Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Hardcover: 384 pages
Release date: February 7th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: 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.

This is probably one of the most unique dystopian stories I’ve ever read. Seriously, just look at the cover! The beauty of it speaks for how awesome the book is. I’ve already told a million times that I’m a big sucker for dystopias and Under the Never Sky has pretty much fed my craving for the genre. It has a very original storyline that separates itself from other post-apocalyptic books and I am sure the readers of dystopian genre will eat this up. 

The plot is consistent and the relationship between the two main characters was slowly built. That didn’t bother me at all. I think it was really good that I got to know them better individually because of the alternating point of views of Aria and Perry. Aria was a Dweller who’s a part of a pseudo world called Reverie. It is a place where no one feels pain and people could be anything they want with the use of technology. They called the world outside of it the Death Shop and the Outsiders or Savages were the people who live there and Perry was one of them. Despite their initial distaste towards each other, the turn of events lead them to come and find out why Aria was thrown out of the Pod and Perry’s nephew got abducted by the Dwellers. 

The characters were very likeable and Ross did a great job developing them. I became fond of Perry’s best friend Roar, and Cinder who has a secret of his own. They have diverse personalities and I’m glad they were with Aria and Perry on their journey. Speaking of those two, I enjoyed seeing Aria and Perry’s relationship turn from resentment to something positive and then blossom into love. Their interactions shot excitement through my body and their chemistry was so strong it made my toes curl a couple of times. That alone drove me to stay awake late at night to finish it. 

The only one thing I didn’t quite like about it was the lack of explanation. I mean I still don’t know what Aether is and if I remember right, there was no mention of how the world became that way. And if the Dwellers secluded themselves because they are dying Outside, how come the Outsiders survive? Nevertheless, those flaws didn’t stop me from enjoying this book. I think Ross’ vivid descriptions and her way of executing the plot somehow make up for the imperfections. 

Under the Never Sky was a fantastic first book in what I predict is going to be a remarkable series. If you love Dystopians and want a unique story from the genre, I highly recommend this book. It’s one of my most anticipated debut novels of 2012 and I must say it did not disappoint. I can’t wait for its release on February so I could buy a physical copy and read it again. 

*Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperCollins via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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