Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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Young Adult > Post-Apocalyptic > Science Fiction

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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From The Monstrumologist to this — Rick Yancey, make me a hard-core fanatic, why don’t you?

If you don’t kill all of us all at once, those who remain will not be weak. You are remaking us.
We are the clay, you are Michaelangelo. And we will be your masterpiece.


I cannot contain my happiness with The 5th Wave. It was a stellar alien book from no less than Rick Yancey!

Cassie is a very magnetic heroine, I cannot help but root for her. The determination and indomitable spirit was such a surprise. (But now that I thought about it, one of Yancey’s strengths as an author is the ability to develop engaging and worship-worthy characters.) The stark contrast of Cassie’s character to the hopeless world she lives in, it makes me want to cheer for her, that she will make it to the end. *fingers crossed*

So the moment that certified I was hooked? Zombie‘s character. When his POV was introduced, I didn’t know who he was. Imagine my ecstasy when his true identity was revealed on his first chapter, I was giddy with excitement! Leave it to Yancey to stir things up in a major way. 😀 Smooth talker, this one – and the inappropriateness of it in a post-apocalyptic world was very funny. Heh.

Evan Walker. Even without his link to Cassie, his character would still shine. The shift between morality and mortality, as Cassie perceived him, was so addictive. Every scene that Evan’s in was sweet, heartbreaking, I just want to capture each moment. *sigh*

Needless to say, the alien plot was gripping, the villain was hateful, the edge-of-your-seat element was electrifying. Woot!

With obvious strength in characters and decisive story flow, The 5th Wave deserves two thumbs up from an existing Rick Yancey fan like me. More alien conspiracy, please!

P.S. Me thinks this book will still be awesome even without the romance angle.

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THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

Hardcover, 480 pages

Published May 7th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

5/5 stars

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Book Review: The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

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Young Adult > Science Fiction > Fantasy

(Lorien Legacies #4)

The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again.

Book 1: I Am Number Four review

Book 2: The Power of Six review

Book 3: The Rise of Nine review

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Poor Marina. Now, I am interested on her POV in the next book.

This series is very easy to read. But now I realized that it can be contained in just 3 books. The Fall of Five‘s good stuff started on Chapter 31 (it has 37 in total). Instead of training to death in preparation for the war against the Mogadorians, Four is cuddling with Sarah (why the heck would I be interested in that?!), Four is awkward towards Six, Four just do not know what to do.

Spare me the drama, Pittacus Lore. Who cares about teenage alien/human flirtation? I need some action, so give me a battle of a lifetime between Loric and Mogs!

Good thing that besides Four’s POV, there is also Sam‘s and Marina‘s. And Adam‘s character is kind of intriguing.

One measly training session. One (almost) entertaining Capture the Flag game. The rest is just flirting, bantering, bickering. When the ultimate unexpected happened, the Garde are just about as screwed as they were in The Rise of Nine. (If only they trained on how to work together, their powers complimenting each other, then they would have never fell for that trap. They would’ve defeated that pudgy enemy in a flash. Duh.)

Is The Revenge of Seven the final book? I hope so. Because I’m starting to wonder why I am still reading this series. It’s beginning to look like I am wasting my time.

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THE FALL OF FIVE by Pittacus Lore

Ebook, 268 pages

Published August 27th 2013 by HarperCollins

3/5 stars

Book Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Young Adult > Science Fiction > Urban Fantasy

(Lux #4)

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

Book 1: Obsidian review     Book 2: Onyx review       Book 3: Opal review

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Ah, Daemon. Such sweet, good vibes you have here. (Hi, Archer. *blushes*)

Admittedly, Origin is just a 4-star-rating, but that unexpected cliffhanger was a welcome reprieve screaming for a 5. And to think that Jennifer L. Armentrout is hugely selling this Lux series to me because of the sizzling romance between Katy and Daemon, I would never thought that she would take that path to awesomeness! 🙂

Daemon‘s POV is so strong. This is the alien who will move the universe for me, err, for Katy. Heh. A softer side from one who is often a jerk, Daemon proved that what he have with Katy is not a fling with some human. And the decisions he made were so unlike him! He was unpredictable but in a good way. I liked how he turned out in Origin.

