I had put this trilogy on my list of books to read again about a year ago and never got to it. Until I was looking around on Overdrive and realized that I could get all three through my library! AND all three were available right at that moment. Whoo hoo!
Now, I must warn you that there are spoilers here. We're talking about a trilogy, so it's kind of difficult not to spoil things.
Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and Into the Still Blue
Harper Collins, 2012, 2013, 2014
Genre: Sci Fi, Dystopian, YA
Rating: 5 out of 5
In Under the Never Sky, Veronica Rossi introduces us to the world Aria lives in: sheltered in a pod from the outside world that is slowly being destroyed by strong cosmic level storms. Aria has spent most of her life attached to a smart eye, allowing her to go and do anything--virtually. But not long after we meet Aria, who is smart and level headed, finds herself thrust into the outside world, no longer connected to her virtual life. Living the real is hard. And then she meets Perry, an outsider who terrifies her and she's certain would kill her, except that he needs her.
Perry has left his tribe, running away from his older brother's wrath and the shame of being the reason his young nephew was taken by some of Aria's people. When he runs into Aria, he realizes that she can help him get Talon back and he will make sure she does.
Both Perry and Aria are trapped between worlds. They don't truly have a place to belong. Aria seems very needy and keeps getting herself into scrapes that Perry saves her from. However, this is understandable as she learns what life is like out in the real world. Women in the real aren't weak. In fact, they're expected to defend themselves and their tribes--although men still are the leaders of the tribe and the women are sold off in marriages.
Aria's abilities and understanding of her world grow as she becomes more accustomed to her surroundings. In Through the Ever Night she has become strong and capable in her new world, no longer needing to be saved every minute or two. She meets other strong women as well. She doesn't always get along with them, but they are not weak or weak-minded.
However, some female characters are relying on their sexuality as a tool. I haven't decided if this is something she chooses or if it's something she just uses because she knows that she lives in a man's world and must use it to get what she wants. Because as we see more of this world, it's very much a man's world. In Perry's tribe, it's always Blood Lords who rule. In Aria's old world, men are in charge of the pods and hold their power over her. Although Aria is doing what she feels is the right thing to do, she acts for Perry, and not so much for herself. Maybe she isn't as strong as I thought before. Maybe she's not as independent as I wanted her to be because I love her character.
Everything builds in Into the Still Blue as Aria and Perry are working together with Aria's people, and fighting against one of the strongest Scires there is. Sable knows what he wants and he will do anything (I do mean anything) to get what he wants. He cares not for who it will hurt. He will make any promise (and then go back on it if it suits him better). Sable is dangerous and they all know it, but it will take a coming together of two different worlds in order to save all the people Aria and Perry love.
At this point there are so many things happening that it's hard to put down. It's one event after another and there isn't much time to breathe. I do see some issues still with Aria not being as independent as I want her to be, but she's coming into her own. I think that you have to look at Aria's character in light of all three books and not in isolation. There is some serious character development. However, I still was getting annoyed because so much of what she does is for Perry. Granted, it's for her too, but when did what Perry wanted become what she wanted? And what does Aria want--for herself? I have faith that she'll find that in the future. The situation they are in kind of makes it difficult for someone to think about who they are beyond what will keep them alive.
Even on my second read of this trilogy, I loved it. I read all three within about a week, during the 2nd to last week of school before Winter Break. So there was a lot to do, but I find time to read this a lot more than I should because it was difficult not to do so. There was enough of a time lapse between readings that some parts were vague and other parts I didn't even remember until I got there. So at times it was like I hadn't read it before. This is a great trilogy.