Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY
I finally read it! I was very excited to read Under the Never Sky, because come on, did you read the description up there?! It sounded like something I’d love from the moment I heard about the book. So, did I love it? Well, yes and no.
For about the first 120 pages, I honestly couldn’t tell if I was liking the story all that much. The world building was intriguing, but sometimes I felt myself struggling to really get into it. The Realms and the descriptions of Reverie, where Aria lived, was a little hard for me to grasp at first. I don’t know why, because I usually revel in that kind of stuff. However, despite the lackluster feelings I had for the beginning, they did a complete 180 about half way through the book. At some point, I fell in love with the story. I fell in love with the characters, the world, everything.
Aria is a 17-year-old Dweller, or as Perry often called her, a Mole – since she is part of a society that basically hid away in virtual reality type world, while the real world around them fell. Aria has lived her life knowing that the outside is referred to the Death Shop for a very good reason; once you go out there, you’ll die one way or another. After a very horrific incident with a total psychopath, Aria is unjustly forced out to as the Death Shop. That’s where she meets Perry the Outsider; a Savage in her eyes. He’s only a year older than Aria, but life out in the Real is much harsher, causing him to look and act older than he is. He has major problems with his brother, who happens to be Blood Lord to their tribe. Even though they don’t get along, Perry and his nephew have a very special bond. So when his nephew, Talon, is kidnapped by Dwellers, he sets out to rescue him.
I was on the fence about Aria until closer to the end, then I loved her. I enjoyed the change in her, and the person she became. I have a feeling that she’ll grow on me even more in the next book. I had similar feelings about Perry. Maybe Rossi intended for it to be this way. They grew on me, like they grew on each other, then fell in love. Since the story is told in alternating point-of-views, going back-and-forth between Aria and Perry, I think that helped develop them both individually.
I think what really sealed my fondness of the book, was the huge reveal close to the end that revolved around Perry’s bother, Vale. That caught me completely off-guard, and a book always goes up a few notches when it can do that. Plus, I don’t usually like cliffhangers, but the one in this book totally melted my heart.
So, the final verdict is that I really liked it. It took some warming-up to, but ultimately, it was a pretty good book. I’m looking forward to the second book in the trilogy, and have high hopes for it. If you read Under the Never Sky, but find it dragging, try pushing through to the end. There is a good chance you’ll end up wanting more.