Katy‘s having a bad day. No, the worst week ever. She doesn’t cower to anyone anymore (thanks to Daemon), so it appears that Katy is stronger, and smarter. Those sweet moments with Daemon were, as always, to-die-for. =) I think their relationship gets better after every book, and that’s the point of it all, right? That these characters grow up, and be better people, especially when they are together. But it’s not that simple for them, far from it, so there enters the complications being an alien hybrid.

Archer!!! ’nuff said. I hope to see more of this guy soon. Yay!

The nature of origins is interesting. But are they friends or foes?

A lot of action, swoon, and surprising twists, that will have you begging for the next installment the moment you finish Origin. I, for one, could not wait for Opposition. This is gonna be one hell of a war. *smiles wickedly*

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ORIGIN by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Ebook, 400 pages

Published August 27th 2013 by Entangled Teen

5/5 stars

Book Review: Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

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Young Adult > Dystopia

(Under the Never Sky #3)

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.

Book 1: Under the Never Sky review       Book 2: Through the Ever Night review

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Through the Ever Night is much better IMO. Still, better ending than I thought possible for this series. 🙂

Perry! ❤

Into the Still Blue was not spectacular, to tell you the truth. Although compared to Reached, it’s more quick paced; and compared to Champion, it has more swoon moments.

The best thing about this finale is that Aria and Perry did not waste time. They took what was needed (from each other), and they did what what needs to be done (for each other). Aria is a grown woman now, stronger and more matured than when she was still a Dweller. Perry is more outspoken, and more confident as the Tides blood lord, and Aria’s partner.

But. But.

Roar‘s character was a sore thumb. I understood his grief, but he did not understood Perry’s (and how different his friend mourns for their loss). Roar went from hero to zero for me. And that’s a shame!

Cinder was a loose, loose end. that’s it for Cinder?!!! It was a very abrupt exit for Cinder, this boy who supposedly will be their savior, the one that will usher Aether’s survivors into the Still Blue. It was pretty disappointing that his character was handled carelessly, like that.

The parts that I was so pissed about are these:

(1) Aria’s business with Kirra was not settled properly. I mean, c’mon on! I was eager for a cat fight!!! What a letdown.

(2) Perry’s inevitable showdown with Sable was anticlimactic. Lame combat, anyone? Since I first met Sable in Through the Ever Night with Roar and Liv, I wildly anticipated his meeting with Perry. But I was in for a boring battle of the blood lords. 😦

I super loved Under the Never Sky series. But the finale was sort of bland, dampened down to maybe make sure that it has a neat ending. And it was, but I will not call it phenomenal.

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for granting my galley request.

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INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi

Kindle Edition, 400 pages

Published January 28th 2014 by HarperCollins

4/5 stars

 

Book Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

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Young Adult > Science Fiction | Time Travel

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future . . .

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… took long enough to get to the confrontation, but neat ending.

I did not appreciate the predictability of the story, nor the twists. Could it be that I am so used to crime and thriller suspense that when I turn out to be right in guessing who’s who and what’s what, I don’t feel victorious? I was annoyed. It was so easy guess where things will lead me.

But I love Finn. The knowledge that he was already in love with her way before Cassandra happens, it was heartbreaking. I was crushed by that last scene with her – that by saving the world, they might not fall in love, because it was Cassandra that brought them together – wow. He was brave, my Finn. So brave.

Em was right to be confused. She failed too many times. And yet she still loves him, despite everything. Are there really no option but to kill him? It’s sad, really. I think the last scene after the inevitable went down, it was too hard for her. *sigh*

Let’s not talk about Marina, I do not like her.

Compared to TempestAll Our Yesterdays is actually pretty good. The time travel element was easy to digest and follow.

If this was a standalone, I’d say, very nice wrap-up. Some loose ends, but with the grief going around, I think no one will mind. Since there will be a sequel, it better not include Finn being dead. *shakes fist*

Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury for granting my galley request.

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ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill

Published August 1st 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing Inc (UK & ANZ)

3/5 stars

Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

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Young Adult > Science Fiction

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

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.. and the awesomeness was just unexpected. 😀

Hey Santa? This is what I want for Christmas!

The stunning cover of These Broken Stars more than reflects the fantastic story it holds – it blatantly sums it up!

This is Love at First Sight Gone Wrong. Ha! (Sorry, Tarver.)

