Aria is such a courageous character, and I appreciate how loyal she is.
Perry is awesome. I was a little thrown at first by the abilities and all the talk about scents, but I quickly settled in and understood more about it. I loved his relationship with Talon as well. It shows so much to me about characters in how they act towards children, and he won my heart there quickly.
I loved the slow build and intensity of Aria and Perry's relationship. It made me sigh and my heart beat faster. Their banter and thoughts about each other at first really made me chuckle. But the bond that they formed by working together and learning from each other was awesome. how I think that this illustrates that not all YA love interests are actually drop dead gorgeous, but when you are attracted to someone, you find all of the perfect things about them and they are hot to you. And since I was in Aria's head, that is how I pictured Perry.
This is in 3rd person but it didn't take away anything from the story. I still connected with the characters, could feel the power of their emotions (which were beautifully written), and understood their motives. The dual narration took me a bit because at first I wanted to stay in Aria's head, but I really began to appreciate and savor the moments that I got Perry's perspective as well.
Roar and Cinder were amazing secondary characters. Roar made me smile and a lot of his lines I laughed out loud and shared with my husband. His teasing nature and openness really shone for me. I also liked what he brought out in Perry--this whole other side of his character. The way they made a team and had each other's backs was superb.
The world building was great. I got the information as I needed, and Veronica Rossi has sculpted a dangerous but beautiful world. The set up with the pods, and the aether just blew my mind. I didn't understand the Realms at first, but to really think about the genius she is to come up with the sci-fi elements and how she distinguished living through what equates to virtual reality for the future, and what is on the outside is amazing.
The twists really kept me on my toes, and I didn't see most of it coming. And how some of the themes wove together, and circled back really amazed me as well.
I read most of this in the car on the way to New Jersey and I begged Allan to find a store to stop at to buy the next one because although the ending wrapped up things pretty well, I just NEEDED more of Aria and Perry.
Bottom Line: Action packed story with a slow building but breath taking romance.