This is a nice, solid debut from Ms. Rossi. I really enjoyed the intriguing premise, the world building, and the way the heroine moved from a sort of spectator in life to an active participant who found the courage to risk everything for those she loved. I didn't care for the hero for the first half of the book, but then he really grew on me. I also wanted the linger a bit longer in the end to really savor the romance and understand the conclusion. But those small things didn't take away from the overall effect. This is a good book and is worth reading.
Fabulous world building, suspense and intrigue, solid character arc for the heroine
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.
Under the Never Sky was so much more than I expected. I went into it with somewhat low expectations because of all the not-so-stellar reviews I’ve come across, but I needn’t have worried about those.
When it comes to dystopian, I’m usually most attracted to shiny futuristic technology and while that does take a part in Under the Never Sky the majority of the story occurs out in the wilderness and I was surprised by how much this didn’t bother me at all. I actually found it new and interesting to be reading about something so different than the usual.
Also, while there are terrible beasts and animals that need to be worried about, Perry and Aria’s journey wasn’t ALL about worrying about them. They were also worried about food and the storms and shelter and getting to their destination on time.
And then there’s Aria. At first she doesn’t know what to do with herself and is basically just waiting around for death to overcome her, BUT THEN. But then she turns into this super awesome butt-kicking person and it’s pretty much awesome squared.
Oh yes, and I can’t forget to mention Perry. He’s got the tough-on-the-outside-mushy-gushy-heart-in-the-middle thing going for him. His mushy gushy heart doesn’t make too many appearances, but when it does, be prepared for the swoon.
One random thing: I kept picturing Perry with black hair instead of blond. I think that might be because most dystopian dudes have black hair :P
And guys, there’s kissing. And it’s a slow burn, so there’s that ;]
The Nutshell: Under the Never Sky will surprise you by breaking out of the dystopian norm and the end result is one fantastic story. All the intricacies from the Aether to the beasts in the wild had me wondering what would come at me next. If you like dystopian, slow burn romance, unknowing-girl turned-bad-a**, and swoon-worthy guys then this is definitely the book for you.
What to say about Under the Never Sky - a fast-paced novel that nearly knocked me off my feet...well...
I really want to say "where have you been all my life," but since the book just came out this month it would be kind of inappropriate. So I'll stick with this:
I simply adore this book. I have been waiting rather impatiently for an original ya book that sucks the life out of me because it is so good. And yes, maybe my days being a demanding whiny reader gave me bad karma. But I must have been doing something right because I read Under the Never Sky. The majority of the characters were multi-demensional and I fell in love with both POV's: Peregrine and Aria. The world is vast - half futuristic and the other half archaic. Most of the time I could picture everything, and in places I couldn't I allowed my imagination to fill in the gaps. I pictured a "Game of Thrones" type of world in the Outsider territory, but that was just my take.
My favorite part of this book had to be Peregrine. While I was reading I had this biting feeling at the back of my head. It was like Peregrine reminded me of someone I couldn't put my finger on, but not in an unoriginal sort of way. Then, by the time I finished the book, I realized who it was. If you have ever seen BBC's Merlin then picture the Young King Arthur. Maybe not in looks, but in character Peregrine completely captures his soul. He's a very good warrior and extremely loyal, and sometimes that is his greatest weakness. As is with Peregrine.
Overall, this book was fantastic and I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys action with a little slice of romance. Now I'm hoping that my karma balance doesn't tilt for the worse. I have to go spray some of my karma spray (yes, I have some from a friend who gave it to me in the eighth grade. Don't laugh - it was all the rage in middle school).
Dual POV Dystopian Beauty and the Beast meets Taming of the Shrew
(Updated: June 15, 2012)
Moves along well, with great twists, turns and surprises. I loved it, and I am thrilled it's just the first book in a planned trilogy. If you haven't read this one, it's a WORTHY read. So powerfully written!
This was truly a delight to read. I enjoyed it on many levels. It's such a thoroughly realized world, coupled with a well-developed story. I can't wait for the next installment.
At first I found it jarring, a group of bored teens traipsing around in a futuristic dystopian world that reminded me of LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding. The earth has become dangerous to live outside under a sky that fires down funnel clouds like a cross between a tornado and lightning, with a mixture of nuclear fallout. The Aether can kill you a million different ways.
