Through the Ever Night (and a quick chat about Brooke)

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I kind of loved this book. (but I must say I Hate the cover…CLEARLY that is NOT Perry)

It’s pretty rare, I think, that a second book in a trilogy is better than the first especially when the heart of the story is a romance.

Apparently the god’s of trilogies have set forth a decree that in a second installment the two main characters must spend at least half the story apart. Sometimes this drives me absolutely bonkers!! I mean, you spend a whole first book investing in the main characters story and watching relationships develop and then those darned second books come along with all their need for  “conflict” and blah blah blah and inevitably it leads the main characters fight/break up/go on missions without each other etc..

Surprisingly though this time around it didn’t bother me at all…

In retrospect here are two excellent reasons why.

1.    The split was reasonably well justified. Aria and Perry do NOT have a seemingly arbitrary fight that drives them apart (thank heavens)

Aria makes a logical decision to leave without Perry after being the catalyst for a mass exodus of angry tribe members. Aria recognizes that Perry must stay and care for his tribe or else he will loose everything he practically sold his soul for. She also understands that since he has rendered to her he is unlikely to willingly let her go without him. Was this a tiny bit cheesy? Sure. Did it still induce a certain amount of “does she care for me or is she messing around with my BFF?” angst from Perry? Yep.

But I’ll forgive it. Because it WAS better that he stayed with the Tides and even though it’s clear she is in love with him (shouldn’t this be obvious to his super Scire senses?) I suppose it’s acceptable for a character with Perry’s back-story to feel a certain amount of insecurity. And even though Rossi threw in that icky redheaded Scire trollop to make us sweat a little I was never really worried.

2.    Roar. I L.O.V.E lovelovelove Roar. Rarely is a secondary

character so fantastic! I adore that Rossi was able to create a deep and complex friendship between Roar and Aria without hinting at a love triangle. I also love that the bromance between Roar and Perry is equally fulfilling and complex. Basically Roar is a kickass character who’s humor and depth helps make this book great. Which is why I was so damn sad for him when Liv died….

Oh. My. Goodness…Heartbroken Roar just about killed me. IRossi managed to make his emptiness as seen through Aria’s eyes visceral. Obviously Liv’s death is going to change Roar (how could it not) and reading the blurb for Into the Still Blue has me a bit concerned about who bitter angry Roar will be…

With that said I am hopeful that the conflict brewing between Roar and Perry not to mention Roar and himself will be resolvable. There is an excellent opportunity for some really moving material between the two of them as they deal with Liv’s death, Perry’s doubt and the future of their friendship. As I type this though I’ve begun to worry that he might also become a sacrificial lamb…. because we all know the shit is about to hit the fan and everyone probably won’t survive…*ugh*

The other thing Through the Ever Night really had going for it was Aria’s newfound strength. In Under the Never Sky it took me a while to decide if I even liked Aria… In this book I love her. She is strong and whole; she loves Perry but does not depend on him to be her only source of love, protection and comfort. She actively works to make herself a better person but she doesn’t take herself too seriously (Arctic Kitten anyone?)

On the journey back from the North with Roar (and without Liv *sadness*) she demonstrates how far she has come from when we first met her almost single handedly shepherding them both back to the Tides. Shortly thereafter she plays a vital role along side Perry in rescuing Talon and the salvageable dwellers from the certain death in the pod.

Character development!!! *sigh* I simply adore character development.

So basically I am pretty darn happy with Through the Ever Night and feeling hopeful (pleasepleaseplease don’t disappoint me Rossi) about Into the Still Blue. I went ahead and read Brooke and the teaser chapters of Into the Still Blue (I also did end up reading both of the first books cover to cover 2.5 times in the same week which, as I mentioned previously, must mean I really enjoyed them) I am intrigued. It looks to me like the story won’t be taking us directly out of this Aether covered world to face the unknown and I think that will be a good thing. In my recent reading experience when a story ventures outside the carefully constructed parameters of the world it has built the results can be messy (Allegiant) or downright boring (Maze Runner’s The Death Cure might have managed to be the world’s most dull representation of a zombie apocalypse ever).

So. Yeah. I’m hopeful.

BONUS “review”

BROOKE

Brooke

I think I was like everyone else when I saw that there was a Brooke novella.

I pretty much thought “Huh?” and then “Eh.” I planned to skip it.

But the lure of additional information was too much and I’m a huge fan of the Novella trend. Its been a lot of fun to get back stories and side stories …more often than not these are great ways to satiate readers hungry for the next book while building the world and developing characters so eventually I gave in and plowed ahead (very glad I did)

In Through the Ever Night I wanted to hate Brooke and I most certainly did not want to FEEL for her. I have been her (most of us have, yeah?).

The “castoff” the “first girlfriend” the woman (or man) sharpened by rejection. I knew I would understand her if I got to know her but I really, really liked Perry and Aria so I was uncomfortable with the idea of feeling her pain.  Put plainly, I was a weenie who did not want to see my new favorite book boyfriend as a jerk or the heroine as the “other woman”.

I need not have worried. While she IS suffering and most of the short story is about her dealing with her feelings. Rossi does a good job of sending Brooke down a path of self-discovery and reconciliation that will obviously turn her into a sympathetic (probably important) character in Into the Still Blue. We learn more about her relationship with Perry and while he did discard her he does not come off as an asshole.  I appreciate that he puts effort into trying to heal their relationship even while he is preoccupied with Aria’s illness and the whole less than ideal cave situation. And Brooke for all that she harbors bitterness is WAY more sympathetic than I expected.

It turns out I like her.

I actually liked her on the very first page, the second she declared Soren her ‘favorite” based on the simple fact that he ,was the least sick of the dwellers. (clearly the two of them will fall for each other) It was so “Katniss” of her. (and who doesn’t love Katniss)

Another excellent reason to read this novella is the peek into the first hours after Aria and Perry return to the Tides. Not to mention Wylan’s attempted invasion. From what I can tell Into the Still Blue picks up a few days after the end of Through the Ever Night and I don’t think this part of the story is going to be retold. So if nothing else…even if you still hate Brooke or don’t care a scrap about anyone but Perry and Aria  (although if you don’t care about Roar you might be heartless) it’s worth reading just to get the as much of the story as possible!

Side note: for all that I LOVE the novella I am a pretty much a wimp and I’m not sure I can handle Roar and Liv.  Just not sure I want to deal with their love story knowing she is doomed and he is all horribly, horribly broken etc.… Like I said…I’m a weenie.

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