A Sequel that is Better than the First: Through the Ever Night

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Through The Ever Night
Under the Never Sky #2
Veronica Rossi

4stars


 It’s been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don’t take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe’s precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, can their love survive through the ever night?

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It’s not often that the second book is better than the first, but I’m glad to say that this is one of those times.

I enjoyed Under the Never Sky.  After initially being annoyed by Aria, I really liked the characters and the romance. I don’t think I mentioned it in my review, but I really enjoyed that the romance never overwhelmed the actual plot of the book and what these two characters had set out to do.

And Through the Ever Night continues this.  While there was a bit more focus on romance, both Perry and Aria continue to do what needs to be done even if it means they have to be away from each other.

And I LOVED Aria in this book.  Gone is the naive dweller who didn’t understand that sometimes you need to kill the people who are trying to eat you.  She is totally kickass in the sequel. She recognizes the hardships of living outside of a protected pod and she does what she needs to do to survive.

And while Perry did get a teensy bit whiny for a few chapters, I really stood behind him and what he was trying to do for his tribe.  It annoyed me a bit that his people couldn’t recognize what he was doing for them, but eventually they understood.  I think it was actually a pretty good depiction of a young man thrust into power.
And I really, really fell in love with Roar this book.  Such a great secondary character and I’m glad we got to see a lot more of him.

A minor issue I had with the first book is that the pacing was pretty slow.  Yeah it was a survival story with some adventure and romance, but it was pretty slow going until the last 100 pages.  Not so with this book.  I thought the pacing was right on point and I sped through with my reading because I had to find out how it ended.

We also learn a bit more about the catastrophic events that led to the Unity and how certain people came to live in pods while others remained outside.  It’s not particularly groundbreaking or in depth, but it did help satisfy my curiosity about the backstory of this world.

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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky #1

Veronica Rossi

3.5stars


 

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

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This was another reread for me, but it was one of the series I set out to finish in 2016. I remember really liking this book the first time, and while my opinion didn’t really change, there were a few things that made me lower the rating from a 4 to a 3.5

Pacing is pretty slow. It didn’t ruin the story, but not much really happens. Within the last 100 pages the story really picks up, which I guess is pretty normal. There isn’t a whole lot of backstory but in this case I don’t think it really ruins the book. Sometime around 300 years ago the “Unity” occurred, which I think involved some sort of catastrophic weather shift that forced people into domes. And after living outside for 300 years, the outsiders also developed genetic mutations, which allow some people’s senses to be extra strong. Although I personally would have enjoyed way more backstory, I think this was pretty sufficient. I do still hope we will learn more in the next two books.

I liked Perry a lot, but Aria annoyed me for 50% of the book. She was just so…I don’t really know. Not immature. Maybe naïve. She is really rude to Perry and continuously calls him a monster and savage even though he keeps saving her life. She is so upset that he killed three men who were going to EAT HER. Come on. Sometimes murder (especially in a wild land where there are no rules and people are going to EAT YOU) is totally and completely justified. I won’t go so far as to say that everything with happens with the Croven’s is totally her fault, but if she had just listened to Perry it probably would have turned out differently.

She gets better about halfway through the book though and by the end I actually really like her so yay for character development.

And I really enjoyed the romance. Once Aria stopped being an asshole I can see why Perry falls for her. Sure it’s bordering on instalove (it’s been less than 2 weeks) I am always a bit quicker to forgive the trope when the couple is involved in a fight for survival. Like, when it’s just the two of you working together, it makes some sense that you would seek comfort with the other one.

Other pluses include an actual mention of Aria’s period (and while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it barbaric, I totally agree that it is bullshit that it has to happen every month) and sex in YA! Yeah it happens off page but they very clearly have sex.  I’m totally for incorporating more sex into YA lit.  I don’t even care if it happens off page.  I just want more sex, especially when the characters do not hold their virginity up on a pedestal as the be all and end all of their worth as women.

