Aria’s changed forever that night in Ag6. Her closest friend died and now she finds she’s been exiled from her home because she knows too much. With little hope of surviving, Aria decides to just pick a direction and walk. She’ll either be electrocuted by an Aether storm or eaten by cannibals or simply starve to death, but that’s no reason to just lie down and just wait for it. Along her walk, she meets Perry. He’s the outsider she glimpsed that night in Ag6, but closer up she can see how savage he really is. He is her only hope of survival. Perry has fought his entire life. He’s the brother of Tides’ Blood Lord and he desperately wants the title for his own. He’d never challenge his brother because of the damage that would do to his relationship with his beloved nephew, Talon. Then Talon is stolen from him and he needs Aria to help get him back. Something unexpected sparks between them that will change all their lives forever.
Aria was initially annoying. She was doing things she knew she shouldn’t and her friend gets killed because of her actions. Her actions once outside the pod greatly improved my opinion of her. She doesn’t whine and refuses to give up, especially when Perry expects her to. She shows just the right level of anxiety and fear, but still manages to push through and keep up with Perry’s antics. By the end, I genuinely liked her and that’s not something I can say often for female YA characters. Usually they start off bad and just get worse. By the end, I’m usually not-so-secretly wishing cruel deaths upon her because I think the story’s hero deserves someone better. Aria beats the odds though.
Then we have Peregrine. I felt sympathy for him almost immediately, with his desperate need to help Talon in anyway possible. That need motivates him to do things he’d never consider otherwise. Watching how protective he gets over Aria makes me see that swoon-worthy side that I kept hearing about on the blog-o-sphere. That’s when the magic really happens, watching both him and Aria overcome their prejudice about the other. Watching them both realize that the stereotypes in their head don’t really match up with the reality in front of them. Perry isn’t as savage as Aria first assumes and Aria is much more intelligent than Perry initially gives her credit for.
Then, there is the side character that sort of stole the show: Roar. He’s Perry’s best friend and he’s so funny and charming that you can’t help but love him instantly. He’s that character that always has a snarky comeback, but will walk through hell for his best friends. The fact that he is completely in love with Liv, Perry’s sister, even though he knows their romance is doomed to fail just makes me love him more. These two better get a happy ending. You hear me Perry? Make sure you find a way for them, consequences be damned.
……what else to say? I’m awfully glad that I didn’t start reading this until I after I was approved for the E-ARC of book 3! It’s not that it ends with a major cliffhanger, just a much more minor one with the main story wrapping up, but leaving the future open. It’s more that I want more and I desperately want to see the reunion between Perry & Aria. It’s funny, because I rushed through this so I could start Crash Into You by Katie McGarry because I just got approved for it and I am DYING to read Isaiah’s story, but, now that I’m finished, I’m torn on which to read next: Crash Into You or Through The Ever Night.
But Rossi manages to leave out the insta-love and love triangles, so I’m full of praise for this. Except that I’m pretty sure we’ll see a triangle develop in the next book, I’m going to pretend I don’t feel that coming.
This is a brilliantly written dysopian. It’s filled with perfectly flawed characters and a truly interesting story. It is just a little predictable, but somehow that doesn’t make me love it less. It’s a little slow to start, but completely worth the effort.