Thursday, July 11, 2013
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
If you like: tribes * visionary leadership * unexpected alliances
Through the Ever Night is the sequel to Under the Never Sky. (See my review here.) The Aether has become more virulent than ever, and persists long past the usual stormy winter season. Those living in its violent shadow are becoming increasingly desperate to find sanctuary free from the storms. Those living in the Pods are also suffering, with the damage from the Aether incrementally bringing their way of life to an end. The hostility between the factions has only increased, as they fight for resources and search for the fabled Still Blue.
Secrets and hidden agendas play important roles in Through the Ever Night. Perry and Aria attempt to keep their relationship secret from his tribe, believing it will aid his standing and protect her. Keeping this a secret is painful for them, and does not stop those who despise the bond between a Dweller and an Outsider. Once Aria meets the tribe, many harbor aggression toward her; this resentment festers into a wound that may never heal between the people of the Tides. Caught between the two worlds, Aria must keep secrets from both sides. The strain of hiding her motives in finding the Still Blue does not help her to integrate with the Outsiders, even though her objectives align with theirs. Unlike Perry, other group's leaders keep secrets from their people, hoping that saving a portion of their people will be worth sacrificing the rest.
Once again, Rossi highlights the absurdity of clinging to the comforts of dogmatic rhetoric and sectarian factions. By moving past their prejudices, Aria and Perry have been able to accomplish much more than either could have alone. Without their shared knowledge each would remain alone and unaware of the fate of those they love. Aria, Perry, and a handful of like-minded individuals are able to see that everyone's survival is dependent on working together to fight the Aether, instead of fighting each other. In contrast, the many tribes of Outsiders continue to raid each other's resources and fight. Their varied regional knowledge could hold the secrets of survival, but they will never know. Likewise, the government of the Pods intends to sacrifice many inhabitants, rather than prepare them for the reality of their world. The willing ignorance of the people locked in their virtual lives only adds to this. The utility of so many minds working together has endless potential, but entertainment and denial are paramount in people's minds. Each group hopes to bring their own people to the Still Blue and save themselves, rather than seeking out a solution to save their entire race. This denial of the realities of the world, and unwillingness to put differences aside to solve the problems seems to be a human trait that will never disappear.
If you would share utopia if you found it, read Through the Ever Night.
Rossi, Veronica. Through the Ever Night. HarperCollins, 2013. Kindle Edition.