Title: Through the Ever Night
Author: Veronica Rossi
Rating: 5 Stars
Amazon Summary – It’s been months since Aria learned of her mother’s death. Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.
Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It’s a moment they’ve been longing for with countless expectations. And it’s a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first. Then it slips away. The Tides don’t take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry’s control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?
Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?
My Review – CONTAINS SPOILERS!
I had to go back and re-read a lot of UTNS because it had been so long, but I have to say it was worth it. The reread reminded me of everything I loved about this story.
Lately I feel like I’ve been keeping too tight a hold on my 5 star ratings, making everything I enjoy come out in this very narrow 4 star range. This book reminded me of the things that make something a “5 Star” for me. It’s very simple. I loved the story. I will read it again. I wanted to read again about the minute I finished and I did go back and re-read sections of the 1st again, I like it that much. I realized that some people may save their 5 Stars for prize-winning, earth-shattering, every-kid-in-America-is-going-to-be-forced-to-read-this-in-school level…but that’s not the qualifier for me. For me, it’s about what I loved. And I love this series.
So on to Through the Ever Night.
I love the relationship between Perry and Aria, as well as both characters individually.
Aria - Re-reading UTNS made me remember how large a transformation that Aria underwent in that book alone. By the tine Through the Ever Night begins, she’s a genuine Outsider in her own right. She’s getting better as an Aud, learning how to use her abilities more and more every day. She likes the outdoors and holds her own hunting, hiking, and even fighting. She seems older and calmer, somehow. And then she is exposed to Reverie again, and her friends, and it brings back all of that transformation to the forefront of your mind. This is a girl between worlds, unwelcome in either, yet entirely at home within her own skin. She’s so confident, in fact, that at times you forget how much it hurts her to see her home crumble, some of her friends and all of her comrades bereft as they are left behind by their leader, Consul Hess, to die. Despite Aria’s strength in those moments, Rossi lets you feel her pain as well, reminding you of who she once was and what she’s lost…as well as what she’s gained.
Perry – Personally, Perry is right in my fictional-male-lead “wheelhouse” so I’m not sure that I can be unbiased in my consideration of him. That being said, I really loved the way that Perry evolved into the true Blood Lord of the Tides. Learning by experience, listening to his mentors and supporters, and being willing to also listen to the courage of his own convictions in the end. These qualities all molded Perry into an excellent leader. Not that you doubted that he could be…but everyone else besides Aria, including Perry, doubted it. What’s worse, his relationship with Aria put him at odds with his tribe at just the wrong time.
Their realization at the end that they were better together than apart, no matter what people thought, was the most important aspect of their maturation as individuals and as a couple.
Mate-swapping. Ok, I know it’s hard to write about two people hopelessly devoted to one another without any temptation…particularly lovers as young as Aria and Perry. It could seem boring or unrealistic, especially across three books. But there is such as thing as loyalty in relationships. Some people are naturally faithful, particularly when they are deeply in love. And so I have to say that I never bought the whole, “Uh, oh…is Aria going to hook up with Roar and Perry with Kirra?”
In the case of Aria and Roar, that groundwork was laid in UTNS, but I never really bought it. You don’t “feel” it from Aria at all…so you don’t expect her to waver. In the case of Kirra, she was obviously temptation on two feet – the siren intended to lead him astray. Given that you’re aware that prior to Aria, Perry *ahem* enjoyed women, you might buy this. Except that Kirra is so unbelievably icky. I know she’s a Scire, but she’s so gross I couldn’t imagine Perry with her. I’d sooner imagine him with Brooke than Kirra. So unfortunately Ms. Rossi, you sold me so completely on Aria + Perry Forever that I couldn’t follow you down temptation’s path. I was antsy for us to push past it and get to the real fireworks!
Roar and Liv – The Great Tragedy. Whenever you read about Roar, the next thing you hear about is always Liv. It was like they were two halves of one whole. In fact, one reason you never suspected Roar and Aria was because you were aware of Roar’s being rendered to Liv (ie – I can’t freaking live without you, basically). So when Liv rejected him when they first arrived at Sable’s, I thought, “Is Rossi trying to set up Aria + Roar, because I don’t think Aria is on board with that.” But no…it was a bit of fun misdirection. Roar and Liv are one in all the stories, in all the family memories Perry shares (eventually), and in Roar’s heart forever. The severing of this tie will have world-shaking consequences, I believe. I expect to feel the reverberations throughout Into the Still Blue.
