Published on: January 3rd 2012
Published by: HarperCollins
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Buy UK . Buy US. Goodreads
This book is part of the Under the Never Sky trilogy. Check out my reviews for other books in the series below:
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1)
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2)
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
(summary from Goodreads)
Worlds kept them apart, destiny brought them together.
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 didn’t immediately connect with this book. Aria, a Dweller who has lived her life in the protection of the ‘pods’ that now house the worlds survivors, was spoilt, sheltered and kind of annoying, and viewing everything from her point of view was very limited. But then she gets thrown out of her comfort zone and into the thick of things, and I was slightly worried that she was going to get worse. But thankfully in finding the strength to survive she also became a much more likable person and allowed me to empathize with her and really get into the book.
“She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she’d ever taken. And never had she loved life more.”
In comparison I immediately liked Perry. An Outsider, he has lived his life in the wild, struggling to survive starvation, storms and enemy clans that are forever fighting over territory.
The narrative of this book is told from dual perspective, so we get a clear picture of both Perry and Aria’s lives before they found each other as well as their beliefs and emotions throughout their journey and the various situations they get themselves into.
“If there was no fear, how could there be comfort? Or courage?”
Aria and Perry’s alliance is at first an uneasy one. Extenuating circumstances lead them to need each other in order to rescue those they care about, but they re far from happy about having to work with each other. He finds her artificial scent disgusting, whilst she finds his wildling ways sinister. Not surprisingly (to everyone but Aria & Perry) their shaky alliance becomes stronger as they start to see each other as actual people.
It is Aria’s courage that gains Perry’s admiration, and in return Aria admires his strength and determination (and his body!) Through a deeper understanding of the others perspective they are able to grow to better respect and understand each other. A romance builds slow and intense but true to the characters personalities, Veronica Rossi makes sure their romance does not overshadow the importance of their task to find their loved ones.
“She learned that it was the loveliest thing to be kissed for no reason, even while chewing food. It brightened the woods, and the never sky, and everything.”
Veronica Rossi’s imagination really is extraordinary as she creates an amazingly original world, the likes of which I have never seen/read.
Rossi’s world has endured an apocalyptic event, with the surviving people driven underground in order to survive violent storms caused by the Aether. We are never actually told what the Aether is, or how the Outsiders can survive in the outside world but the Dwellers find it poisonous? There are many unanswered questions, however they do not distract from the story. We are given enough to get the feel of Rossi’s world without information overload.
“People can be cruelest to those they love.”
Sometimes it’s nice to be able to use our own imaginations and think up things ourselves rather then be told every little detail, and Veronica Rossi certainly lets us do that.
“A world of nevers under a never sky.”
A lot happens in this book, but at no point does it feel too busy. There were some unexpected twists in the plot that kept it interesting, but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. An addictive and enjoyable read and a BIG recommendation goes out for this book.
I would recommend this book to fans of: YA Fantasy, forbidden romance, incredible fantasy worlds