The Dwellers (Moles) live in pods, which are sterile and cramped, and those who live there spend most of their time in Virtual Reality alternate locations so they "feel" like they've got more space to move around in. If you can imagine it, you can go there, although the term is "fraction."
When a band of miscreants break into a closed area with trees and rotting food, they're just trying to have "real" fun. They start a fire and it gets crazy. Without going into details, an Outsider (Savage)witnesses a killing and protects Aria, the MC. Their paths are destined to cross, and they will meet again.
However, when Aria is punished for being part of the juvenile delinquents, she doesn't think exile is what she'll receive in punishment, although that is exactly what happens.
Forced out to survive on her own in the wild, Aria is convinced she'll die. A chance encounter with Perry (the savage who helped her earlier) changes everything. She has something he needs (unknown to her) and he has something she needs (although she doesn't know it yet.
As the story progressed, I loved the contrast between the two worlds juxtaposed against each other, and it reminded me of a mash up of Beauty and the Beast meets Taming of the Shrew. It was captivating and drew me right into their love/hate relationship.
As the onion layers are peeled back, the Outsiders have heightened senses among some of them. These people are called Marked. They have heightened vision or hearing, or sometimes other things. You never know what the Aether can do to you, especially with prolonged exposure!
And, there are others as well.
The story moves along well, with great twists, turns and surprises. I loved it, and I am thrilled it's just the first book in a planned trilogy. If you haven't read this one, it's a WORTHY read. So powerfully written!
Thrilling and Terrifying Dystopian That Will Leave You Breathless
In Under the Never Sky, Veronica Rossi builds a thrilling and terrifying dystopian world in which she sets a story of two teenagers who are thrown together after each loses what is held most dear. It is action-packed and will leave you breathless from the start.
The two unlikely teens are Aria, a Dweller who is framed and exiled to the Death Shop for a terrible crime while trying to reach her mother, and Perry, an Outsider with special talents who is searching for his kidnapped nephew while feeling the call of leadership. Circumstances force them to work together to accomplish their goals, which fate has woven together. The metamorphosis of their disgust and mistrust to love is a beautiful thing to watch unfold. The amazing and dangerous future that Rossi sets this in is so vivid and skillfully written that it makes the story that much more believable, despite being science fiction.
I usually avoid books that I know to be a romance unless it comes to me highly recommended, but I read Under the Never Sky without seeing what other reviewers were saying. I delved into the story with an open mind and found one of the most beautiful young adult romances that I have ever read. This book is sure to be a classic, and I cannot wait to read and experience it again.
This story was gripping from beginging to end. I picked it up while scanning the bookshelves ofHatchets London, and found that i had to buy it as i couldnt put it down. Aria is a strong willful character. I fell in love with perry the moment he was introduced.
This is not like all the other romance reads that start with a girl and a boy that are in love, the book takes you allong a journey of discovery, with twists and turns that are unexpected, it had me guessing 'till the very end!
I cannot wait for the rest of the Trilliogy, its going to be a long wait1
"I literally shook the book in my satisfied frustration"
Under the Never Sky is an adrenaline packed thrill-ride from start to finish. Travelling in constant fear of cannibals, light storms and harsh elements means there's never a dull moment. Add in the scintillatingly slow development of romantic feelings and the hope and strength that comes with true self-discovery and you have one amazing debut!
The only area that had me stumbling was the introduction to Aria's life in Reverie. The futuristic slang mixed with undeveloped world-building had me seeking answers that took time to reveal themselves. Most confusing is the technology Aria uses, mainly her Smarteye, and how she manipulates it to transport her into different Realms. You quickly learn that in order to reduce claustrophobia, those living in Pods are able to live virtually through a device attached to their eye which projects a virtual reality where anything is possible - and fear is eliminated. However, despite the fact that you spend the first few chapters slightly confused, the action and intrigue is strong enough to keep you turning pages.
Told from both Aria and Perry's PoV allows for a unique look into both sides of the coin - that of a Dweller (or Mole) and an Outsider (or Savage). Aria is a heroine you can look up to. She first enters into a dangerous situation to gain information about her mother, who she hasn't heard from in over a week after the link between the Pod she was working in was severed with Reverie, knowing the consequences could be (and ultimately are) life-changing. Her courage in the face of obstacles only continues as she's literally thrown into the "Real", refusing to succumb to the panic welling up inside her at the thought of dying from just breathing the outside air. Her initial distrust of Perry is believable, and her attempt to escape his presence was something I admired her for. Her curiosity was endearing, and I laughed when I realized that she collected rocks just because she was fascinated by their differences. I loved that she was eager to learn how to fend for herself, so she wouldn't be so reliant on those around her, and that even though she developed strong feelings for Perry, she didn't let those feelings change her course - she was determined to find her mother, even if that meant walking away from Perry forever.
