Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi

Rating: ✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

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.

As soon as I turned the final page on Under the Never Sky, I had the immediate thought that I've read this before. And, for once, it wasn't a bad thing. When you read enough of a certain genre (in this case, YA dystopian with a romance angle) you start to see the patterns and tropes that emerge. Most books take the tropes and work within them to produce something good.

Then there's something like Under the Never Sky. It doesn't quite break new ground, but it does so well with all the dystopian romance tropes I've seen in the past that I didn't mind them one bit. The books that work the same themes to their advantage are just as great and important as the books that break new ground in their genres.

And on top of all that, I really freaking enjoyed it.

The world building. Oh my god, the world building. In this post-apocalyptic future, humans have been driven into giant pod shelters by something called the aether, which has replaced the blue sky with an ever-changing, ever dangerous, constant electrical storm that could touch down and destroy what it touches at any moment. To keep humans from going insane in the confined spaces, they're able to live and play in virtual realities called Realms. Our heroine Aria is one of these sheltered humans, and it isn't until she's tossed out of the shelter and into the real world that her story truly begins.

Aria is the sort of heroine that can make or break this book for a reader. There were times I could see how easy it would be to tire of her, how hard it could be to like her. Eventually I fell hopelessly in like with her, and was glad to follow the enormous emotional journey and maturity she goes through.

Then there's Perry, who splits the POV of the novel with Aria, and I absolutely adored him. Peregrine (his full name) is a Savage in Aria's eyes, descended from the humans who ended up living outside the shelters. He's a hunter, a brother, an uncle, and a man determined to do whatever he can to fix what he's wronged. I found his and Aria's growing alliance a slow, lovely read, and I didn't mind one bit when the friendship that grew between them finally blossomed into romance. The slow build up is exactly the sort of thing I love, not the insta-love so many YA novels fall back on these days.

In the end, Under the Never Sky was a really enjoyable read. It's like Blood Red Road and Divergent somehow made a not-as-perfect but still kinda kick-ass baby.


  1. So glad you enjoyed this one too Chantaal, I just adored it! The world was crazy interesting, and I think is only going to get more interesting in the next book, and I loved Perry something fierce:) Really fantastic review!

    1. It was really great, I was anxious it wouldn't be as good as I hoped it would be, but I loved it. :)