INTO THE STILL BLUE (UNDER THE NEVER SKY #3) – VERONICA ROSSI

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.
Within the confines of their makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his abilities.
In a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

Spoiler Warning!  This review may contain spoilers that might give you just a tad more information than you should know in approaching this book.  If you are okay with that then go right ahead and read it.  I do my best to avoid giving away too much but sometimes I just cannot help myself...

This was an absolutely amazing conclusion for the trilogy, wrapping up the plot nicely with a considerably painful fusion of anguish and jubilance.  It is sad that this series has come to an end but I’ve got to say, it was done flawlessly.

Reunited with Perry and the those she saved from Reverie, Aria faces the almost impossible challenge of creating peace between Dwellers and Outsiders and finding the Still Blue.  With the Aether storms forever expanding and growing more intense and destructive, the fight for the Still Blue is more vital than it had ever been before, reaching the Still Blue now means the different between life and death.  With limited resources, the race is on against Hess and Sable to get the Tides and their newest Dweller members to safety.  But how can they ever succeed, now or in the future, if they can’t forget their centuries old division and unite?  

I, without a doubt, loved the plot of this novel.  Straight into the action and drama, Into the Still Blue had me practically biting my nails the entire time, twist after twist after revelation after twist.  This book was so full of unexpected betrayal that it actually got me worried that they would never get happy ending.  It kept me on the edge of my seat, gasping in panic with my heart racing with both concern and sorrow.  And you can’t really talk about the plot without bringing up how real everything felt.  The emotion that just filled the pages, the pain and grief, was so palpable that it had me swearing and squealing, bawling and laughing.  I felt all the chaos as if I was standing among it all, like an extra just tagging along.  However, my favourite part of this book and indeed the entire series, is that, even in the midst of all this conflict and suffering, there are little pieces of humour scattered throughout that really brought a smile to my face, not to mention the romantic moments which just melt the heart.  I really think this is a case of the good type of cheesy romance, just because it feel so real.
He took her face in his hands and kissed her. Aria made a small sound of surprise, and then he felt her relax. Her arms came around his neck, and what had started as a brush of their lips became deeper. He gathered her close and forgot everything, everyone except her, until he heard Reef’s gruff voice behind him.
“Sometimes I forget he’s nineteen.”
“Oh, yes. Easy to do.” The gentle reply could only be from Marron.
“Not now.”
“No . . . certainly not now.”
 Probably the biggest thing that makes this series as amazing as it is would have to be the characters; the way every single character, main or otherwise, is so unbelievably genuine and relatable.

Our leading lady, Aria, has become one of the outsiders and, while not fully accepted by the Tides, has developed nicely into a strong, young leader.  I mean, look at her in the first book and then her now.  Kind, fair, selfless and resilient, Aria is the only person who can unify the people.  But Aria will only succeed in her task with the support of her charming man, Perry, leader of the Tides, hunter and all round family man.  Perry, being the strong and silent type, refuses to allow himself to feel, let alone show, the pain that he carries.  He needs to remain a sturdy, reliable figure for his people.  While not always being sure if he is cut out for his role as leader, Perry is the perfect man for the job, just and gallant, the fate of the tribe is always at the front of his mind.  And Aria and Perry's relationship is quite possibly the cutest things to ever grace the young adult world.  And Perry is downright hilarious!  Every sassy comment or joke had me snorting with laughter, which became a bit bizarre and disconcerting when I had tears dripping down my face.  There were just moments, even in the darkest of scenes, were I got hit with gems like this and couldn’t hold in the laughs.
I’m worried my fist might find Soren’s face.
I think what I love most about Aria and Perry is that they work their shit out.  They don’t blame other people, they recognise when they have made a mistake and either stand by their decision or recognise it for what it was.  Their level of emotional understanding means that they recognised the times when they are getting mad at each other out of stress and they deal with it – it makes me feel like such a proud mama when they get that stuff right and every time they talked out their feelings, my heart thawed a little.  Their relationship has developed so much and I am so proud of them for coming together and working through their problems like adults.

“You’re quiet,” she said.
Talon giggled. “Because he likes you. Don’t you, Uncle Squawk?”
“I do.” Perry peered down and found Aria looking at him. She smiled, but concern shadowed her eyes. “Did you know that?”
--- --- ---
He loved her— down to his soul—and he was going to tell her sometime. But not with Talon’s knee digging into his kidney.
Now on to the supporting characters, kicking it off with the one who deserves his own book (or series) Roar.  
Roar really only wants one thing in this book, revenge.  Filled with grief, Roar is consumed and becomes a shadow of who he was – hardly talking, never smiling and refusing to let anything make him happy, simply because he believes he can’t, or at least shouldn’t, be happy without Liv.  He is such a sweet guy and it makes me really sad to see him like this, my heart couldn't take much more of my baby being tormented by every happy memory and living through every day with no purpose.  I just wanted Roar to be able to face Perry, I wanted them to be besties again, getting drunk and causing havoc.  Their relationship made my heart ache and was really hard to deal with.

Another integral character, Soren, had me conflicted.  I seriously didn’t know how to feel about Soren, he is such a complex character that it really took a lot of time before I could even attempt to pin his character down – which I failed to do for any period longer than a chapter before it changed yet again.  I mean, he acts like a dipshit and kind of ruins everything before he realises that he was just terrified and acting out as a result of that reasonable fear.  And, in the end, you have to feel at least a bit sorry for the kid; he killed his best friends because he had no control over his mind, got left to die by his father, is thrown into the outside (where he was almost certainly going to die), and is expected to remain cool and confident in situations that he never believed possible.  That is not even going into the fact that he now sits in opposition to his father, the man he’d always striven to please.  While, at times, all I wanted to do was punch Soren in the face, I also felt like every group needs a sarcastic pessimist and he fit the role nicely.

As for the ending... I cried solidly from the last hundred pages on at least.  

This is the perfect book to turn to if you need a good teary.  In fact, this is the perfect book for any situation and, though I fear a piece of my heart has been chipped away and crushed by this book, it is definitely one I would recommend!

Rating: 4/5


Purchase this extraordinary book, or even the entire trilogy, from Amazon here, or the Book Depository here - you won't regret it.

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