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A Somewhat Disappointing Finale: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Unmade

The Lynburn Legacy #3

Sarah Rees Brennan

2014

3stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility – and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Set against a centuries-old legacy of blood, power, and vengeance, the truth does not seem like much of a weapon. But it is all Kami has.


This isn’t going to be a very long review. Mainly because it took me so long to read that I don’t really remember that much of what happened in the beginning. And that probably isn’t a good sign.

I am sad to say that this series went downhill from where it started. Not so much that I didn’t like the books, I just didn’t love them the way I did the first. Kami was still amazing (as the majoirty of the characters still were. I especially enjoyed the banter between Lillian Lynburn and Jon Glass), and I really did enjoy the ending, but the middle really forced my opinion. I was much more aware of the failures of Brennan’s writing, and the pace was a bit too slow and the relationship drama was over the top. JUST BE HONEST WHEN YOU TALK TO EACH OTHER. STOP BEING SO GOD DAMN MOPEY.

At the same time, a lot of what happened was a too convenient for me.  There were multiple times where the characters were pretty much about to die and then miraculously they were saved! Once would have been fine, but it happened 3 or 4 times.

Plus, I’m kind of really angry over a certain aspect of the plot. I get it, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

In the end I’m going to give it 3 stars, even thought it took me over a week to read and I didn’t particularly enjoy the majority of this book. I just can’t bring myself to give a series that started off so well anything less than 3 stars. I just wished it had remained at the same level of awesomeness that was Unspoken.

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Reviewing the Sequel: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Untold

The Lynburn Legacy #2

Sarah Rees Brennan

2013

3.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


It’s time to choose sides….

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.


Some spoilers for the first book.

So since the last book, Kami and Jared have broken the link between them, Jared hates her and Kami has no power. Rob is raising a Sorcerer army, and Lillian wants nothing to do with Kami, Ash, or Jared.

This was another reread for me.

This was my original review:

not as good as the first one, but I have hope for the third. I don’t really consider Kami Jared Ash to be a love triangle because it’s obvious at this point that she really doesn’t care for Ash the way she does Jared. There is no competition at this point. Also, where the fuck is Kami’s mom and why does she suck so much?

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but I think I will change my original 3 star rating to 3.5. I still really enjoyed the book, it’s just not much really happened. It was kind of a filler book, with a weak battle scene at the end. There was a lot of relationship drama and SO MUCH could have been avoided if Kami and Jared had just had a conversation where neither jumped to conclusions about what the other one wanted/meant.

Again, the characters make this book, and again Kami comes out as the true winner.

She cried quietly, hands pressed to her eyes, and as she cried she was almost relieved. Here she was, lonely and miserable, and she was still going to go into the gym and do what needed to be done. She had wondered who she was without Jared, stripped of all her supports and forced to stand on her own. She had worried that she would break if her heart broke, but she wasn’t broken. She had lost everything, but she was not lost.

NOW THIS IS HOW YOU HANDLED A BREAK UP.   Honestly, I don’t think I can think of another book, especially a paranormal romance book where a character so maturely handles a break up. Honestly, for all it’s faults, this one paragraph alone makes up for a lot of the bullshit drama. Kami NEVER lets the fact that she is upset over a break up stand in her way. I mean, that is seriously bad ass. At her age, I would have taken a day or two off from trying to fight evil. But NOPE. Not Kami. And that is why she is possibly one of my favorite heroines ever.

Oh, and lets not forget about the fact that throughout this book, Kami is literally powerless. Yes she was a source in the first book, and was at some points able to control the magic, but she has lost that link. All she has is her brains and her mouth and she kicks serious ass. I mean, not exactly in the fight scene that comes at the end, but just in general. She doesn’t need special magic powers to be awesome. And I love that.

The other characters were just as awesome, with the exception of Jared. He was funny again, but way too melodramatic. And I really hate Kami’s mom. She is completely useless as a human being. Jon Glass for the win. Rusty Montgomery was another winner in this book. I just love him so much. I really want Kami to forget the Lynburns and be with him, but you know…platonic friendships are cool…I guess.