The Return of Cinder. You almost forget about Cinder every other chapter even though you have a sense that he’s really important. He’s a shadow. I imagine him like Caspar the ghost, always running away and showing up again, always on the edges, flickering, wavering, wanting to be in the center of life, but afraid he will snuff it accidentally. Your heart aches for this character that is more spirit than boy. He’s obviously really powerful and yet, in this book what you love most about him is the way that he slowly opens up to Willow’s constant loving ministrations and friendship. His story is so heartbreaking, his desperation so deep. In the end you find that despite having nearly forgotten him over and over, you’re not surprised that the story centers on him once again.
World-building. Rossi’s world-building is fairly impressive, IMHO. I can picture her world, despite it’s being very foreign, and there are at least quasi-scientific explanations for some of the elements of this strange post-apocalyptic landscape. The Aether is a very interesting idea and I think she gives you an excellent sense of it, like a cross between lightning and plasma. And the idea that under such energy, living things might mutate in response to the energy…that is plausible enough for me to go with the story. I enjoy her world and look forward to Into the Still Blue so that I can see more of it.
Villains – Sable, Hess, Soren. Of the three primary villains in the story, I like the re-introduction of the Soren character the best (unexpectedly). Rossi manages to create Soren as a layered character with his tragic “Phantom of the Opera” persona. Even so, danger hovers around his edges like an aura and you never trust him, despite the fact that he comes through for Aria and lives up to his agreements. He will be an interesting one to follow in the next story.
Hess is too “pure evil” for me to be super-interested in him. Yes, you detest him, but so far, he’s not that interesting. Sable we don’t know well enough to totally judge, but seems interesting so far. He’s stronger and more in control in some ways, than Hess, which makes you respect him as a villain. But he also will evolve quite a bit (I expect) in the next story. I wish we could have a movie version of this and see the look on Sable’s face when Aria grabs Roar and pitches them both backward out the window into the river. THAT was totally BA!
A Thought About the Author’s Choices - I like the break points Rossi chose. Her story has enough potential “break-points” that she could have stopped at different ones than she ultimately chose. For example, a lot of people would have left you hanging in Under the Never Sky without confirmation that Aria and Perry had found one another again. I LOVED that she cut you off just as you were sure they’d find each other. Awesome. At the same time, the interactions between Perry and “Braids” (Reef) and his guys toward the end of this book seemed weird to me, like, “Why is she telling me so much about these guys all of the sudden?” And then the role they play in Through the Ever Night tells you, “Oh, that’s why. It would be weird to introduce them for the first time in this book.” I felt the same way when I read Through the Ever Night – that there were several points at which she could have ended it in readiness for the next book. But I can appreciate the decision-making Rossi has done so far. Writing my own trilogy has been more challenging and more fascinating than I’d ever anticipated and these “cut-off points” in the story are one of the harder decisions to make. I changed my second book’s ending point significantly and I’m glad I did. But it could have gone either way… Rossi seems adept at this. I’ll definitely trust her judgement for the rest of this ride.
The Cover – Normally I don’t comment too much on covers. I love them pretty, of course, but generally, I love them related to the story. The one at the top of this post appears to be the true cover but I have to say I’m perplexed. I can’t tell if the character on the cover has a scar so I’m not sure if it’s Soren, but that doesn’t make any sense. It’s not Perry. So that leaves me Roar? I’m assuming this is Roar because he plays a major, central role in this story, but…Roar and only Roar on the cover? I just don’t get it.
I found this alternate image (right) that appears to be a legit version as well (rather than Fan Love). I like it MUCH better because it is Aria and it gives you a little more feeling of the world and the Aether. I wish that with a story with this kind of world-building, that they’d committed to more fantastical covers along these lines…
I know this may seem a bit scattered, but it’s my review all the same. I love this story. It makes me think about so many things that I can’t get it all in one post. I think about the characters and feel for them hours, days, weeks after reading about them. I want to go back and feel their feelings and experience their experiences again. I recommend this book and can’t wait for the next. It was worth the wait.