It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.
4.5 stars – this sequel did NOT suck.
Wait. Give me a minute... I just, I just want to revel in the gloriousness that is a realistic portrayal of a healthy teenaged romance in a YA book.
So, it’s Perry and Aria’s Round 2 and it was damned impressive. There’s just something about those two that really resonates with me. The ending of Under the Never Sky was one that stayed with me long after I had moved on to other books. I remember reading the last word and punctuating the moment with a long sigh. I just kind of read and reread that last passage and I believed it. This book follows right along those lines.
I'm so frikkin tired of asshole love interests. Yes, we all love bad boys, but I'm so over the "bad boys" who are little more than aggressive douchebags. Stop it, authors. Stop. Stop it. Fuckin’ stop it. I’m old and
bitter gray, by YA standards, so I can easily discern between the good and the bad, but what about the impressionable young girls and young women? You’re teaching them that douchebaggery = hotness. FUCKIN’ STOP IT. I digress.
Perry, by contrast, is a wonderful love interest. He’s kindhearted, loving, lovable, respectful, and honorable. He has his (thankfully short) moments of insecurity, but what 19 year old boy/man doesn’t, on occasion? We get a little more to his backstory in this book. We know that he’s never had it easy, but the specifics of his upbringing are really sad. What I appreciate about his character is that he doesn’t wallow in his “tortured hero” role. Despite facing seemingly insurmountable difficulties, he’s strong and steadfast. I love me some Perry – flaws and all.
Aria also really impressed me this time around. She toughened up by learning to fight and protect herself. She’s no longer the sheltered little dweller of book 1 that needed saving.
Can we talk about Roar? Because I love Roar. I wasn’t a huge fan of Roar and Liv’s short story, but in this book, Roar really shines. His friendship with Perry has always been strong, but it’s his friendship with Aria that really stands out. There’s a poignancy to their friendship that is so moving. In my heart of hearts, I know that they can depend on each other and that they’ll never let each other down. It’s such a nice change from typical books where friends of the hero dislike the heroine. This is a real, solid platonic friendship and it was a pleasure to read. Toss in the fact that Roar is the funniest and most entertaining character and you have a home run.
I didn’t touch upon the story line much, because while it’s entertaining, the characters are where this series really shines. I will say that Rossi pulls no punches and there will be some gasp-worthy moments that will leave you feeling sucker-punched. It can’t all be roses and butterflies, kids.
There will be much to come in book 3, as the ending was left wide open. I, for one, cannot wait.
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