up to the challenge, he actually becomes an interesting character with quite a bit of depth. Those struggles to provide for his tribe kind of lacked that extra punch when he was just the leader’s brother – they were more like a generic struggle for survival in a harsh dystopian landscape than anything else, but now that he’s in charge, he’s at the forefront, worrying about his people, doing things, risking his life confronting the threat of the Aether, and it all makes him a far more active and compelling, if not more relatable, character than before. Even if he does behave like a nut job at one point. And the same kind of praise can be said about Aria. I didn’t like her before, but now, with Perry’s leadership position and her outsider status weighing on their relationship, and her being tasked to track down the location of the Still Blue, she really grew on me over the course of the book in a way I really felt was missing from the first book. In fact, it’s not really a stretch to say the character development here more than made up for the disappointment of Under the Never Sky.

Actually, looking back, I’m still not enthusiastic about Under the Never Sky, but I have to acknowledge that book, no matter how random and boring it was, absolutely did a good job setting up this one. Turns out, so many of the events that I’d dismissed as pointless previously really fit well into the overall story here – people like those six guys Perry gets to join him towards the end of Under the Never Sky who just felt randomly tacked on and out of place, well Reef and company are back and not only do I feel they just naturally slip into the roles of Perry’s bodyguards and advisors and moral support so well, but I actually liked them. Or Cinder, he was just that weird kid with the crazy what the hell power before, but now, his role actually makes sense in the bigger picture, the search for the Still Blue. Or Roar, who goes from the dull sidekick character into someone with a fully fleshed out tragic back story who I ended up genuinely liking. Even Marron, another random character from the first book, fits like a glove in his new role here, so much so I think I’m actually questioning why I questioned Rossi’s plans for these characters, that’s how much improved they all are here.

My only word of warning is that for anyone unsatisfied with the explanation of the Aether, well Rossi tries again, but her added explanation is still only one sentence long and not much to go on. Personally though, I don’t mind ambiguous world building where it works, and it certainly works here, because even if the characters can’t give the most lucid explanations for the Unity, I can’t argue with the results. Not when I’m reading about dangerous weather phenomena that actually plays a big role in the character development. And makes for wicked cool action sequences too, of course. Plus that ending, wow, wow, I thought Under the Never Sky really missed the boat with the theme of people being too overreliant on virtual worlds, but like so much else that comes roaring back with a vengeance. What happens to Reverie and particularly the stuff with Aria’s friends is just too poetic for words and has to be read.

I think I’ve raved enough about how much I enjoyed Through the Ever Night despite my reservations about Under the Never Sky. But when a book is such a massive improvement over its predecessor, it’s well deserving of a second chance.

Tldr:

Longtime readers of my reviews know I only give five stars to books that absolutely blow me away. Through the Ever Night is such a book. GO READ IT!!


Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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Categories: Mitch's Musings Tags: ,
  1. Celeste
    January 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I am so excited about your rating on this book Mitch! I liked Under the Never Sky, but if you’re giving a 5 star to the sequel, then it’s gotta be good. It’s going to the front of my TR list.

    • January 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      LOL, I liked book 1 too.

    • January 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Celeste :

      I am so excited about your rating on this book Mitch! I liked Under the Never Sky, but if you’re giving a 5 star to the sequel, then it’s gotta be good. It’s going to the front of my TR list.

      Good luck I hope you enjoy it too.

      Katy :

      LOL, I liked book 1 too.

      And you always accuse me of never appreciating dystopians :p I appreciate them when they’re good.

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