Book Review – ‘Into the Still Blue’ (#3 Under the Never Sky) by Veronica Rossi

The hair-raising conclusion to a lightning filled dystopian world that fizzled flat.

Into The Still Blue Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Dystopia

No. of pages: 389

From Goodreads:

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 a cave they’re using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, 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 unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival—he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most. 

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The battle is real – with this conclusion to the trilogy ‘Into the Still Blue’ brings about all the physical fight against the elements and each other in hope to find an Oasis from a decaying environment and factions struggling for power. On the surface the plot is outstanding, but the delivery felt a somewhat lukewarm.

I felt Aria finally got her sea-legs. In the previous novels I felt she bounced around between place, people and conviction. As much as I did not connect with her, I appreciated her story.

Perry just seemed to struggle. From the start – right to the end… and I think that is just who he is. So that left me kind of meh!

I think I was more excited about the dog Flea in this novel. The mention of him always brought a smile to my face.

Into The Still Blue Book Review Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleIt felt masterfully crafted, though I must admit I never really connected with Aria or Perry throughout this trilogy; and something about the writing style had me wandering away from the book quite a lot. It’s not that it was boring, I just never felt compelled to read on.

I feel like I want to say that the supporting characters had more depth than our two protagonists. Maybe because Aria and Perry were so single minded. So serious. That their narrative came across slightly monotone. There was no fluctuation in ambience and motive.

There wasn’t anything that struck me as particularly wrong with this concluding novel, just there was something missing. I think the dual perspective, again, gave too many answers and details for the story, eliminating a great opportunity to up the tension.

On the subject of loss and Death – I was a little on the fence with how this was dealt with. There were varying degrees of impact from the loss of certain characters. I felt more importance and compassion should have been considered. It would have also made for a much more poignant conclusion. I also did not like how murder and killing were handled either. Again, the facts were mostly glossed over to move the story along. When it would have been a great opportunity to up the emotion and paint a picture of devastation, brutality, and inevitability of the fight for survival against nature, and each other.

The plot unravelled very organically and I never felt the hand of the author guiding along the story. Though, the writing style did not paint a detailed enough picture of the world for me. I still have trouble picturing the main characters and the landscape they live in. Some aspects are crystal clear, but others felt washed out.

I liked the tone the novel ended on and how the storyline wrapped up. But I was still hoping for more mythology from this dystopian world to explore. Get some more technology in this sci-fi. Oh well…

It’s not a series I would recommend to friends – it’s okay. But there are much more entertaining collections out there.

Overall reaction: *rocking hand motion*

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Into The Still Blue Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I love the rain, but hate thunder.

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Caring four our cute puppies when the heavens open up.

I Love the Rain but Hate the Thunder Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle.jpgOur local news has been commenting about dogs going missing from a week full of thunder storms not too long ago, warning pet owners to ensure their yards are secure. The thought of my little furbabies out in the cold and wet, terrified, just about brings a tear to  my eye – they are so cute and lovable, I’d do just about anything to ease their distress or pain. Whenever I can’t find my puppy, it’s like a dramatic animated Walt Disney movie.

Thankfully, just rain alone has no effect on my pooches, but add in thunder and lightning… well it’s an entirely different story.

If I’m reading or writing and there’s a soundtrack of grumbling heavens, then I’m often accompanied by a slobbering, shivering dog on my lap. He looks up at me with big brown eyes praying for a hug. Growling or barking at the sky when it does the same. I think it’s kind of cute, but I always end up with a wet lap and feeling like I sat on top of the dryer. However if I’m asleep in bed, he chooses to sit on my head. It gives a whole new meaning to bedhead and morning breath.

Though, I do love the smell rain brings, it always encourages me to write (& read), and I can’t tell you why… maybe it’s the comforting thought of rugging up inside with hot chocolate, cuddles from Mum, and orchid scented fabric softener on my linens that makes me feel safe, happy and warm. Pity that doesn’t extend to my dogs.

I wonder what they do in the same situation when I’m not home – the thought of them scared, under my desk, shivering all alone is awful. Lucky they have each other for comfort. I’ve witnessed them cuddling up together a few times when I’ve stepped through the door on a particularly miserable day.

My youngest furbaby, Baillie, loves to explore – he doesn’t need the excuse of a storm to escape. Thankfully thunder and lightning don’t seem to faze him; but I’ve spent many an afternoon calling out his name along the street where I live because there is just too many interesting things to smell and pee on. We are now on garden fence version 4.0!

Our new home on Sunshine Coast means more thunderstorms & less sound proofing. Plus, being in a remote area on a mountain, the thunder tends to reverberate through the ground and sky. So I get to have more shaky cuddles more often (along with the accompanying drool). It’s just a thing the Den Mother has to deal with.

So while summer showers are my favorite time to write – not so much for my four legged children. But it’s nice to have a writing companion, and hey, maybe he’s interested in my stories and can become my next editor. 😉

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Is it over yet?

Muttly Mania by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.