Author: Veronica Rossi
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Genre: YA, dystopian
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
1. Under the Never Sky
2. Through the Ever Night (January 8, 2013)
3. Into the Still Blue (expected pub 2014)
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.
I really liked the dystopian world that Veronica Rossi created in Under the Never Sky. From the beginning, we get a really good look at the way Aria lives in the Pods. There’s also foreshadowing to future events that are major plot points, so I won’t say anything about them. I was so happy when I saw that the point of view switched from Aria to Perry. I absolutely love reading books written this way. I know it can’t be easy to delve into two different minds while writing a book, so I have a lot of respect for authors who manage to do it, and who do it well. Especially in this book, it’s a great literary aspect. Aria and Perry come from two totally different worlds, so seeing it the way they do individually was fantastic.
I think I enjoyed Perry’s story more than Aria’s. They both have hard times, but for some reason I connected more with the raw, almost barbarian way of life that Perry lived in. Maybe something about Aria’s side of things just didn’t seem as legitimate or real, and therefore I couldn’t connect to it. I also feel that what Perry was fighting for seemed more important to me than what Aria was fighting for.
This book was truly an adventure story, but it had elements of comedy, action, and of course, romance. The blooming romance between Aria and Perry was well-paced and realistic. They started out totally hating each other, but after spending so much time together, they began to depend on one another and have a caring relationship. Roar was a character that provided a lot of comedic relief, and helped to lighten the mood at times.
I loved the fantasy/sci-fi/evolutionary ideas that Rossi uses. Especially the way the Outsiders have reverted to a much more primitive kind of living: tribes with leaders, land boundaries between tribes, women (or people with less “power”) being of lower status. It’s intriguing that she chose to portray the future in that way. And how the sky is supercharged all the time with an element I don’t even understand is fantastic. I’m really looking forward to reading more about this world, and these characters.