Title: Into the Still Blue
Author: Veronica Rossi  ♦  @rossibooks
Series: Under the Never Sky, Book 3
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication: January 28, 2014
Genre: YA science fiction, post-apocalyptic
Source: Edelweiss

Synopisis: The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

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.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

**We each received a copy of this book from the publisher,
but that did not influence the review**

♦ First Thoughts:

Celeste: 4-4.5 stars I loved it. It’s over. It’s really over, and what a ride it was. I’m pretty sure I can smell the fresh air, mossy hills, and sweet rivers.

Christina: Actual rating of 4.5 stars! Ms. Rossi has some of the best characterizations in any series ever. I am so sad to see these characters go, but she sent them out with style! I thought this was absolutely the best conclusion possible for this series.

♦ Plot, Pacing, Setting, and Style:

Christina: Into the Still Blue is the culmination of everything Perry, Aria, Roar, the Tides, and their adversaries have been working toward throughout this entire series. They now know where the Still Blue is and they have means of reaching it, but now it’s about the sacrifices people are willing to make and the lengths of betrayal they plan to take to set the ball in motion. This book is full of deceits, no-stop action, quiet moments shared away in secret coves, and heartbreaking loss that leads to the ultimate redemption and promise land for the chosen ones.

Rossi is an effortless storyteller. Each of her novels has always managed to pull me in immediately, tethering me to the scenes with her imagery and the dialogue between her characters. I easily lost hours because I was so immersed in this world, fearing for these characters and feeling my heart pound right along with theirs as they met one confrontation after the next head on.

I will say that with the time between these books and the fact that there is very little recap of what happened in previous novels, this series is probably infinitely better when it is read in quick succession. Hopefully one of these days I’ll have the time to do just that.

Celeste: This was 3rd person alternating POV, which is different from what I’ve been reading lately. At first I was nervous for 3rd person, but before I knew it I was settled right into the whole story. This took us on the final journey, the dream for dwellers and outsiders alike: to get to The Still Blue. It was about working together, alliances, loyalty, new relationships, back stabbing, and evil. Yep, it was all in there…everyone was desperate to get to The Still Blue and it wouldn’t be easy. This story had lots of settings too, which is one of the reasons I love Ms. Rossi’s writing so much. From the cave, to the Komodo, it was all amazing and so well described I thought I was there.

♦ Main/Secondary Characters:

Celeste: I love Perry so very much, and Aria too. They make choices that are truly selfless. It goes without saying that I love Roar as well, even though he is extremely impulsive, but that is part of the reason I found myself still rooting for him. He definitely makes some huge mistakes, but that is just part of his character. I also love Soren. Shocking, yet true.

Christina: I’ve already stated the following fact, but it’s worth mentioning again: Ms. Rossi has some of the best characterizations in any series ever. You can tell that she truly gets her characters, starting at the very top and working her way all the way down to the smallest character with the tiniest role. They’re all unique with individual personalities, quirks, and flaws, and I truly enjoy them all, even the ones I love to hate. Roar will always have special place in my heart, though. And I can’t forget Cinder, Talon, and Willow, the snarky, rebellious, sweet, headstrong kids whose big personalities often surpass those of their adult counterparts for the spotlight.

♦ Romance/Chemistry:

Christina: This was always the part of the novel(s) that left me wanting just a tad bit more. I definitely enjoy the time that Aria and Perry spend together and their chemistry/love is so apparent, but I just wanted more of it. Maybe that’s just because I’m selfish and needy when it comes to my romance fix.

As an aside, can I just say how much I love the complexity of the various relationships that Rossi presents among her characters? There’s all kinds of positive (and sometimes negative) relationships represented in these novels: love interests, strong friendships, familial affections, warrior kinships, and brotherly and sisterly bonds between characters that have no genetic ties. It was just one aspect that I truly appreciated.

Celeste: Perry and Aria definitely love each other deeply, and that is what really shone through. However, the romantic in me would have liked more kissy time. I got the romance part, but not the sparks off the page like I did in the first book.

♦ Title/Cover:

Celeste: The title is perfect, but totally spoilery as another reader said. The cover is gorgeous and hard not to keep looking at it. It’s not really Perry to me, but I still loved it.

Christina: The guy on the cover has never been my Perry, but I truly love all the covers regardless. The colors used for the covers and the placement of the Aether- how it wraps around the characters- easily catches your attention. As for the title, it definitely doesn’t leave the reader guessing as to whether they’d make it to the Still Blue or not. Or, at least not to me, it doesn’t.

♦ Twists, Turns, and Secrets:

Christina: There was lots of trickery afoot. If I were Perry, Aria, or really anyone in the book, I would have only ever felt like I could have trusted myself. That being said, I love how some of the alliances that came out of certain situations also allowed the characters to compound on their own personal growth. It definitely kept things interesting, to say the least.

Celeste: To me, a lot of surprises came from alliances that were formed. I never expected some of them.

♦ Ending:

Celeste: My head was spinning from that ending, but it was fantastic. I am still sad it’s really over. But I feel like I have total closure.

Christina: I’m not going to lie, Ms. Rossi has no soul!!! Okay, so she does, but she totally gutted me with a few outcomes that my feelings weren’t prepared to be trampled over. She doesn’t cut corners and no one is safe. NO ONE, I TELL YOU! That being said, this ending left me completely satisfied and I felt like all the bows were tidily wrapped and presented prettily. (BUT THERE COULD HAVE BEEN GLITTERY BOWS! I’m just sayin’.)

♦ Gripes/suggestions:

Christina: I don’t really have any. I am really satisfied with each book as a individuals and the series as a whole. Honestly, it is one of my favorite complete series to have ever been published. Kudos, Ms. Rossi!

Celeste: My biggest gripe is probably that I didn’t read all 3 books right after the other. The timing in between left gaps for me and it took up to about 40% of this book for me to get into it. Ms. Rossi did a fabulous job refreshing my memory of the characters, but the swoony moments were far and few in this book. I guess they had to be, but I just love my romance and wanted more. Yes, there were kisses, but I never flailed about the romance here.

♦ Final Thoughts/Rec it?

Celeste: Yes, 1000% yes. It gives you closure on this fantastic world Ms. Rossi created. I will say that the first book was my favorite, hands down, and this one came in as my second favorite. It didn’t make as much of an impression on me as the first one did, but maybe that was because so much time had lapsed from when I first read it that I lost some of that magic. If you haven’t started the series you will have the joy of reading the entire thing start to finish and I’m so envious!

Christina: Yes, I would absolutely rec this book and the entire series! It was a fun, unique plot and unlike any other series I’ve read to date. However, I would like to make a little sidenote and say that, to me, this series is heavily plot-driven. While there is a romance– one that I loved and enjoyed immensely– in this novel, it always felt like it came in second place to the plot, which was perfectly fine because it worked wonderfully for these particular novels.

It has been such a joy to read these books and to experience this often emotional and tumultuous journey right alongside all these extraordinary characters. I can’t wait to see what adventure Veronica Rossi takes us on next; I know I want to read it.

A very special thanks to HarperTEEN and Edelweiss for providing us early copies of this title in exchange for our honest reviews. 

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