February 24, 2014

Review: Roar and Liv + Brooke by Veronica Rossi

Title: Roar and Liv (Under the Never Sky 0.5)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 68
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: Aaaaand my heart is broken.
Before Perry and Aria, there was Roar and Liv.

After a childhood spent wandering the borderlands, Roar finally feels like he has a home with the Tides. His best friend Perry is like a brother to him, and Perry's sister, Liv, is the love of his life. But Perry and Liv's unpredictable older brother, Vale, is the Blood Lord of the Tides, and he has never looked kindly on Roar and Liv's union. Normally, Roar couldn't care less about Vale's opinion. But with food running low and conditions worsening every day, Vale's leadership is more vital—and more brutal—than ever. Desperate to protect his tribe, Vale makes a decision that will shatter the life Roar knew and change the fate of the Tides forever.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

This novella takes place just before Under the Never Sky picks up. It tells the story of how Vale married Liv off to Sable and how Roar and Perry attempted and failed to take Liv to the Horns. It's also a little look into Roar and Liv as a couple. These three elements come together to make an absolutely heartbreaking short story.

The story starts out with Vale's decision to sell Liv off to Vale. The sadness is absolutely miserable and you really internalize this and feel for the characters with every word. And then there's the back and forth, when Roar and Liv consider running, while duty-bound Perry has to keep his brother's word. Finally there's the journey to Vale's, which totally destroyed me in a way I never thought I could be destroyed.

But the best part here really is all of the character development. Sure, the situations are sad, but we learn so much more about Liv, who doesn't appear on the page as much as she's spoken about by others. We learn about her relationship with Roar, how she affects him, and why he is who he is, really - because Liv is so much apart of that. This novella also gives a glimpse into Perry's character pre-Under the Never Sky. His character development throughout the series is phenomenal and I almost forgot how rigid, submissive, and honorable he is at the start compared to the end.

All in all, Roar and Liv is a brilliant look into Roar, Liv, and Perry's past that enhances and clarifies their journey throughout the series. I love it very much.

Title: Brooke (Under the Never Sky #2.5)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Release Date: November 26th, 2013 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 82
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: Really reminded me what happened 
in the last two books - the perfect 
The only fight she can't win is the one for Perry's heart. Following the stunning climax in Through the Ever Night, the Tides have been forced to seek shelter from the Aether storms in a dismal, secluded cave. But Brooke's memories of the cave go back much further, to when she and Perry used to come here together. That was before Perry fell in love with Aria and before Vale's dealings with the Dwellers altered the course of the Tides forever.

Now, with her sister back from a haunting year in captivity and Aria lying unconscious in the sick bay, Brooke struggles to put the pieces of her life back together. Without Perry, who is she? And what is her role in this frightening new world? As these questions swirl about her, an old threat to the Tides resurfaces, and Brooke is forced to put the lives of her people before her own. But in taking this step outside of herself, Brooke may finally discover what she truly wants.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
Brooke is an eNovella about, well, Brooke. If you've read read books 1 and 2 of the Under the Never Sky series, you know Brooke is not the most pleasant person in the world. In fact, you kind of don't care about her and you really want her to go away. By the end of this novella, I'm not totally interested in having anything to do with her, but it's a bit better.

Brooke starts this novella angrier than ever. She's helping take care of the people Aria rescued, as well Aria, who was injured at the end of the last book. As time goes on, this kind of tempers her. But so do all the group of guys who Perry met while exiled and remain loyal to them. She goes out on patrol with them and learns that there are other people out there she can have what to do with and that Perry isn't the be-all, end-all of men in the world. They, and the return of Brooke's sister, who Vale sold just as he sold his own son, really defuse Brooke's anger and make her a more likable and interesting character within the series.

The best bit of this eNovella is the memory jog. It'd been a while since I read Through the Ever Night and I didn't have time for a binge read, so I read Brooke and it totally brought me up to speed. But I also did enjoy getting to know Brooke better and I appreciated the assurance that she wouldn't cause any more trouble for Perry and Aria because, man, the two of them sure have a lot of obstacles as it is, don't they?

Did you read these eNovellas, or did you skip them? Maybe now you want to go back and read both of them? Or just one? Let me know in the comments below!