Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review--Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Good Monday,

I did something strange this weekend. I took a break. That’s right, three whole days off from homework. Big woop. Lol. If nothing else, though, it gave me a chance to read some stuff I actually wanted to read. One of which was Veronica Rossi’s “Under the Never Sky.” Here’s my review.

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, Book 1)
by Veronica Rossi

Genre: new adult dystopia
Harper Collins 2012

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse. 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.

In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.

Rossi creates a rich, detailed world. It’s clear from the beginning the differences between the dwellers and outsiders. The book, for the most part, alternates chapters between Aria and Perry. Very early on, Aria is kicked (literally) out of her home for, essentially, being a thorn in one of the leader’s sides. Perry is the brother of his tribe’s Blood Lord and a Scire, which means he has heightened smell and the ability to scent tempers—emotions. The two are brought together for the first time in Chapter 3 when Perry unintentionally rescues Aria, and when Aria is outcast, they again find one another and begin a journey across the land to find Aria’s mother and Perry’s nephew.

What worked really well: The character arcs were detailed. It was great to see Aria adapt to life outside and Perry become accustomed to traveling with a dweller. They can’t stand each other in the beginning, which leads to some awesome dialogue and conflict.

My favorite part of this book, though, was the sky. Rossi makes the Aether and its roiling colors and powerful storms its own character. The Aether plays such a big part in just about everything that happens. The look of the sky reflects the action, and really, the Aether is just another antagonist. Very well done.

I don’t have too much in the negative to say. I thought Aria and Perry’s relationship was a bit instalove, but it wasn’t an overbearing instalove—the I-can’t-stand-to-be-away-from-the-other-person-for-more-than-thirty-seconds type.

I also would have liked to see more of the realms. Through the course of the book, Rossi has Aria fling around terms like “in the real,” and while the words themselves fill out her world, we don’t see the realms until several chapters in. I guess I would have just liked it if the story started earlier. Rossi fills in the pre-chapter 1 events in such good detail. I wanted to see them. It would have given me a framework for the world and made even more prominent the differences between Aria and Perry.

All in all 3.5 stars and I’m excited to read book 2.

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