December 19, 2013

REVIEW: Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3), by Veronica Rossi
To Be Published January 28, 2014
e-galley, obtained from Edelweiss
young adult dystopian
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

FINALLY. A series ender that did the story justice.

I don't know about you, but lately it seems as if the final books in series I follow - particularly dystopian series - have not even come close to living up to my expectations. Perhaps my goals are too lofty. I want drama, suspense, intrigue, tons of stress and frustration, but ultimately a satisfying HEA for the main characters and a resolution to the main problem that has plagued them for several books. I didn't think that was too much to ask.

Thankfully, Veronica Rossi and I seem to be of the same mind. Because, this fantastic author gave me my wishlist in Into The Still Blue. Especially the tons of stress and frustration. Oh, I felt those things in spades.

As the title suggests, the entire book is about the two separate factions of people - the Tides and Dwellers led by Perry and the Horns and Dwellers led by the evil duo Sable and Hess - trying to get to the Still Blue where the air and sky are clear and healthy. In order to do that, they need the help of Cinder, the 13-year-old boy that befriended Perry and has been kidnapped by Sable and Hess.

In addition to the plotting, planning, thwarting and executing of said plans, there was a lot of focus on relationships both old and new. Perry's and Roar's friendship seems irreparable since Liv's death. Perry and Aria are now together and resolved to make their relationship work no matter what. And the Tides and Dwellers need to find a way to get past their ingrained differences so they can live together in peace.

My love of Perry, Aria and Roar never wavered. Their choices and actions were in keeping with the characters Rossi has created over the course of two books and two novellas now. They are characters whose traits I admire - the dedication to family and the honor in the face of adversity is inspiring.

Leave it to Veronica Rossi to make me love characters I had previously resolved to hate. Soren, Brooke and Loren most definitely grew on me over the course of Into The Still Blue, until at the end, I was most definitely rooting for them to make it through the final dangerous confrontations.

The pacing was perfect. The action and angst almost non-stop. The character development was amazing. I thank Veronica Rossi for giving us the drama, suspense, stress, and yes, that elusive HEA, in this final book of the Under the Never Sky series. This is, without a doubt, one of the best dystopian series I've ever read.

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