Sunday 23 February 2014
A satisfying conclusion to an extraordinary series! - Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
I am depressed the series is over though. So let me hang in the world of Perry and Aria for just a little longer while I gush about the awesomeness of this book.
So this takes off almost immediately after the events of 'Through the Ever Night', when Perry and Aria save the Dwellers from the collapse of Reverie and bring them to the cave where the Outsiders are taking refuge from the Aether. Now the two groups are forced to live together while Perry figures out what to do about their survival (poor Perry, so young yet the fate of 400 people lies in his hands, *sigh*). Cinder, the kid with the power to call the Aether is held by Sable (the other Outsider town's leader) and Hess (Reverie leader), who plan to use him to escape the Aether, cross the ocean and into the Still Blue. Perry and Aria assemble a small team (that includes Roar - *happy dance*), and set off to retrieve Cinder, as well as more Hovers to accommodate the numbers in their camp to the Still Blue. But of course, their mission is riddled with complications, sadness, loss, and also some 'feels' moments (insert winking smiley face).
Perry is my favourite character, closely followed by Roar. In 'Into the Still Blue', Perry is once again faced with the huge responsibility of leading his people, and part of doing that is to get Cinder back, so that he can get back to the Tides and figure out a way to save everyone and lead them into the Still Blue. I commend Veronica on her ability to write the duel perspective of Perry and Aria, and still be able to get across the difference in character voices. There are too many authors who write duel perspectives and fail in this because both protagonists end up sounding the same. Perry has a unique voice, and his inner thoughts and struggles are communicated to the reader strongly where we are able to really understand the burden he bears as Blood Lord. Perry is the kind of character who, even if you don't like him as a person or the decisions he makes, you are at least able to respect and admire him. It has just occurred to me that Perry is my all-time favourite male character ever. He is the perfect mixture of everything you (*I*) want in a male lead. He is strong when it counts, strategic, masculine, sexy, mysterious, and all those divinely manly attributes, but also softer when needed. He is extremely empathetic, selfless, loving, caring (even when others don't appreciate it), patient and kind. I know that if I were living in a world where there was an electric storm thingy threatening the existence of humankind I would want Peregrine to be my leader. He never asks of anything of anyone that he would not himself do. You will know what I mean when you read the book -- beware of the 'feels'. It is a pleasure to read Perry's chapters. It's also a pleasure to read Aria's chapters because we get to see Perry from her point of view (I want more Perry, Veronica!).
Roar. Poor, sweet, Roar. Although there is lots of Roar in this book for Roar-lovers, obviously you won't get him the way you want him because he is dealing with the loss of Liv, his love. It gets a little annoying at times because he lashes out at Perry, but later on when we learn why it's understandable, and I guess the tension between them eventually amounts to a brotherly make-up which warms the heart. I love their relationship, the brotherly bond. It's almost as pleasing to read about as the Perry-Aria romance. I also love the brotherly-sisterly bond Roar has with Aria. He cares for her deeply, and I love that you just know that he would sacrifice his own life for her, which shows what a loyal, caring, loving friend he is. Roar is (or should be) the definition of a best friend. He is cruel like how a best friend can be (jokingly), but also kind. I really felt for Roar, and I think the way he deals with his grief, though overwhelmingly bitter at times, is realistic.
Aria. I think Aria took a back seat in this book. I think I was expecting for Aria to grow from an untrained but lovely girl in Book 1, to a bit more of a useful fighter/leader in Book 3. But we don't really see much active leadership from her as I expected in this, Perry does most of that. I guess it's okay, because not everyone has to be kickass. Most YA authors are doing the whole kickass female heroine, and it's okay with me that Veronica didn't force Aria down that path. I see Aria as sweet, empathetic, kind, nurturing, loving of the whole world, forgiving, and always concerned about the wellbeing of others. I don't entirely see the point of her accompanying Perry and the team on their mission to get Cinder back, but I'm glad she did because Roar needed her, as well as Perry (more emotionally than anything else), and perhaps also Soren, because he is a loose canon and she acted as a buffer and controlled things somewhat between him and the others. Although Aria is not my favourite character after this book, I still love her.
The rest of the supporting characters are all as awesome as they were in the previous book. Molly, Bear, Brooke, Willow, Cinder, the Six, and even Flea the dog are all back. There are a couple of scenes with Flea that are so adorable. I love that Veronica wrote those parts in, they break away from the impending threats and make you laugh out loud. I actually laughed out loud. There are some really sad and tragic things that happen, and I still can't believe happened. I was so sad. I won't say who, but I really felt for this particular character and I wanted to hug them and not let go.
Romance. The romance between Perry and Aria is existent, but not as much as the first book. It would be a bit hard to carry out a romance when you're fighting to survive and trying to lead 400 people. Perry still manages to find some time for Aria, and he makes those moments count. I love that they both know how much they love each other, but don't need to suffocate each other to express it. I also love that Aria takes a step back and gives Perry the space he needs to carry out all his responsibilities, even if she doesn't agree with his tactics and decisions, she respects him enough to trust him and let him do what he needs to do. I like that she doesn't feel the need to steal the spotlight and be her own hero, but trusts in his ability as a leader, and supports him, but is also her own person at the same time and remains true to herself. I love their relationship. There is a harmonious understanding and bond between them that is beautiful to read about.
Veronica, thank you for respecting what the fans wanted and not ruining the series with your conclusion, but instead writing a fitting end to a wonderful series. Too many authors feel like they need to create a dramatic end to make it memorable (whatever), and too many times that approach has killed the entire series for me, so much so, that when I hear the spoilers of tragic ends (through the wonderful world of social media), I lose interest in reading the conclusion because I think the end will ruin the entire series for me and I don't want to remember it that way (I'm looking at you Veronica Roth). I am pleased to say that there is none of that B.S in this series, and I was able to sleep peacefully the night I finished it (with a huge, goofily satisfied grin on my face).
Thank you, Veronica Rossi :-D
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