Book review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Genre: Dystopia, YA (weird sci-fi/fantasy mix)
Published: December, 2011
My rating: 4 thumbs up!
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 energy storms will. 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 come together to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
I have wanted to read Under the Never Sky for ages, though I just haven’t gotten around to it until now. I’m so happy that I did! Despite a few things I wish there were more of in the book, there is plenty that I loved earning it a rating of 4!
Under the Never Sky is a multi POV story, told by two characters on opposites ends of the ruined world they live in – Perry is changed by the weird substance that flows through the sky, while Aria is genetically changed and living under a rock; escaping to virtual worlds. This book was not what I was expecting and more, giving us a great setting with awesome characters.
To start off, one of the best things about Under the Never Sky was the setting and the world building. Rossi has created a strange mix of sci-fi meets fantasy/dystopian. This works surprisingly well because it is so carefully built and thought out. Not only that, but I had surprising ease understanding the world – even though Rossi wastes no time explaining anything.
The characters were another favourite of mine in Under the Never Sky. Because both Aria and Perry are from opposite sides of the spectrum, it creates a great, tension filled dynamic when their lives twine together. Both have a natural dislike for the other, yet they need each other to fulfill their goals. This initiates a change in both of them – Aria learns what living is really like, Perry learns to open up and care for someone outside of his family circle.
I have to mention that Perry is absolutely desirable. Big and muscley, tan, tats, a wild look about him in hunter clothes. His personality is surprisingly gentle, though. He shows kindness and love better than any person in his position should. Plus, I loved reading his perspective. His straight forward mental voice had me laughing at the wrong times. He is really just a loveable character. If I had to give another character to compare him to, he would be a less greek version of Achilles from Troy.
Thank the gods for Brad Pitt.
The romance was downright brilliant. Nothing is rushed, it is paced to perfection. From hate, to an agreement, to a timid friendship to teetering on the edge of that fall. I don’t know if I would call it realistic, but Rossi left me wanting it to happen.
I also liked the addition of secondary characters Roar and Cinder. They were unexpected, though they added a great twist and just layered the plot further. In fact, I feel as though all the side characters that made an appearance built the plot; nothing was wasted or useless in Under the Never Sky.
If there was one thing I could change about this book, it would be including more description. I’m a sucker for imagery. I just need to picture this place exactly as the author intended, but I feel as though it lacked in this department. I personally just needed more. I needed to know exactly what this weird sky substance looked like, exactly what some of the major settings looked like. Sometimes creating things on my own just doesn’t do it like a good description can.
This is really the only thing I disagreed with in Under the Never Sky. Though for me it’s a big one. Overall, I loved this book. Loved the characters, loved the setting, loved the dynamics, loved the unexpected twists (especially the end) and it ended beautifully – leaving just the right amount of room for the sequel. I am so keen to read the next book in the series!