Publisher: HarperTeen, HarperCollins
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction, Supernatural
Format: Paperback ARC
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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 abarbarian, 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.
Under the Never Sky was and is one of my most anticipated novels for 2012. The premise and synopsis had me hooked and hoping for a review copy. When I got my hands on one (thanks to the wonderful people at HarperCollins) I enjoyed it more than I could have ever imagined. It's an amazing, heart breaking, hope restoring, and smile worthy tale of love with that dystopian/science fiction feel. It's a book I plan on buying the day it comes out, holding the pretty hardcover, and telling everyone I know to read it!
The story follows two very different characters, Aria and Perry. Aria was born on the inside, raised in a pod safe from the outside world and ignorant to the pain faced just past her walls. Sheltered from the violent storms created in the electric sky known as the Aether, Aria lives half of her life in a virtual world, the realms, and half in the real. Aria grows up never knowing any real hurt until one night when a seemingly innocent teenage outing turns into a nightmare. Perry has lived through a lot, he's wise for his age, caring, and powerful. When Aria is forced to survive outside her naive upbringing would have her dead in days, if not for Perry. The chemistry and obvious emotion both characters feel is evident in Veronica Rossi's incredibly writing. The book alternated point of views between Aria and Perry, which worked very well for this story.
Under the Never Sky is not the type of story that begins with doe eyes and fast confessions of I love yous. Veronica builds the relationships in the book expertly. While I didn't connect as much with Aria as I would have liked, as I found her a little hard to reach, I still really enjoyed her story. Perry was my favorite character. His relationship with his nephew was so real and was my favorite of the book. Aria and Perry work together only out of convenience, they can't stand eachother but tolerate one another to reach their own goals. As they shed their tough exteriors, especially Perry, they begin a rough journey together.
There's so much to talk about in this story that I loved. It was an unexpected adventure that completely captivated me and left me needing more. Throughout the book the reader is learning about everything, Veronica is excellent with secrets and I love that she doesn't hint at any of them until they're exposed. With Veronica's surprises I never knew what to expect on the next page. With so many elements to enjoy I think this one will be flying off the bookshelves in no time, both virtual and real.
It's a fast paced book that draws the reader into every detail, making every little part significant and important.
Veronica creates a landscape much like those found in books by Kristin Cashore and Maria V. Snyder. Desolate, never ending, hard on the characters, and dangerous. But, at the same time she creates a story that while begins rough is ultimately romantic, sweet, and understanding. The rich setting and curveball plot have made Under the Never Sky one of my favorite books this year. It was everything I wanted and more, full of surprises and a terrific ending that, yes, screams series. I cannot wait until the next installment!
Thank you again to HarperCollins for the awesome opportunity to read and review this book!!