Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Book 1 in a trilogy
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 3, 2012)
Buy the book: Amazon
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.At a glance:
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 can not tell you how much I loved this book. It's like Veronica Rossi took my list of favorite books, uploaded them to her brain, and pressed blend. It reminded me at different times of The Demon King, Graceling, Divergent, Across the Universe, Uglies and other favorites, while at the same time being so different than anything I've read. The world-building was fantastic, the action was intense, and the romance developed over time and with meaning and intensity. People who love High Fantasy and Dystopia, this book is for you!
I read on the back that fans of Graceling would love it, so I was a little confused when I started reading and the setting was a futuristic pod where people lived their lives in The Realms (virtual reality). Don't get me wrong, I adore dystopia, but Graceling is far from that. What I soon found out, though, is that Veronica Rossi is a master world-builder, creating not one world, but two completely different worlds. When Aether storms devastated the world, people basically split into two groups. One group confined themselves into "Pods" (enclosed cities), living their lives through virtual reality. Others were on the outside, and became almost primitive, forming tribes and fighting for their lives.
I enjoyed reading about the Pod, and the Realms. It was interesting to get a glimpse of this future, one that I can actually imagine us moving toward. But where this story really came to life for me was on the Outside. It almost felt like a fantasy novel with the tribes, the fighting with knives and bows and arrows, and traveling miles and miles by foot. One of the things I loved the most was watching Aria's growth as she learned to live in this environment.
Under the Never Sky is told from alternating viewpoints, with each chapter titled Aria or Peregrine. At first, Aria drove me a little crazy. I got so incredibly annoyed with her uppity attitude and her stupid, stupid choices. I was afraid that I'd never be able to relate to her, or like her. But what I ended up loving about her was that she sucked it up, pushed on, moved past her prejudices, and would do anything to survive. By the end of the book, I was totally behind her.
Peregrine? Perry? How could I ever fall in love with a guy who is named either after a Hobbit, or a platypus? Yeah.....it happened. Perry was like the ultimate combination of all my favorite book crushes. Han Alister, Peta AND Gale, Po, Four, Will Herondale.......take all the things I loved about them, mix them together, and that was Perry. I loved his gruffness, strength, determination, loyalty, and his fierce, fierce love for his nephew and friends.
The romance in this book is perfection, in my opinion. I love that they absolutely hated each other at first, that they had all these misconceptions and prejudices that they had to overcome before they could even look at each other with anything but disgust. My favorite romances are the ones that build over time, as the characters get to know each other for who they really are. This played out so well with Aria and Perry. I just soaked it up like a sponge!
I seriously could go on and on about the things I love about this book. The setting, the supporting characters (Roar! Talon!), the mystery, the heartbreak, the fighting, the journey, the romance!! There wasn't anything that I would change. Nothing. I know there are those that didn't like it, but this book and I just fit. Maybe it's because fantasy and dytopia are my two absolute favorite genres, maybe it's because Veronica Rossi is a freaking genius, I don't know, but if you find yourself liking what I like, then you will love this book too!
Book Dopplegangers: Graceling, The Seven Realms Series, Uglies, The Hunger Games, The Pledge, Awaken
- Sexual Content: Heavy (subtle)*
- Profanity: Minor
- Violence: Heavy
- Other Notables: Drinking of "luster" (alcohol)