New releases take a long time to reach our South African shores and I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat for this book for nearly a year now. Finally my bookshop managed to bring me in a copy from the UK and this is what they sold me. Please take a good look at the cover; it’s relevant to my review.
I started reading immediately and (I wince in disbelief that I could be saying this), I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an exciting, fast-paced read, filled with all the characters we love, and a few new ones too. But still I felt that it didn’t live up to the promise of Under a Never Sky.
So, what went wrong?
It felt like a middle book. Veronica Rossi hauled out all the tropes so familiar to us in YA fiction. The classic love triangle is there with all its usual angst and betrayals. Misunderstandings abound.
But as a plus, I really liked Sable, the Blood Lord to whom Liv is betrothed. I can see myself enjoying him a lot in the next book. Yes, I know, he did something horrendous, but I happen to like bad guys if they have a fair balance of likeability and nastiness to their characters, and Sable has that in abundance. Well done, Veronica Rossi. But I must say, your masterful creation of Sable really had me scratching my head about the rest of your story . . .
I was hoping to see Aria and Perry work together, but no, they were thrust apart almost from the start. In some ways, Through the Ever Night felt like a bit of a rehash of Under the Never Sky. Aria is again on the run and there is a lot of walking across the countryside, dodging the Aether. This time without the excitement of the cannibals. And the beautiful unfolding of their love.
Then came the shock. Perry – Perry, rendered to Aria! - was put to the test in this book in a way that made my blood boil. For a while there I thought him shallow and fickle and stopped liking him. And that’s insane because he’s one of my favourite book boyfriends. (I know, I really should get a life) But it just seemed so out of character – Scires notwithstanding. I couldn’t get my head around it.
Thankfully, Perry, didn’t waver, redeeming himself at the last minute. Still, I couldn’t see the point of it. It just looked like YA angst to me. I refer you back to the cover.
So, it was with real sadness that I went to Goodreads to rate this book with a measly 2.5 – 3 stars. Imagine my shock when I saw that all my friends and the people I follow (whose opinions matter to me) had rated it 4-5 stars. (98% of people thought it was amazing)
Did we read the same book?
Then I saw the difference. This is the book they read. Have a good look at the cover and spot his difference.
A World Torn Apart. A Love Under Siege.
Two little sentences that changed everything.
Suddenly it all made sense. Suddenly I see how skilfully Veronica Rossi handled this assault on Aria’s and Perry’s love and the breakdown of The Tides under Perry's rule as Blood Lord. Even Reverie wasn't spared. And I stand in awe. The woman is a miracle worker. Yes, I will be re-reading Through The Ever Night and I know I will love it as much as I did Through A Never Sky.
So, stars? Two rotten little stars to the publishers who don’t understand the power of covers in marketing books.
And four glorious, Aether funnels to Veronica Rossi for a sensitive, gripping story that truly rips open the souls of her characters. (No doubt I will change that to five stars after my re-read)
So, here I am, yet again perched on the edge of the chair, waiting for Veronica Rossi’s next book.
For another comment on the power of covers, see my Throne of Glass review.