In a very distant future, the world is ravaged by climate change, which, obviously, makes living a little difficult. Most of the people live in a self-supporting dome. There isn't much to do in a little dome, so the people's only relief is taking refuge in a virtual world, where everything can happen just by thinking about it. The rest of the people live outside, where living is very tough, and they barely survive.
Aria lives in this little dome (AKA Reverie). Having lost contact with her mother, she decides to befriend one of the most powerful boys in the dome, to get information. Little does she know what a creep she is, and, after an unfortunate accident, she is banished outside the dome.
Peregrine lives outside. His nephew is very sick, and he is desperate to save him. He breaks into the Reverie just in time to save Aria, which leads to the expulsion from his tribe, The Tides. Being gifted with night-vision and an amazingly good sense of smell (as in, can smell your emotions kind of good), he finds Aria, and, despite his loathing of her, decides to help her.
Note: There is NO instant love here. They hate each other for the better part of the book. Aria thinks Peregrine (Perry) is a monster, a Savage. Perry thinks she is useless, a mole. But the circumstances require them to work together. So they do.
The story is told in third person, switching POVs every chapter. Doing this avoided similarities between the voices, and it really worked in this book.
This story is more of an adventure story than a romance, which is good. There is some romance, of course, but it is slow, not overwhelming. It's clear that the characters understand that there are more important things in the character's lives than romantic relationships, like family and loyalty and the fate of the world.
My favourite character was probably either Perry or Roar. I didn't really connect fully with Aria, I didn't really have much of a sense of her personality until past halfway. Probably because she only really started living when she got out of the dome. She also seemed a bit helpless at the first couple of days in the wilderness, but I can't really blame her for that. I liked Perry, he seemed really sweet, caring and understanding. I also loved Roar, he seemed fun and nice.
I'm just wondering a couple of things that hopefully will get answered in the next book. Like: How do the people on the outside get those powers? Did they evolve or something? What exactly is the aether and why is it so important? I think it's like a cloud or something. Maybe smog, from climate change? I could be wrong. I don't know. Hopefully my questions will be answered later.
This is a great book that I definitely recommend. I can't wait for the next book. I really want to see Aria grow into a powerful heroine and learn more about their world.