Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 374 pages

Summary: 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.

What I Liked: The world Veronica Rossi created. It wasn't just a dystopian young adult novel, but there was such underlining science fiction aspects to it, and it was an interesting telling of the world after great disaster. Such as the world of Reverie and how everyone who lived there could go anywhere they wanted in the world, create realms filled with the things the love most, do what they wanted most, just with a thought. It's a world that seems almost perfect on the surface, a paradise that the people who run Reverie want others to crave. Then we have the world of the outsiders, a world aptly named The Death Shop. It's a place of many dangerous things, and stories are past around Reverie about what lives out there. Cannibals, Savages, and the deadly Aether Storms that are feared by all in the pods. And the outsiders aren't the same as those in Reverie, biologically. This was a really interesting aspect of the story, especially when it comes to Perry and his sense of smell descriptions of Aria and the others from Reverie. 

Perry. Oh Perry. From the moment he was introduced I was intrigued by him, even if Aria wasn't quite fond of him. He's the complete opposite of Aria in the way he grew up and the life he's used to. It's a lot harsher, and he's learned to survive danger in a way only Aria has been able to imagine. There's not much to condemn when it comes to how Perry and his village has had to survive (outside the certain events). I couldn't help but feel for him either when you get to know him and his full story. Outside the circumstances of where he lives, he's not had an easy life emotionally. And the way his feelings of distaste for Aria gradually changes, had my heart going soft big time. 

Roar. This character was a delightful surprise to find in Under The Never Sky. He's the kind of charming character who makes you smile when things get tough, and provides the laughs when you need him to. But he's not just a comic relief, he's a character that I fell for just as much as I did for Perry, especially when you get to see what's under the funny and charm he exudes constantly. His fondness for Perry and eventually Aria evolved so nicely. I don't think I can even fully describe the evolution of feelings that built for this character, he was just there in my heart by the end of it. All of his scenes in the book were some of the best. 

What I didn't really like: The lack of world building. Rossi creates a universe that's pretty amazing but there isn't enough descriptors when it comes to making sense of things for the reader. You have to pretty much assume what certain things mean or how certain things look like. When it comes to dystopian/fantasy novels there should be more building for the setting to pull the reader into your story. Reverie was just brushed on, as well as the Death Shop and the extent of the world outside the pods. This part of the novel could have been added to. 

Lastly, I wasn't too fond of Aria. At least, in the beginning. It was very annoying to see her prejudices and emotions over her situation being pushed onto Perry. I couldn't sympathize for very much until she finally quit it with her preconceived ideas and thoughts to see what was really in front of her. That's when I began to see how things changed between her and Perry, and her relationships with Roar and the others along the way in the novel. 

However, it was an enjoyable novel overall and there were plenty of things I enjoyed enough that the weak points didn't greatly impact how I felt about the story. I will definitely be continuing the series and most of what I see from others say that it gets even better in the next book of the trilogy.