First Lines: Aria was here. Perry followed her scent, moving swiftly through the night. He kept his stride even as he scanned the darkened woods, though his heart hammered in his chest.
This was a series I never thought I’d read. I saw it for ages being praised on Goodreads and every time, I just rolled my eyes. Yeah, sure, like saying something is “Under the Never Sky” or “Through the Ever Night” makes any sense. But that first book more than lived up to its praise and I hoped this one would follow suit.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Aria and Perry haven’t seen each other in months. Since then, Perry has become Blood Lord of the Tides and Aria was given an impossible mission to save those she cares about. But when they are finally reunited, things aren’t as joyful as they had hoped. The Tides don’t take kindly to Dwellers, former or otherwise. Worsening Aether storms threaten everything Perry holds dear, and Aria begins to wonder if the only way to save Perry is to leave him…
I really love this world that Rossi has created. It’s part sci-fi, but it’s also part fantasy. And it’s that fantasy part that makes it feel totally engrossing and original.
Right off the bat, we have the characters struggling with their respective roles. And I liked that even though there was so much time between the first and second book, it still felt like we were picking up right where we left off. Most of that comes from those unifying struggles.
And their relationship drama actually felt reasonable. I often bring up the “Sequel Slump” at this point, my term for sequels where something forces the main couple to break up just for the sake of drama, usually through some kind of misunderstanding or whatever. While this book did do that, it actually felt genuine. In the first book, when Aria and Perry worked together, they were unstoppable. But in this book, even though they tried to make it all work, it always seemed like everything they touched was soon destroyed. So I could actually see where Aria would make the call she did to save what they loved. And that is when it’s no longer a “Sequel Slump” and an actual plot element.
It’s still very entertaining how the story flips between Aria and Perry’s perspectives. I enjoyed getting both sides of the story. What I particularly liked was Aria’s new found strength of character. I think she’s finally growing into her character, now that she’s accepted her Outsider half. It’s great fun to watch. I also liked that Perry was the insecure and struggling character, but it did make me want to jump back to Aria’s perspective faster. So…I was torn there.
But my God, Roar came away as my clear favorite this time around. He’s the best sidekick ever. I want to like, turn him into a teddy bear and hold him close…wait, can I say that without sounding creepy?
Overall, it’s a very enjoyable read with great action, dangerous characters, and a fantastic setting that brings the whole story to life.