Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Under the Never Sky (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 374 Pages
ISBN-10: 006207203X (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062072030 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Kristie
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.
Quick & Dirty: Deeply imaginative dystopian set in a dark and tragic world with great characters.
Opening Sentence: They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod “the Death Shop.”
Under the Never Sky is a wonderfully imaginative dystopian novel set in a future where the world is devastated by terrible Aether storms. These storms have driven a majority of the human population underground. Aria lives in Reverie, an underground pod, where she is devoted to her mom and friends. Most of her time is spent in the Realms, computer generated worlds that are accessed with an eye piece, Smarteye. When Aria’s eyepiece fails to connect to her mom, Aria decides to befriend the son of the security chief to see if she can find out what has happened. Aria finds herself in a terrible situation that ends with her thrown out into the outside world.
Thinking that she is going to die, Aria still tries to find her way to her mother in the underground pod Bliss. Peregrine finds Aria just as she is about to be killed by Aether tornadoes and saves her life (again! As he did once before during the unfair situation that gets Aria kicked out.) Perry is not happy about finding Aria, his nephew has just been kidnapped by her kind, and he is on a rampage. Deciding that he could use Aria for her knowledge, Perry decides to travel with her to find her mother, hoping to rescue his nephew.
Aria and Peregrine really undergo some changes to their characters as the novel progresses. Aria goes from being a technologically spoiled girl to a tough fighter. She never complains and she knows she has to adapt if she is going to survive. Peregrine is hot-headed but he thinks the tough decisions through before he acts on them. After he meets Aria, his decision making takes a hit. I absolutely loved these two together as they tried to fight their feelings for each other, destined to be together in a world that won’t let them.
Aside from trying to figure out the technology in the beginning, I was swept away into this desolate world, how each group of people fight for survival in their own different ways. Humans have evolved to fit their situations and it felt plausible to the storyline. The novel shifts between the third person perspectives of Aria and Perry giving the reader and inside look into their thoughts and their cultures.
Veronica Rossi has such descriptive writing that I felt I was there traveling with Aria and Perry, seeing what they were seeing, feeling what they were feeling. This world and the people in it are quite scary and dangerous. For the wary, there are a few unsettling situations, but I think that’s why I enjoyed it as much as I did. There are several plot lines that are not resolved and I can’t wait to see how they are played out.
Overall, an intense start to a planned trilogy with dark and brilliant storytelling. I cannot wait to immerse myself back into this world with Through the Ever Night. Aria and Peregrine have a terrible journey ahead, I can only hope that it is not to tragic.
“Ready, Peregrine?” Marron said.
“Yes,” he answered, though everything in his body said No.
A hot sting ran up his spine and over his scalp, ending with a burst in the back of his nose. On his right, he saw the common room. Aria staring at him with concern. Roar close over her shoulder, bracing the back of the couch. Marron saying, “Easy, Peregrine,” over and over. On his left a wooded evergreen forest appeared. The scent of pine burned deep into his nostrils. The images blurred and flashed before his eyes. Perry looked one way and the other, but he couldn’t make anything stick. Dizziness came hard and fast.
Aria squeezed his hand. “Calm down, Perry.”
“What’s going on? What am I doing wrong?”
“Nothing. Just try to relax.”
The images shook before his eyes. Trees. Aria’s hand grasping his. Pine branches swaying. Roar leaping over the couch to stand in front of him. Nothing was still. Everything moved.
“Take this thing off. Take it off!”
Under the Never Sky Series:
0.5 Roar and Liv
3. Into the Still Blue (2014)
FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Under the Never Sky. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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