Sunday, November 18, 2012

Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.

This week's featured short story is:

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Title:  Roar and Liv
Author:  Veronica Rossi
Series:  Under the Never Sky, book #0.5 (prequel)
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Publication Date:  October 30, 2012
Source:  purchased ebook
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

If I wasn't already impatient for the release of Through the Ever Night so that I could return to Perry and Aria and the dangers of the Aether storms, I am now dying for the next book.  I might even download the audio, just as a refresher before the next book's release in January and so that I can wallow in that world a little longer now that I've gotten a taste of it again.

I loved Roar's character in Under the Never Sky.  He wasn't the complete opposite of Perry, but his entire demeanor was almost jovial compared to that of Perry, who seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.  And all this, despite the fact that Roar has lost the one thing that matters most to him in this world:  Liv.

I'll admit, I wasn't really sure what the relationship between Roar and Liv was just from reading Under the Never Sky.  It was obvious that Roar loved her and cared for her more than he does anyone else, except maybe Perry.  But we never got to see how Liv was with Roar...if she felt the same way.  I got the sense that she ran away from her impending marriage and from Roar because maybe at 19, she wasn't sure what she wanted, and she was getting away while the getting was good.  After reading this short story, I feel like I have a better handle on Liv.  And on Roar.  They both love each other and want to protect each other and will go to any lengths in order to do so.  I fear there will be heartbreak involved. 

Also, it was kind of awesome to see how Perry acted and interacted with others before his encounter with Aria.  And seeing him with heart hurts.  These are brothers...they are family, and the animosity between them is almost palpable.   Learning even more about Perry through Roar's eyes just makes me want to read the next book that much quicker so I can see him happy with Aria again.  I know they have a lot of roadblocks ahead, but I'm optimistic.

This short story provided some great insight into the Tides and the bond between Roar, Liv, and Perry.  I'm so anxious to return to this world.  And that short two-chapter excerpt from Through the Ever Night did not help matters.  If you wanted more of Roar in Under the Never Sky, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with this novella.

Favorite quotes:

"We were supposed to be brothers one day, Per.  Real"  I don't know what I'm saying.  The Luster is speaking for me.  But I can't take the words back."

"This girl.  She's all I see."

"My ambitions aren't grand.  All I have ever wanted is to be there for the two people who mean everything to me.  Maybe that's a small goal to others, but it's always felt like enough."

"I'll give her time time, but I won't give up.  Ever."

Rating:  Photobucket


  1. What a great feature, so many novellas are out there and its nice to see reviews on them. i need to read this novella. I just started getting into the novellas, for the longest time I was unaware how much they brought to the already existing story. awesome review!

  2. Haha, I love the meme header :p And what a lovely feature :) Novellas are a great way to get more insight in the world. I have yet to read Under the never sky, but I can't wait. Fantastic review!


  3. Funnily enough, I don't even remember Roar and Liv from the first book. Hah! But I had more mixed feelings about the book than you, though. Thanks for this review, however--I'd like to pick it up to see what the author does with it. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  4. I haven't read the first book, but it sounds like a great introduction to the series. I love reading short stories and novellas so I'll probably check this one out.

  5. Oh man. As someone who has read Through the Ever Night, let me just say that I'm DYING to go back and read the novella. *fans eyes*


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