Under the Never Sky By Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Genre: Dystopian/Sci-Fi Young Adult
Release: January 3, 2012
Hardcover: 384 Pages
My Copy: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon
Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
The hardest reviews to write are for books you didn’t have any strong feelings about and books you love. It's hard to write about books you love, because its hard to put down in words the exhilarating feeling you get when you are completely invested in the story and characters. That is how I felt about this book. It is by no means perfect, but I am enthralled by it. So what did I love?
1. The characters. First of all, they are wonderfully flawed. But not in that “I’m awkward and clutzy and can’t make up my mind about which guy I should date” kind of way. No, the characters deal with despair, pride, hope, love, and anger with varying degrees of success. Perry especially has emotions that run close to the surface and he can be impulsive and harsh and violent. But he is also loyal and protective and loving. But he isn’t just a typical bad boy. A lot of his actions are what keep him alive in a very dangerous world. He is a great complicated character with many layers.
2. The world building. Rossi created a futuristic world where dangerous energy storms called Aethers can destroy cities. People can’t escape them and they can come at any time. Like Tornadoes on steroids. Not only did I like that element, but I liked the idea of people dividing into two groups: Dwellers and Outsiders. Dwellers live by technology. They have hunkered down into Pods, which are like bunkers. They can’t go outside and have eradicated most human ailments. To occupy their time, they play in virtual worlds called The Realms. (Think Star Trek’s Holodeck). They are constantly living in a fantasy. The Outsiders, however, live very much in the real world. With no technology and surrounded by many dangers, some have resorted to a more primitive life style as hunters and gathers in tribes. And those that do not belong to tribes live a very depraved life. Some of the outsiders have even developed super senses. Which leads me to number 3…
3. Senses! I loved the idea of the Outsiders evolving into even more efficient hunters with super sight, or super hearing or super smell. It added a really interesting and surprisingly emotional component. Rossi did a great job handling these Senses and how the characters use them. She wove the explanation of the Sense into the general narration very well.
4. That it ain’t all sunshine and roses, kids. Rossi’s world is harsh and she wasn’t afraid to GO THERE on a few occasions. Definitely a book for the older teen set. But I loved it. I was glad that she didn’t hold back because it really raised the stakes on the characters’ survival.
I am really excited to read the next book in the series (2013, hurry up!) and to dive back into Perry and Aria’s world. And hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.