I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened UNDER THE NEVER SKY, just that I knew I wanted it because I kept hearing such fantastic things about it from the people at HarperCollins and anyone else who’d ever come in contact with it. Also, the cover wooed me. I love pretty covers.
I went in expecting to be wowed. And I was.
UNDER THE NEVER SKY has some of the most intriguing and unique post-apocalyptic and dystopian worldbuilding I’ve seen in a long time. Veronica Rossi created not one world, but two detailed worlds for her characters to explore, both with their benefits and dangers.
After the Unity and the Aether took over the sky, people built giant domes and retreated to the safety of the most advanced virtual reality you can imagine, so advanced it’s real — “Better than Real.” They spend their time fractioning between Realms of forests, medieval castles, grand opera houses, and anything else they can imagine.
The rest of humanity stayed outside under the Aether, broke up into tribes, and somehow began developing extra powerful senses, like the ability to smell emotions, or see impossibly far things, or hear animals moving beneath the ground.
After an accident and murders that weren’t her fault, Aria is exiled from her city and dropped into the wasteland beneath the Aether, where she meets Peregrine, who’s just left his tribe and looking for redemption.
Aria is searching for a way to clear her name and reach her mother. Perry needs to help his tribe. As unlikely as it seems, they can help each other.
One of the things I loved about UNDER THE NEVER SKY was how determined these characters were to succeed in spite of each other. Perry is a scarred-up and scary Savage who won’t tell her anything she needs to know. And Aria is a weak, snobby Dweller who doesn’t know the first thing about survival and will probably get them both killed. –At least that’s how they seem to each other.
Veronica switches between their points of view, and I love how we get a look at the world and characters from each pair of eyes. To Aria, the world outside the domes is terrifying and huge and so real. To Perry, it’s just life.
UNDER THE NEVER SKY left me with so many delicious questions. What is that little smidge of hope Veronica mentioned? And how did the Unity happen? I want to know more about the Marked and the problem in the domes. I can’t wait to read books two and three to learn more about this fascinating world.