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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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Through the Ever Night

Through the Ever Night - (No spoilers that you wouldn’t find in the synopsis.)THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT was a book I came into with very high expectations. Generally when that happens, I throw the book down eventually and say, “Well, that was a bad idea.” Instead, when I finished this book, my first thoughts were more like raw emotions – panic, need, hope, happiness, and despair once more when I realized it will be another year until I can read book three and find out what happens.A SEQUEL THAT OUTPACES THE FIRST ENTRYPicking up several months after the end of UNDER THE NEVER SKY, we find our hero and heroine back in the thick of their lives before their meeting – with some major differences. Aria has been tasked by Hess (the commander of Reverie, the pod where she was raised) to find the Still Blue before Reverie is destroyed. Meanwhile, Perry has become the Blood Lord of the Tides after killing his brother Vale. The Aether storms are growing worse and worse, destroying the homes of more tribes scattered across the wasteland.There are multiple things that make THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT a better book than UNDER THE NEVER SKY, which in itself is a feat. How many times is a sequel better than the original? Well, Aliens was better than Alien but that’s a movie and an unpopular opinion so… SMOOCHING UNDER THE RUINED MAGNETOSPHEREOkay, time for another unpopular opinion… I was totally feeling Aria/Roar in this. And I kind of wanted Aria to ditch Perry for Roar. Roar is fun and compassionate and knows what Aria is, and he gets her, while Perry spent a lot of this book flip flopping on his feelings about the Tides and about his role as leader and about what he should be doing in order for his people to survive. I know, I know, this is not really a cannon ship, but I ship it. I ship it hard.And did I mention that the Aether is finally explained? I mean, it scientifically didn’t make much sense to me, and instead I just kept picturing the planet Solaris (from the George Clooney version of Solaris, mind you) with the swirling blue and the offshoots and fingers of blue and purple plasma. After not having the Aether explained at all in book one, with the reader just told that it existed and that it was bad because it could destroy things, it felt at the same time that the explanations were just too contrived, just too convenient, and thrown in too much to make up for a lack of it in book one.THRILLS GALORE ON THIS ROLLERCOASTERYes, this one is a rollercoaster of emotion, especially if you were me and kept trying to secretly root for Roar and Aria to hook up. Especially as we negotiate the new situations we find, such as the evilness of Hess, old friends (“friends”) showing back up with their own plans, new friends (“friends”) popping out of nowhere, and the changes to this world becoming more and more clear with each chapter, the stakes are raised and become life or death. And who can resist life or death?This book doesn’t get five stars from me for a few reasons. As I said, I wasn’t feeling Perry and Aria’s relationship and I don’t quite know why. Also, the explanations felt a little cheap, a little too convenient at times. And I wish that some of the reveals had been less obvious. I saw a few of the twists coming from a mile away, and where is the fun in that? But otherwise, this is a solid 4.5 star read. Which means that you really have no excuse but to go buy a copy (or a copy of UNDER THE NEVER SKY) and get started on this fabulous series.VERDICT: Outpacing UNDER THE NEVER SKY in terms of action, adventure, and romance, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT is a satisfying second entry that does what the first book sometimes cannot – surprise and amaze.