Book Review: Under the Never Sky

Title/Author:  Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
(Under the Never Sky #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Good Romance

Published:  January 3rd, 2012 by Harper Collins

Hardcover, 374 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?:  This novel really sounds interesting–very science fiction + it’s a dystopia.  So of course it’ll be on my list!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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 of the Work:

I have once again been enamored with a dystopia world, ladies and gents.  Under the Never Sky is a brilliant display of a futuristic, sci-fi dystopia full of dangerous electricity, virtual reality, raging cannibals, and a paradise among the ruins.

Aria is a seventeen year old girl who lives in the virtual realities that are held within the Reverie dome.  She has never left the confines of this dome, but instead has traveled to a lot of different places through the virtual “realms” technology, which allows any wearer of a “smarteye” to transport all of their senses to wherever they fancy–the beach, the mountains, or Aria’s favorite, the concert hall.  Her mother, Lumina, is a scientist who is researching something so big she cannot even tell her daughter anything about it.  When Lumina has to leave to travel to another pod, all seems to be okay, until communication with that pod goes down and Aria can no longer reach her mother.

So, in complete desperation for news from her mother, Aria devises a plan to get information, which involves getting on the Consul’s son’s good side by flirting with him enough to get her included on his next secret adventure–sneaking in to the forbidden (and damaged) Ag. 6 food storage center.  Madness, fire, a Savage, a brutal fight.  And the next thing she knows, Aria is being dropped outside, in the middle of the desert, where dwellers can not survive.

The Savage, otherwise known as Peregrine, is a hunter with special “enhanced” senses, including the heightened scent, the rarest of them all.  He has seen the devastation that the aether storms have caused and sees the desperation his family has had to turn to in order to continue surviving.  Yet when he challenges his brother’s actions after Talon–his nephew–is taken by the dwellers, Perry leaves his home to try and make things right.

These two people, from completely different backgrounds, are brought together in the most extreme of circumstances.  And though the pretty much hate each other, they know that they need each other, too.  Aria needs Perry to survive in “The Death Shop”, and Perry needs Aria to help him find Talon.  Together, they set off on a journey that they never knew was coming.

This is a story set in a dystopia world that is divided into two types of people–the dwellers (who live in the technology domes) and the outsiders, who live out in the open lands.  This is a novel about these two worlds colliding, which is a somewhat cliched idea in YA fiction.  Yet this novel does not come across as any sort of cliche, which I think credits Rossi’s unique storytelling abilities.  Here we have the two main characters, and through them the dystopia word is built in a way that we understand the things about each side of the world.  And knowing about each of their pasts really allowed me to fall in love with both of these characters.  And to watch their relationship spawn from the complete hatred they have for each other to a very solid romance, well, it’s one of the best I have read in a while.

There were a couple of things that I would like to know more about.  Like the aether storms…where did they come from?  And what exactly are they?  I am hoping that this question, along with questions about what happened to make the world this way, will be answered later in the series.

I would encourage lovers of dystopia and/or science fiction to pick up this book and read it soon.  It is definitely one of the best 2012 debuts I have read, and it is very high on my list of favorites for this year.  I do not think you will be disappointed with the storyline or the characters.
My Bookshelf Rating:

A fantastic display of science-fiction, dystopia world building, and a non-instalove romance between the heroine and the hero from two different worlds.  Veronica does a fantastic job of making the cliches not so cliche-ish.  This story is a beautiful opening to series that dystopia/science fiction fans do not want to miss.

Love and Fireworks,


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