I thought I loved Under the Never Sky. I thought I knew Aria and Perry, and the strength of their relationship. I thought I understood life outside Reverie, and how hard Dwellers had it. I’m here today to tell you: I thought wrong on all counts. Through the Ever Night is easily more suspenseful, more romantic and more action-packed than I could ever have imagined, and is a rare instance of a sequel outperforming its predecessor.Refusing to let her novel suffer from the fatal middle book syndrome, Rossi begins Through the Ever Night with a sense of urgency that only escalates as the pages are turned. This sense of urgency is fuelled by the Aether storms, growing in both ferocity and frequency, which makes everything that happens in Through the Ever Night feel like it’s on borrowed time. Add in the numerous, intersecting plot twists, all of which have you wondering how you mostly didn’t see them coming, and you literally can NOT put it down.But as wonderfully suspenseful and fast-paced as the plot is, Through the Ever Night is brilliant because of its characters and their phenomenal growth since Under the Never Sky, and their relationships to one another. Having grown in strength – both physically and emotionally – Aria is nearly unrecognizable. Gone is the scared, nervous girl from Under the Never Sky, and in her place is a fierce warrior who is in tune with her abilities. While she stills holds a certain level of fear for the outside world, it’s accompanied by a certain respect and determination to meet her fears head-on. Perry shares a similar determination, but it is to do what’s right for his tribe – even when that means letting Aria go. I loved knowing that, as important as Aria is to him, his sense of loyalty to his people overpowered his desire to be with her after being apart for so long. And that they both knew that their relationship could handle the time and distance apart.Love was like the waves in the sea, gentle and good sometimes, rough and terrible at others, but that it was endless and stronger than the sky and earth and everything in between.And as much as I thought Aria and Perry’s relationship would steal the show for me, it truly didn’t play an overbearingly important role in Through the Ever Night’s plot. While it was impossible not to feel how in tune with each other both Aria and Perry were, with their thoughts constantly returning to one another during moments of pain or loneliness, they were both focused on more important tasks: Aria hoping to convince Sable to lead her to the Still Blue, and Perry struggling to keep his tribe fed and protected.And then there’s Roar. Passionate, protective and well-humored, Roar was the rock Aria needed to see her through her tasks’ hardships. Their connection as Auds created a friendship that was warm and heartfelt and innocent – I never once doubted that their friendship would ever be anything but friendship. Their casual banter was easy and so necessary to balance all of the heartache and hardships they were forced to overcome.I really don’t feel like I’ve done Through the Ever Night justice. I can’t put in to words how strongly Rossi has made me feel for all of her characters, how much she has done to make sure I care for their future and how hard it is to walk away from them for a whole year!