Ooh, just something else, the book actually mentions bisexuals!! An actual mention, which is almost unheard of in, ANY form of entertainment.

All in all, I enjoy these books mostly for the characters. Untold read almost a bit too much like a filler book and the drama was a bit much, but I would still totally recommend it.  I am super excited to FINALLY read the last book and find out once and for all how this all ends!

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Just as Good the Second Time: Review of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Unspoken

The Lynburn Legacy #1

Sarah Rees Brennan

2012

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


 

I originally read Unspoken in March of 2015.  I read the second book in the series as well, but never made it to the final book.  That’s why I wanted to add it to my my Series to Finish challenge  for 2016.  It also works towards the Reread Challenge I am participating in, so that is always a plus!

Here is my original review from March of 2015:

I bought this book used a few months ago and it has been sitting on my shelf and I just never felt like reading it. So yesterday I finally decided to see what it was all about and I’m mad at myself for waiting so long. I loved this book.

I had some issues with the writing where sometimes I was completely lost as to what was going on and it sort of dragged for a minute there towards the end, and i’m not exactly sure how i feel about the love triangle/romance aspect…but still. I loved this book. Mainly because I loved the characters. I loved Kami, i loved Jared (most of the time) I loved Kami’s dad and most of all I loved Angela. Maybe it’s because my best friend’s name is Angela, or because she was basically me, but I loved her most of all. Honestly I could have read an entire book with just Kami and Angela, or Angela just shitting on people.

The mystery/supernatural aspect I feel could have been handled a bit better, but i was interested throughout and I have already ordered the second and third book off amazon. They won’t be here till Wednesday and I want to cry. I need them now!

After rereading, my original review still holds up pretty well.  The best part about this book are the characters.  Kami is so sassy and I LOVE sassy characters.  She has no problem speaking her mind and she rarely ever puts up with shit from other characters.  And she can take care of herself.

“You did an awesome job out there in the woods,” he said. “And with the article.”

Kami beamed.  “Thank you.”

“But I think you and Angela should leave this to the police from now on.”

“What an interesting thought,” Kami said.  “Thank you for sharing it with me.  Let me share a thought with you: Actually, I can walk myself to class. And I can also handle myself, so I’ll be doing what I want.”

Honestly, I could just copy every amazing thing she said and make that my review because she is freaking awesome.

And Angela and Rusty were also amazing.  Angela’s disdain for other humans spoke to me on a spiritual level and Rusty’s laziness is akin to my own.  They are by far my favorite secondary characters.

I even really enjoyed Jared and the connection that he and Kami shared, although they were bothy pretty back and forth on whether or not they enjoyed the link between them.

Again, the writing is what threw me a bit because I did have a hard time following along sometimes.  It was easier to understand with the second reading.  I no longer think the end dragged and I was actually very happy with this reread.  I’m glad I ended up liking it just as much as the first time.

I’m really glad that I decided to pick this for one of my first books of 2016.  It’s just such a fun book and I still can’t wait to continue, and hopefully finish, the series!

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2016 “Series I Need to Finish” Challenge

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I’ve probably mentioned that I am the worst when it comes to actually finishing series.  So, another challenge I want to set for myself is to finish  8 series.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy 

by Laini Taylor

The Lynburn Legacy

by Sarah Rees Brennan

Under the Never Sky Trilogy

by Veronica Rossi

Legend

by Marie Lu

Penryn and the End of Days

by Susan Ee

The Grisha

by Leigh Bardugo

The Divergent Trilogy

by Veronica Roth

The Rebel Belle Trilogy

by Rachel Hawkins

 My 2016 reading schedule is already pretty packed (and it’s still 2015!) so I’ll be happy to finish 4 series, giving me 3 months per series.  The first 4 are my top priority and the next 4 would just be extra.

Are there any series that you’ve been meaning to finish but haven’t?

 

I’ll keep everyone updated as 2016 begins!