Perry & Aria want nothing more than to be together after the months of separation, but it’s just not in the cards. Aria is being blackmailed into finding the Still Blue, that mythical land free of Aether storms and Perry, as much as he wants to, can’t leave his tribe to go with her. His position as Blood Lord is too new and the people will rebel if he leaves. Aria leaves with Roar, heading to the Rim to find Liv and gain information from Sable about the Still Blue’s location. Meanwhile, Perry stays with the Tides to try and hold things together and keep them safe from Aether storms until something else can be arranged. He’s not handling the role of Blood Lord as well as he had hoped and he misses Aria more than he’d care to admit.
In the first book, we watcher Aria grow as she learned the truth about her parents and tried to survive outside the wall. The scared girl who needed protecting is long gone and, in her place, stands a woman who is more than capable of taking care of herself. She’s now a heroine I hope many young girls read about and aspire to be. Having Prince Charming save you is awesome, but being able to save yourself? That’s even better. She’s still more than a little off balance about her heritage and how she fits into the world, since she obviously don’t belong in the pod and Perry’s tribe hates her because she’s half “mole.” She’s become closer to Roar and you’d think this would turn into a love triangle, but, at least from this aspect, that never happens. It’s clear that Roar and Aria are just (close) friends, even though others imply more.
I was once again on the fence about Perry. In the same amount of time he and Aria are together in the beginning (and then at the end), I was head over heels with his swoon-worthiness. It’s like his swoon-worthy gene is only activated around her. For the vast part of the middle, I admired his dedication to his tribe and his refusal to leave even a single member behind, but I wasn’t in love with him. He’s doubts about Aria ****SPOILER****and how she left without telling him, which was for his own fucking good. Seriously dude, she knew the Tides were giving you shit because of her staying in your house and she knew that if you left with her, they’d revolt but that you wouldn’t allow her to leave without you anyway. She knew you’d make the wrong decision by coming with her and she knew that she couldn’t stay, not only because your tribe would keep trying to kill her, but also because she has to find the Still Blue in order to save Talon.****END SPOILER**** but get the hell over it. It’s clear that she did it for you and you fucking know it so stop whining and man up! The fact that he allows other people to place doubts in his mind pissed me off beyond logical reasoning.
Then there is Roar, my dear sweet Roar. He’s the real swoon-worthy guy of this trilogy. He’s hot and sweet and charming and completely in love with Liv, despite their issues. Speaking of Liv****SPOILER****WHY WAS IT NECESSARY TO KILL HER?!?!? You could injury her without mortally fucking wounding her? There had to be a better way out of that than torturing my precious Roar by murdering his soul mate. Now I won’t be able to fully enjoy reading their novella because I know their story is doomed…and not in a good way. Please don’t’ use this as an opportunity to open that Perry-Aria-Roar love triangle.****END SPOILER**** One thing I, surprisingly, enjoyed was Soren’s return. I won’t say much for fear of spoilers, but his personality has improved since his crazed moments at the beginning of Under The Ever Sky. I’m more excited than I care to admit to see more of him (and his interactions with the rest of the gang) in the final installment of this series.
Rossi manages to steer clear of most YA stereotypes in this installment. Though the love triangle idea is skirted several times, with not only Brooke secretly vying for Perry’s attention, but a second female “maybe” character, no true triangle is formed. I hope it stays that way in book *hint hint hint*. There wasn’t a massive cliffhanger either, just the basic, things are still unresolved theme. Most of the main storyline is tied up, with just the Still Blue being the only real mystery left. The prose are just as beautiful and witty as before, managing to give all the important characters that perfect balance of strength, courage, and uncertainty to keep you guessing at exactly how they’ll tackle the challenges they face. It was a thrilling ride that was over too soon and I can’t wait to start the next one.