It is easier to judge Lilac with her heiress status, or Tarver with his rigid military training. The interaction between the two started from cute to hostile to disdain. More than once did these two dance around the mistrust of being with the only person in the planet. That annoyed me during the first half, but I think it was setup that way so that I’ll feel the feels more than I should when things get very creepy. 😀

So there they are, in some unknown planet, forced to be civilized with each other because really now, what does Lilac know about survival? And what does Tarver know about abandoned stations in a terraformed planet?

Surprisingly, Lilac is not dumb for a socialite. She reminds me of Tori from Quicksilver. And Tarver, what can I say? If ever I get stuck with no food to eat, or no shelter to salvage, let me be stuck with him. Pretty please? *bats eyelashes*

You might mistake this as a romance disguised as a science fiction. The swoon (and there are lots of them!) is a major plus to a horrifying story about a sick ambition of the most powerful man in the universe, across hyperspace and other dimensions. It was cruel, but kindness was shown to the end. And Lilac and Tarver will never be the same again.

These Broken Stars: the title alone is poetic enough. Haunting yet beautiful, Lilac and Tarver’s story will make you feel strengthened, hopeful, loved.

Did I mention there are scary scavenging scenes in a corpse-filled crashed spaceship? *wiggles eyebrows*

Thank you Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for granting my galley request.

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THESE BROKEN STARS by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

Published December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion

4.5/5 stars

Book Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

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Young Adult > Science Fiction > Post Apocalyptic

(Partials #2)

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.

Book 1: Partials review

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SAMM. ❤

Recalling my experience with Partials, I started Fragments with caution that yes, this is going to be another long read for me. And I was right, for the first half at least. I struggled getting past 25%, for I felt I already read an enormous amount of words, and yet I was only at 25%! But I persevered (Ha!). Once I got past the 50% mark, I barely glanced at my progress.

I didn’t like that Marcus has a POV, for his character was not appealing enough to merit a POV. Kira was better, but the constant whining and despairing over things she could not control was a little irritating.

Heron was very interesting. The spy who is superior among all Partial models… is showing human traits! She despises, angers, even vindictive. It was very entertaining to see how she relates to Afa, Samm, and Kira. Samm‘s character was well beyond my expectations. As a Partial, he truly acted the part. But the best thing about him? His unwavering faith in Kira when she herself is in doubt. =) And oh, that little POV snippet of Samm was incredible!

How the plot progressed in the second half was like a flame building slowly into a fire. the last 10% of the book was exhilirating!

Fragments is a sequel that will leave you with questions more than ever, and yet you will be curious enough to see what happens next in Ruins.

SAMM, stay alive. I beg of you!

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FRAGMENTS by Dan Wells

Ebook, 576 pages

Published  February 16th 2013 by Balzer + Bray

4/5 stars

Book Review: Across the Universe #2: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

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Young Adult > Dystopia > Science Fiction

(Across the Universe #2)

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship “Godspeed.”
But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to act on his vision–no more Phydus, no more lies.
When Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy must race to discover the truth behind life on “Godspeed.” They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success–or failure–will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers who remain aboard “Godspeed.” But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and love between them more impossible to fight.
Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her “New York Times “bestselling debut, “Across the Universe.” In “A Million Suns, ” Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: THEY HAVE TO GET OFF THIS SHIP.

Book 1: Across the Universe review

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…so, so much better than Across the Universe!

My ebook copy has 72 chapters. O_o It should’ve deterred me from pursuing A Million Suns, knowing I didn’t like AtU that much. But the chapters are really short, so it was breeze reading through it. End of chapter 1 was a shocker. I say, now we’re talking! End of chapter 2, a secret was revealed. And it went like that after every chapter..! For the lack of fluidity and quick pace from its predecessor, A Million Suns zoomed very, very fast!

I liked Amy better here. She’s very afraid, but she got to this guy’s face and threatened to kill him if he ever get near her or Victria again. And that’s acknowledging your fear but doing it anyway! And how her feelings towards Elder evolved into something more substantial? It was really nice. My eyebrows raised in the end though, when she was so keen on her hatred for Orion. Her rage was unreasonable, as compared to that guy who nearly damaged her. Really, Amy? You’re throwing a tantrum now over Orion, when Godspeed’s falling apart?

