This sequel to 'Under the Never Sky' was brilliant. Rossi has found a great balance between action and character development, and the characters feel a lot more well rounded this time.
We rejoin Perry and Aria as they reunite having spent the winter apart. Perry is now Blood Lord of the Tides and has to struggle to learn to be the best Blood Lord he can whilst making sure his tribe survives. Aria knows she has to find the Still Blue in order to save Perry's nephew Talon and to find a safe place for everyone now that the Aether is becoming worse and increasingly devastating and violent. They have to struggle to be together whilst trying to accomplish their various tasks, which is very difficult.
This book was a lot better than 'Under the Never Sky'. In that first book, a lot of time was spent establishing the world and exploring it, and both Perry and Aria began as quite annoying characters. But in this book, we do not need as much establishment and Perry and Aria have already grown enough already that I felt more compelled by them and wanted to root for them more. They've become much more well rounded, and they continue to develop and grow and learn in this book, as do other major characters such as Marron and Cinder. And we see the nice development and growth of a character from the first book who I didn't really expect to see again: Soren - it'll be nice to see how he develops and grows in the third book now he's surrounded by "savages" and now he's on the outside, how he'll cope with his DLS .
It was nice to see Perry as Blood Lord and how he had to grow into the role. He spent a lot of the previous book complaining about Vale and how he should do things differently. But now he is Blood Lord he finds the task a lot more difficult than he imagined and it was nice that he had to learn how to be a better leader and to motivate his tribe.
It was also nice to see more of Roar this time around as well, as he is definately one of my favourite characters. And it was nice that he and Aria had a nice, close relationship without there being the worry that they might fall for each other. And we finally get to see the much talked and worried about Liv as well which was nice. I would definately recommend reading Rossi's novella entitled 'Roar and Liv' before this book, as it helps to flesh out the characters even more in your mind.
Rossi also found a good balance between action and character development in this book, and a lot of the action and plot also was a lot more relevant to the overall plot or was important, unlike in the last book where there seemed to be longer periods of action or character development, and some of the conflict seemed a little unnecessary.
Overall, this is a really good book. Fans of the first book will definately be pleased by it, and even if you were a little unsure about the first book, then I would recommend picking this one up as it is much better than that first one in my opinion. It certainly seemed to fly by!