Author: Veronica Rossi
Publication: January 3rd, 2012
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Description: 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.
My Review:Under the Never Sky is much more than dystopian- it has an advanced sci-fi civilization beside a primitive culture all with a dash of fantasy, creating an interesting and original world. And in this amazing world is Aria and Perry, characters that I absolutely loved. Under the Never Sky is bursting with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat right until the very end, as Aria and Perry must face cannibals, the Aether energy storms, and more.
With such a complex and original world, there would normally come an overwhelming amount of explaination, drowning the reader and often boring them to death. There was even a fascinating fantasy element to the story that I won't give away. But Under the Never Sky doesn't do this. Instead, it gives simple explainations as the story moves along and allows the reader to figure things out for themselves. I see from the reviews that not everyone liked this, saying that it left them with questions (like "How did the Aether come to be?"). Personally, I thought that the simplicity made the story more realistic. Who goes off on tangents paragraphs long to explain things that they themselves, as the characters in that world, have lived with their wholes lives and understand? But it certainly didn't leave you in the dark - I was satisfied with my understanding of the world. No, I didn't know how the Aether came to be, but to be honest I didn't really care. The Aether is an example, but anything that didn't really matter for the story wasn't talked about in depth, which I personally appreciated.
I appreciated the simple writing for the world-building and descriptions, but when it came to the characters I think it was a bit of a drawback. Don't get me wrong, I loved the characters, but I didn't really feel connected to them. For example, when they were fighting for their lives I should have felt their fear and desperation, but I felt only my emotions of not wanting my precious characters hurt. My favorite kinds of books are the ones where I feel like I am walking in the characters shoes, filled with their emotions and thoughts. This is the only reason that Under the Never Sky didn't get 5 hearts from me.
Switching point of views between Aria, a Dweller, and Perry, an Outsider, the reader gets to know both characters very well. Banished to the merciless "Death Shop" after living her entire life inside the safe confines of the technilogically advanced city, Reverie, Aria is clueless to how to survive and protect herself. Before you start groaning "Oh not another female lead that can't do anything for herself", I'll tell you that I loved Aria. She may have been clueless to how to survive in the wastelands at first, but she did everything she could to figure it out and did so with zero whining. Aria learns and grows into a powerful woman through this book. And then there is Perry. Living his entire life in the tribe-like society of the wastelands, he is a skilled hunter and warrior who will do anything for his family. However, Perry needs Aria's help to redeem himself after being banished from his tribe. Aria and Perry need eachother's help to survive, but at first are wary of eachother because of their upbringings.
Before even starting this book, it's obvious that there will be a romance between Aria and Perry, but I really liked how it happened. Unlike many YA novels anymore, Aria and Perry do not fall in love at first sight and run into eachother's arms before riding off into the sunset. At first Aria and Perry mistrust and even look down upon eachother because of how they were raised. Aria sees Perry as a savage and Perry thinks of Aria as incapable and weak. They both are focused on their own goals and merely put up with eachother out of necessity. During thier journey, they slowly learn to accept one another and eventually fall in love. It was gradual and very sweet.
Under the Never Sky was a beautiful story that I very much enjoyed reading. Rossi plans to make Under the Never Sky a trilogy, and I most definitely will be reading the sequels to this first installment.
Summed Up:Under the Never Sky was a very good book. It had a unique storyline, characters that I really liked (including the main character and the love interest), a great romance, and non-stop action. However, for some reason I didn't connect with the characters as much or feel what they were feeling through the book.