02 May 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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 wasn't expecting to enjoy Under the Never Sky period so I was shocked when I LOVED IT as much as I did!  The main characters, Aria and Perry, were awesome.  Each had their own issues and own distinct voices and concerns--not to mention, worlds.  Veronica Rossi has a unique writing style interspersed with light humor and great sense for world-building.  I cannot wait to reread Under the Never Sky.

This story was driven by the two main characters, Aria and Perry, and the issues they faced when their worlds were turned upside down.  The plot was very simple and straightforward outside of that.  So in a way, this story was refreshing in how it stepped back from complex, intricate plots and subplots and dove deep into the characters.  Aria and Perry were awesome -- I rooted for them individually before they became a team (though Aria was a bit of a spazz in the beginning -- I forgave her for it).

Veronica Rossi had a wonderfully addictive writing style.  It was compact, but expressive.  Her clear, concise writing writing put a lot of plot into three hundred and some-odd pages, like it should be longer than it is.  I was impressed with that.  Most authors take forever to get to what they're trying to say, but Rossi just went for it.

The setting of Under the Never Sky was my second favorite thing about it.  I loved the way it switched between the sterile, controlled environment of the Pods and Realms to the wildness of the Outside.  Like having sci-fi and fantasy wrapped into one book.  Combined with the magic involved -- heightened senses -- I just couldn't get enough of it.

My favorite part though?  The romance.  I was shocked when I realized how much I liked it.  Romance is usually a requirement for me to the like a book (not always) but I usually I don't like romances that dominate the pages.  Most of the book was about the blooming relationship between the two MCs but I enjoyed every minute of it.  Veronica Rossi can write a fantastic love story.

"Do the clouds ever clear?" she asked.
"Completely?  No.  Never."
"What about the Aether?  Does that ever go away?"
"Never, Mole.  The Aether never leaves."
She looked up.  "A world of nevers under a never sky."
She fit in well then, he thought.  A girl who never shut up. (p. 124-125)
Oh, this was champ.  She'd found herself a Savage prince.  Don't laugh, she told herself.  Don't laugh, Aria.  He was being downright chatty, for him, and she needed to talk.  Or listen.  She couldn't go another day with nothing but the melody rattling like a ghost in her mind. (p. 137)
She saw him now.  The Outside had come closer.  He stood by the cave, his legs and arms lined up with his bow, a weapon he had been carrying for days but that somehow she'd forgotten about.  He'd taken off his white shirt, and his skin blended into the murky woods. (p. 147-148)
Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 374
  • published - January 2012
  • publisher - HarperCollins
  • genre - dystopian
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Under the Never Sky
    • Under the Never Sky
    • Through the Ever Night (coming 2013)