Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi

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.

For the first however many pages, I felt as if my feet were dragging behind me. I was a little bored and Aria annoyed me. I wasn't terribly interested in the description either because of so many "dystopian" names. I love dystopias, don't get me wrong. But "Dweller", "Death Shop", "Reverie", "Outsider"; it was just too much for me! It's possible it was because I was just coming off of reading a couple of other dystopians that I felt slightly sick of it all. 

I picked it up anyways and after being nagged by my sister, I read it. Man, oh man, am I glad that I did! 

Under the Never Sky is told in third person and is switched from Aria to Peregrine (aka Perry). I feel as if I keep picking up more and more dual narratives and so far I haven't been disappointed. How can I when I feel so incredibly grateful to have BOTH insights? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be so head over heels in love with Perry if it was just Aria's perspective. 

With a Smarteye, Aria can experience different Realms. She lives in a secluded pod, but everything is stimulated. Even feelings are stimulated. Children are designed to the T and not a single girl has her period (hip hip hooray!). But when Aria loses contact with her mother who is in Bliss, she's determined to play lackey to top dog Soren to find answers. That's when it all slides downhill. 

I'm not being a spoiler for saying this. Trust me, you know they're going to do stupid stuff (it's in the very beginning) and that's how Aria is exiled. She's rescued by a mysterious Outsider and after some complications, she's then banished out of Reverie. She then meets this Outsider known as my Perry. Er..I mean Perry. 
"But that is called 'cannibalism', my dear children,
and is, in fact, frowned upon in most societies."

Perry is the exact opposite of Aria. He's an Outsider. He kills, he hunts, he protects. He has a disreputable bond with his nephew, who is taken away. They team up so that Aria can find her mother and Perry can find his nephew. Along the way, we meet cannibals. My sister calls them charming, I call them...not. I forgot to reread that section when she said that, but the only thing I think of is Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka. 

After Aria stopped being annoying (I hated her calling Perry a Savage, but I guess I understand), my opinion of her bumped up several levels. She's very talkative and inquisitive. Perry is quiet and withdrawn. Aria comes from a world where you don't really do anything except have a good time. He's the younger brother of the Blood Lord of the tribe. He's never known anything except hardship. While predictable, I did like seeing their relationship grow. I couldn't help smiling when Perry turned to be the one trying to converse and Aria was keeping her lips shut. Now THAT was charming. 

We also meet Roar. Maybe it's the lion-lover inside of me, who always wanted a pet lion and would watch Lion King over and over, but I absolutely loved his name. Roar. It was just great to read it and I would even say it out loud sometimes. He was one of those supporting characters who took a big place in your heart while reading the book. 

With the predictability, I did have a couple other negative moments. I was confused with the Aether storms. What is that exactly? I know it can wreck havoc and can even kill, but I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it. Also, were they increasing? Is that why everyone has to escape? I didn't like so much confusion on something so big in the book. I didn't like how once again, Aria's special ability is singing. Singing? Really, how original (as I scoff). I guess that counts as my tiff with predictability, but I just had to mention it. Although I saw some don't like it, I actually really liked the whole thing with Perry having unique abilities. It was different for me. 

There's also a surprise at the end that made me really happy. At first, I was just shocked and wished it didn't happen. Who would do such a thing? But then I was extremely happy because I realized if he didn't, he would be clumped with the other too sensitive, foolish heroes who make decisions that will later bite them in the butt. So that was a thumbs-up. 

Some Favorite Quotes:
She looked up. “A world of nevers under a never sky.”
She fit in well then, he thought. A girl who never shut up.

She'd survived the outside. She'd survived the Aether and cannibals and wolves. She knew how to love now, and how to let go. Whatever came next, she would survive it, too

"Fine," she said, and frowned. Monosyllabicism. An Outsider disease, and she'd been infected.

“You drink from a rabbit and you think I smell?"

Word to Parents: non-explicit sex, violence, mild language (can't really remember that, but I heard it has some) 


  1. Is this where I get to say that I told you?

    1. Okay, okay. Well, I got it from the library before you told me about it BUT I guess you can brag...a little bit.

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