Perry was interesting for completely different reasons. Where Aria was brave in the face of the unknown, Perry was brave for knowing what kind of obstacles existed (cannibals!), but swearing to overcome them in order to save his nephew from the Dwellers who had taken him. His kind nature is apparent from the moment you first meet him, but he has managed to convince himself that he brings nothing but pain and destruction to those he loves. His ability to open up with Aria showed us a side of him that he had never showed to anyone, and her faith in his kindness gave him the strength to overcome his insecurities and pursue what he felt was rightfully his. His selfless act of letting go showed strength beyond measure, and I loved him even more for it. My heart broke for him when Aria walked away from him, but I love that he also had the strength to let her go - he had a different purpose, and knew that sometimes there are more important things than love.
From start to finish I was hooked. There were moments where I caught myself holding my breath, unwilling to keep reading for fear of someone's life, but unwilling to tear my eyes away at the same time. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book, waiting both for something terrible to happen and for Perry and Aria to just kiss already! I can't believe how it ended - I flipped back and forth through the pages several times to make sure I didn't miss anything - and I literally shook the book in my satisfied frustration. Round one to you Ms. Rossi, touché.
Oh my god! I absolutely loved this book. Seriously this may have just become my new favorite book of 2012. I picked this up at the library due to the fact that I won an ARC of the sequel without realizing this book came first. And boy am I glad I won the sequel because I probably would never have discovered this amazing book. I am pretty new to the dystopia genre and every book I've tried recently I have loved, but this one just takes it to a whole new level. A sky that kills you? Yes please!
I loved the world in this novel. Outside of the pods that the dwellers live in the people who live on the outside, who the dwellers call savages, have little tribes and survive the best they can. It's a world that can one minute provide you with the food and water to sustain you and the next take your life. The people live in fear of the Aether and do their best to survive.
The characters were great and really likeable. Aria was a weak person in the beginning but quickly becomes a very independent and strong character. She's witty and sarcastic and doesn't take anybody's crap. There is also Peregrine. The outsider who appears rough and uncaring on the outside but harbors a deep need to help everyone he can and deals with a deep guilt that tears him apart. I fell in love with him, he's just so caring and strong and awesome. There is also his best friend Roar who we get introduced to near the end of the novel, he's sarcastic and funny and I think he loves himself but isn't obnoxious about it.
The plot of this story never slows down or gives you a minute to become bored. It's fast paced and packed with action. The struggles that the characters go through really tug at your heart and have you feeling the emotions they feel.
Do I recommend this novel? Yes, if you haven't read this one yet go out and get yourself a copy or borrow it from the library. You will not regret this novel.(
First of all, I am not really a big dystopian reader (DESPITE the fact that most of the books I have been reading lately of the YA genre fall into that category). In Rossi’s novel, I found many great stories tossed together – snipets of DUNE, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, THE MATRIX – really, quite an impressive mix. Even on occasion, I found a bit of LORD OF THE FLIES.
UTNS is told from the perspective of the two main characters in alternating chapters: Aria and Perry. Aria is a Dweller who lives in the protected domes of Reverie, though not for long. She gets tossed out into the wasteland that has become of the world, scorched into a dead landscape by the relentless, brutal Ether sky. Aria’s world within the dome is a sterile environment of perfection and its inhabitants live within fabricated, virtual realms that they connect with through devices that attach over one eye. Think Star Trek Borg on the Holodeck (yeah – look it up).
Perry on the other hand, is an Outsider – considered a savage by the Dwellers. True, some of the Outsiders are not so nice (the cannibals aren’t very pleasant) but they are real people living in a non-virtual, dangerous world. They are rough and rugged, compared to the Dwellers who seem downright fragile by comparison.
Aria and Perry’s worlds collide and an uneasy trust is formed between the two – both need something only the other can provide. Hidden mysteries, interesting characters, and dark secrets are revealed as they trek across the land (known as “the death shop”) and attempt to survive. Through their journey they find more than trust with each other – they find a passionate bond.
Great storytelling, vivid prose. Can’t wait for the next installment!