This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.
It wasn’t until I was about halfway through Into the Still Blue that I realized how much I disliked the relationship between Aria and Roar. Yes, I know that platonic relationships can exist between gorgeous (and straight) men and women. But it seems like Rossi couldn’t decide whether she wanted to create a legitimate love triangle or whether she wanted to keep Aria and Roar “just friends.” Instead, the pair have a relationship that attempts to straddle the two extremes. I’ll go ahead and call this a “two-thirds love triangle,” because aside from the fact that Aria and Perry have sex, what else distinguishes that relationship from Aria and Roar? There was one scene where Aria looks at Perry and Roar side by side, and she thinks about how “magnificent” they both are. That’s an odd way to think about your platonic best friend, and it highlighted the fact that Aria can barely distinguish the two. If a reader who is unfamiliar with this series was to pick up this book and read a few random passages, I think he/she would have a difficult time picking out who was Aria’s love interest and who was her friend. (Not counting the smoochy scenes, of course.)
Aside from my problems with Roar’s relationship with Aria, I was disappointed with how his grief over Liv sidelined him for most of the story. He was my favorite character in the first two books, but I did not like how his grief was portrayed via mega-doses of sulking and pouting. I loved the lightness and humor he brought to the story, but almost none of that was here. Instead, he was stashed away in a corner in both literal and metaphorical senses, glaring and making sarcastic comments and generally being an ass. I could barely tolerate him in this book, and when he magically transforms back into his old self, it was less than believable.
I loved UTNS, I was less enthralled with with TTEN, and with Into the Still Blue, I found myself wishing they’d just get to the Still Blue already. The skirmishes between Dwellers and Outsiders were becoming tedious and repetitive, and I lost count of how many times a fight ended with a person getting grabbed and then having a gun pointed a his or her head while empty threats were shouted. There was some silliness in the end involving unsurprising plot twists and a death fake-out, and it all added up to a mediocre ending that was able to coast a bit on the good feelings it gave me from the first book.