Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Title: Into the Still Blue
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: young adult, post-apocalyptic, supernatural
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Pages: 400
Published: expected January 28 2014
Source: publishers via edelweiss
Rating: 3.75/5

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 (

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.

Veronica Rossi is a talented writer, a natural storyteller, and her books are original, creative, and peopled with some well-defined and charismatic characters. I have no idea why this series had left me feeling so very "meh" before now, but even as the former black sheep, I can tell you that the last volume in this compelling and original series does not and will not disappoint. The characters that we know and love are together again -- battered, bruised, but full of determination.  The world that has intrigued countless readers over multiple novels and hundreds of pages remains as deadly and unknowable as ever. The world and people are familiar, but this story is all new.

More than half the reason I continued with this series despite my initial lukewarm reception is because of the strength in the cast of characters. (It's certainly not for the Aether, because even after three books and more incoming info, I still don't quite get it.) Perry and Aria are the forefront of the novel and they are the rare YA couple that works together (literally and figuratively). They've been through so much, and they've each grown and matured so much that their relationship reflects that increased growth. That's not to say there isn't some love drama in the pages of Into the Still Blue, but it's not a focus nor a distraction from the real plot and action unfolding. It's important that I like them both as people (rather than just as a couple) and Rossi has crafted to very realistic and believable main characters here.

But despite how much I like the main pair and alternating narrators, it is Roar who stole the show and my heart -- again. I have a rule about Roar: I don't care how much Roar there is, there's never enough Roar. His story and Cinder's have always connected with me the most, and there are all new sides to Roar during Into the Still Blue. A lot of things are tested throughout the novel -- trust, safety -- but the fraying of Perry and Roar's friendship felt the most dramatic to me. Rossi manages to pack the feels in even when life isn't directly on the line. She's tricksy like that.

As for Into the Still Blue's worth as a conclusionary novel... I have to say that the "earth-shattering conclusion" and "absolute limit" promised in the blurb are better used to describe Through the Ever Night. Do not get me wrong, Into the Still Blue is a good book - it's got action, emotion, heart, twists - but Through the Ever Night BROUGHT the feels. Rossi took no prisoners and showed no quarter to her characters. Even I, an outside observer for the fandom of this series, felt emotionally drained after reading that book. It was cutthroat and unexpected and thoroughly awesome. Into the Still Blue tries to match that emotional level, but there was hardly ever a chance that Rossi could top the feels brought by the ending of her bridge book.

For all that I proclaim not to be actively engaged in the fandom, this is a pretty great series and I do end up recommending it rather a lot. It  remained consistently good throughout three novels (a rare feat), the characters have all evolved or grown (some even died!), the storylines are fresh, the world is new (if confusing) and the romance isn't a bad model for younger readers. You really cannot go wrong with Rossi. She writes engaging and compelling novels and if the worst I have to say is her worldbuilding needs work...well, I guess I've officially become a fan.

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