Title: Into the Still Blue
Author: Veronica Rossi
Review: Series enders are a strange mix of exciting and scary. You go into them so ready, so in love with the characters, so invested in the plot. You’re ready for them to break your heart. You want SO MUCH for your characters to end up happy, but you also don’t want it to end at all.
My experience with the Under the Never Sky was unique, considering I binge-read the entire thing in about three days. Honestly, I couldn’t recommend going about it like that more, but I can understand that most people haven’t got that kind of reading stamina or the time (seriously, that was intense and exhausting and amazing, but I was destroyed afterwards). But reading them close together was amazing.
UtNS posed a lot of questions, TtEN answered them while setting up a whole bunch of tense situations, and then ItSB delivered on every front. I got to watch the characters develop closely, and I never lost my investment or forgot world building details. And coming fresh off the disasters at the end of TtEN–Reverie destroyed, the Tides seeking refuge from the ever-worsening Aether storms in the caves–makes the stakes in ItSB feel very high.
Things are not great for our heroes. Cinder has been captured by the combined forces of Hess and Sable (the evillest evil to ever evil), Aria is badly wounded, the rescued Dwellers are sick, Roar is still lost in grief, and Perry is stressing over how to save the Tides. Their cave sanctuary is only temporary. To survive, they need to find the Still Blue, aka the area of the world beyond the sea that is free of Aether storms. For that they need hovers, and they need Cinder. So they decide to go and get both things.
What I loved about ItSB was the action. There’s heaps of it. The book moves along, gaining in intensity (always managing to find time for swoony scenes though, thank goodness). I love series enders where people die (no, I’m not psychotic. I just like drama), and people do die. There is heartbreak, betrayal, torture, loss, victory, pain, grief. This book is such an emotional experience, and yet it felt so satisfying at the end. Like, I just lay down on my bed and held my kindle and sort of moaned in pain and happiness and mostly pain. BECAUSE OVER, you know? Why.
I love how much this book focused on love and friendship. Aria and Roar, my favourite relationships in all the world, is still magnificent to behold. Roar and Perry, however, have some patching up to do, and ow my feels owwwwww. ROAR. MY POOR GRIEVING BABY. Then there’s Perry’s love for Roar, Brooke finally coming into her own.
We also get more focus on Soren, who surprisingly became my new favourite character–who knew, right?–on Hess, and on Cinder. And Sable, may he choke on his own vomit and die. What a fabulous, horrific villain he is. I mean, he cemented himself as, like I said, the evillest evil to ever evil in the last book, but he’s really a fearsome adversary in this one. He wants the Still Blue, and he does not want anybody else to get it. He’s not afraid to strike down anyone in his way. This made me a little bit stressed and a lot a bit terrified for my babies.
My inner monologue while reading was basically, “Don’t hurt Roar, don’t hurt Roar, OH MY GOD IF YOU HURT ARIA, don’t hurt Roar, PERRY!!!!!, NO SERIOUSLY DON’T HURT ROAR.”
I don’t really want to talk plot specifics, because this book is best if you’re going along with all the madness totally unprepared. Rossi does an amazing job of balancing forward motion with relationship development. Aria and Perry are such a strong, loving, healthy couple. A few of their scenes are just gorgeous, and they’ll completely break your heart.
If I could leverage any one tiny complaint about the series, it was that I wanted to know the Dwellers (besides Soren, who we got to know quite well) better. Caleb was a bit of a nonentity to me, despite the fact that Aria kept mentioning how important he was to her. Also, though the book surprised me in places, it did follow the general arc I was expecting, but it was so enjoyable and felt so right that I didn’t really have a problem with it. I like that Aria and Perry’s plans succeed and fail realistically (there’s a lot of failure that creates a lot of complications and I LOVE IT because that’s drama).
Oh, man. I don’t want this series to be over! No! What am i supposed to do with my life? How am I supposed to go on? Can I have a Roar series, maybe? Maybe I can go all Eternal Sunshine, erase my reading experience from my memory banks, and then read the whole series anew once more? Because I… I feel… directionless. How can there not be more?? I am so sad and so satisfied all at the same time. I feel exactly the way you should feel upon finishing a beloved series.
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: amazon.co.uk
Also see: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi