After I finished Under the Never Sky, the first thing I thought was “Is Veronica Rossi really a debut author?”. This book is just so refined and well-written that I could not believe this was her first published novel, because her story is told like a complete pro! It was completely engrossing first page to last and I loved her concepts about Dwellers and Outsiders!
First we have Aria, the Dweller. After an environmental crisis, groups of people banded together to form isolated, self-sustaining pods (cities). They are trying to avoid the Aether, a true mystery, but is like electricity in the air. If you’re unlucky and get caught in an Aether storm, there wouldn’t be a trace left of you. After Aria and her group of friends break one of the upheld rules of Reverie, their pod, Aria is burdened with the blame and she is casted out from the protection of her city. She was trying to find clues about her missing mother, but now she might not have hope of even accomplishing that.
Then we have Perry, the Outsider. He is the brother of Vale, the leader of the Tides clan, and is considered “cursed” since birth. When he’s hunting with Talon, Dweller aircrafts come and whisk Talon away, right under Perry’s crooked nose. Of course Perry has to take the blame for this even though there was nothing he could do, so he runs away from the Tides to escape the condescension from everyone in the tribe.
These two were never supposed to meet, but they were both harshly thrown out of the only places they knew. And really, they do have some things in common. Aria is looking for her mother, and Perry is looking for Talon. This leads to an uneasy alliance between them, but they are willing to help each other to get what they want.
I wasn’t expecting Under the Never Sky to be so engrossing. I thought it would be just some mediocre dystopic novel, but that was not at all the case. I absolutely fell in love with both the characters and world that Rossi created here. Aria is such a dynamic character and she changes completely from this little weakling Dweller into a fantastic heroine. Her near hate relationship with Perry grows into something much more, and I loved that Rossi didn’t make this anywhere near an insta-love. Their love builds slowly, until it really seemed inevitable. Perry is such a deep character, and I’m sure it was very difficult to write his POV. He’s so broken inside despite the tough front he puts on, and I (and I’m sure Aria) just wanted to put his shattered pieces together again.
Aria and Perry are trying to journey to the single haven on the Outside, that isn’t a pod. They believe that reaching there will solve all their problems, and everything will then be set right in their lives. The journey in this novel reminds me a lot of the one in Graceling by Kristin Cashore, but I felt a completely different touch to it, one full of desperate need. This impending journey isn’t their only obstacle though, and Aria and Perry have one pretty pissed off tribe hunting their tails.
There was a pretty huge twist at the end of this novel that actually made my mouth drop, and desperately needing book 2, Through the Ever Night. You have no idea how many times I thanked the gods that I read this after Through the Ever Night came out. There are so many facades made in this world, and nothing is apparent despite what it seems. Under the Never Sky provides characters to love and a world to cherish--definitely something you should put on your to-read list!