Elder raised the bars of being the Godspeed leader to be looked upon. But not without hardships and dissention. Everything was in chaos, even in his own heart, for he’s conflicted on how to save everyone on the ship without losing Amy. I liked him, really liked him in this installment. 😀

I was miffed at the constant tug-and-pull on the mystery angle. I had this feeling that maybe, the story was bound to get ridiculous..? I found a few inconsistencies that niggled my mind, and the ending was bland, but… *huffs* Whatever, man. I enjoyed the ride nonetheless.

A Million Suns was a vast improvement compared to AtU. For everything set in outer space, everything should be in rapid-fire to give that whirlwind exhiliration to readers. and I experienced that here. Thankfully, I experienced it. Let’s see how it goes in Shades of Earth!

#6 Dystopia Challenge 2013

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A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis

Published January 10th 2012 by Razorbill

4.5/5 stars

Book Review: Lux #3: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Young Adult > Science Fiction > Urban Fantasy

(Lux #3)

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

Book 1: Obsidian review     Book 2: Onyx review

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…Ah, sh*t. Lotsa romance, little action. Not that I’m complaining, but… oh, well.

Daemon, from this moment on, you can never do wrong to me. You are my hot alien. Lemme be your Kitten!

*ahem*

Okay, then. I wouldn’t have mind the Katy-Daemon lovefest, but it was very clear that Opal was all about the lovey-dovey. And the progress of the story went right out the window. Whoosh!

While I did enjoy seeing more of Daemon, I was skittish on why there hasn’t been anygood action at all. Or is it just me? I love this series, and it brought a frown on my face when Opal failed to deliver the right amount of maturity to the plot.

I guess the imbalance between the romance and sci-fi theme imbalanced me. Knowing full well that Katy’s and Daemon’s story is just getting good, I had a feeling that this third book was going to be explosive! Well, a slight bomb if you may, on the last few pages. My heart went to Daemon, but it’s partly his fault things went awry. Him and his friends should’ve had a back up plan. Plan A-Z! Well, hello. Blake‘s there, wasn’t he? So surely, things were bound to get dirty.

Origin seems to far away. But I can sit still waiting for it. Daemon, you better be packing up some heat because I’m expecting you to blast one particular hybrid to pieces.

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OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Ebook, 315 pages

Published December 11th 2012 by Entangled Teen

3/5 stars

Book Review: Under the Never Sky #2: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

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Young Adult > Dystopia

(Under the Never Sky #2)

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.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

Book 1: Under the Never Sky review

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…done and done. 😀 Veronica Rossi messed me up big time.

While it was not as stunning as I thought it would be (based on the glowing reviews I saw), I think it is one of the best middle books to ever come out in a YA dystopian series. Rossi strengthened the characters, developed more the (previously) vague dystopian world in Under the Never Sky, and while the loss was not minimal, Rossi left hope and joy that are enough to leave readers (almost) fully compensated.

If I were to base my rating on the story advancement alone, I’d say it was really good, maybe even deserving a 5-star rating if I was being generous. But… I was so emotionally invested with the characters that I can’t help but get cranky if things don’t go Aria’s way, or Perry’s.

From being a Dweller to becoming a warrior, Aria was intimidating. I didn’t expect her to be this ready for her next goal in the Outside. She was no longer a burden. She was now Perry’s equal. I really liked her character’s development. Aria came out mature, responsible, and not self-centered anymore, compared to the first installment. Oh, and she’s not whiny anymore, hooray!

It’s hard not to judge Perry on his decisions because it was no longer about him and Aria alone. There’s the tribe to think about, the supporters of Vale who has not yet fully accepted Perry, the worsening Aether that’s threatening to obliterate his home. But. but. I wanted more display of his hunting and fighting skills. and I just wished he got to spend more time with Aria in this sequel, that’s all. I adored Roar, but he’s not Perry for Aria. you know? haha!

Sable‘s character reminded me of De Malo from Rebel Heart, at first. and I actually liked Soren! I found him funny. But I cannot wait for him to try getting back at Perry. He’s in for a surprise. Pound him to pieces, Savage!

Through the Ever Night will take you to a roller coaster ride. The romance angle is played very well, and the dangerous world of Aria and Perry will leave you an unsatiable taste of their desire to survive.

Cinder!

#6 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

#4 Dystopia Challenge 2013

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THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT by Veronica Rossi

Paperback, 352 pages

Published January 8th 2013 by HarperCollins

4.5/5 stars