Monday, January 7, 2013
Just Finished Reading ... Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
by Veronica Rossi
To be published by HarperTeen
on January 8, 2013
Source: eARC from publisher via Edelweiss. See my FTC disclosure here.
This is book two of a series and my review may contain mild spoilers. If you need a refresher on book one, email me. I re-read it as part of an EpicReads challenge. And I took notes!
My summary: Aria and Perry are the unlikeliest of couples. She's a Dweller, he's an Outsider. He's a Scire who must marry someone who shares his special gift. He's also become a Blood Lord who rules over the people of the Tides, people who don't welcome a Dweller like Aria among them. But as both Aria's world of domes and alternate reality and Perry's world in the wilds is threatened by Aether storms running out of control, both of them have the same goal: to find the Still Blue, a place reputed to be safe and free of Aether. If they fail, they may all perish together.
My take: I liked Under the Never Sky -- you can read my review here. But I have to say that I enjoyed Through The Ever Night even more. I was already up to speed with the story world and its characters, and could just sit back and enjoy the show. Through The Ever Night benefits from all the groundwork set up on book one. We now have two pairs of starcrossed lovers, several different Outsider tribes in conflict with one another and also with Aria's Dweller community, a couple of great villains (both Commander Hess and Liv's betrothed, Sable) an environmental threat AND a mental illness that's plaguing the Dweller community. All this makes for a story that's chockfull of the kind of conflict, romance and suspense that YA fans long for.
As the book opens, Perry is looking for Aria. Though Aria is thrilled to be reunited with him, she can see right away that a lot has changed. Perry has become a leader -- a Blood Lord whose primary goal is the welfare of his people. Though Aria and Perry are in love and their communities share a common goal -- to find the Still Blue, it's also clear that the two of them have joined Roar and Liv on the Couples With Big Issues list. As a Scire and a Blood Lord, Perry is expected to choose someone suitable for him. So Aria convinces him that they must keep their relationship secret.
Unfortunately, most of the Tides dwellers seem to figure this secret out. To prevent the unrest she's seeing over her presence, Aria leaves the Tides with Roar, who's just received a tip on the whereabouts of his missing lover, Liv. I loved seeing Roar and Aria's friendship deepen as they traveled together. They find Liv. Poor Liv, pledged by her brother to a man she didn't love. I won't tell you what happens in that regard, but it isn't good. Aria also has to keep reporting back to Commander Hess, who has been blackmailing her since the first book. As Aria talks to him, she begins to get the feeling that her former Dweller community is in crisis.
The backdrop to all this is the Aether. We get a brief but satisfying explanation of what the Aether is and what caused it, and I'm buying it. Solar flares can unleash solar storms that can impact both satellites in space and power grids on earth. Or so Time magazine says. Cinder, the character who seems to be able control the Aether, is back in the story as well, though his role is still unclear.
Finally, there's Aria's singing, a gift that was genetically engineered in her. I'm still unsure about what part, if any, her name and her talent will have in the story. But as I read Through The Ever Night, I did begin to notice some operatic influences in the story. Themes of jealousy, of ill-fated love, of betrayal and sacrifice. Plus, in both books, Aria keeps dreaming about opera houses and stages. The two operas specifially referenced in the story are Tosca and Carmen. Both are dramatic stories of love gone wrong. Stories that end with bodies littering the stage. So I'm hoping that Still Blue, the third book in this trilogy, ends up as calm and peaceful sounding as its title. We'll see...