Review: Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi
Release Date ~ January 3, 2012
ISBN13: 9780062072030
E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley

Goodreads Synopsis:
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 wasn't sure what to expect from Veronica Rossi's debut, Under the Never Sky, especially after readindg the description and seeing such mixed reviews for a highly anticipated book.

It ended up being very different from what I expected, and actually reminded me of Eve by Anna Carey (although I will say that I liked UtNS far better than Eve- I think this was actually what I had hoped Eve would be like).

  1. Dual perspectives:Stories written from dual perspectives are finally starting to grow on me, and it might be because we're starting to see more of them in YA so I'm being forced to read more of them- and they can be both enjoyable and enlightening if done in such a way that the two voices are distinct and suitable to the characters. I was happy to see that Aria and Perry retained their respective voices and personalities even with the alternating POVs, and it definitely added a bit more excitement and interest to the story.
  2. The Outsiders and their world:There may be a reason for this, but while I wasn't very interested in Reverie I was enthralled by The Death Shop and the Outsiders. I loved hearing Perry talk about his home, and the way of life and culture he was a part of and I really enjoyed the history Veronica included for this. While plenty of dystopian books deal with the "outside world" and warn of its savages and brutality and then twist it in such a way that the world doesn't turn out to be as bad as was initially thought, the Outside of UtNS was actually believable. And Roar! Oh, I could go on and ON about Roar <3 He as the exact kind of personality I love in a character, full of humour and bravery.
I didn't find Aria to be particularly interesting though, and it was Perry who ended up really selling the book for me. Like I just mentioned, I was far more intrigued by The Death Shop and the Outsiders as opposed to Reverie and its citizens (Aria included). My main problem with Aria was that she struck me as being a little too cookie-cutter when it comes to a dystopian YA heroine: naive, stubborn, and ends up being a super special snowflake. I wanted there to be something about here that really jumped out and made her stand out,  but she didn't seem to. Now, I do feel that there is room for plenty of character growth on her part in the next books (think Meghan Chase in The Iron Fey; I wasn't taken with her until the third book).
As well, the beginning really is confusing because such little explanation is given. I'm really not clear on exactly what some of the terms refer to (are we supposed to know what the Aether is? Because I'm really unsure) and it moves along quite quickly with little understanding of Reverie.

I have to say that by the end, I did feel a stronger connection with the story and its characters and it had such an interesting ending that I have hopes that the sequel may be better (similar to Anna Carey's Eve, and my thoughts on that).

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Emily said...

I didn't like this one much at all. I thought Aria was pretty dry and boring. Thus, I didn't get into the whole romance between her and Perry.

Jessica Khoury said...

I'm about 10 or so chapters into Never Sky right now, and I am loving it. There's a lot more description and worldbuilding than I've seen in a lot of recent YA books; and like you say, Perry and the Death Shop is definitely the better half of the story. The Reverie side feels a lot like the book FEED, so it's a little stale to me. I guess I can't say much more, since I've only just started it, but I already know I like it a LOT more than Anna Carey's EVE, since you mentioned that title. Ugh, that book was... was... ugh. Anyway. Thanks for sharing your review! I'm gonna go read more Never Sky now. ;)

Sophia Rose said...

I am really interested in reading this book. I have seen mixed reviews, but the storyline still grabs my attention.

Thanks for the review!

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