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
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!
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!
When I picked up this book I had not heard a great deal about it yet. I went into reading it completely blind without having read any fellow blogger’s reviews, which may have made it possible to judge the book solely on how I interpreted it.
The book starts in another version of the vast array of dystophic books out there. In this one, a solar flare causes the earth’s atmosphere to drastically change to the point where domes were built to protect the inhabitants of Earth. However, not everyone was one of the Chosen who were permitted into the dome, thus dividing the human race into Dwellers and Outsiders. Aria, our female protagonist, is a Dweller. Her mother is a scientist stationed on a different dome far away. She has not heard from her mother or seen her in the Realms, a virtual reality type computer software that Dwellers are inhabiting more often than ‘the real’, and she sets out to find out what may have happened to her.
Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, Aria gets caught in the crosshairs of the leaders of her dome home. As Dwellers are meant to die once they leave them domes, they find a fitting punishment to be dropping her off in the middle of nowhere hoping she perishes either under an onslaught of Aether storms or by the hands of Outsides, also known as savages.
As it would be a rather short book and series if Aria did perish in such a manner, she survives with the help of our male protagonist, Peregrine or Perry. Aria, the Dweller, and Perry, the Outsider, come to an understand that they will search for Perry’s nephew and Aria’s mother together. An so an alliance is born and subsequent romance starts.
The relationship between Perry and Aria was incredibly believable. There was no real “love at first sight” and for all intents and purposes they truly did hate each other at the beginning. As they started to work together and develop feelings, it flowed smoothly. They gained something from each other that they desperately needed. Aria learned to be a survivor and Perry learned that people aren’t always how they seem to be. Two enemies taught to hate each other learn to love each other in a very Romeo and Juliet type of way.
This book was by far one of the better books I have read this year. It was written very well and easy to understand. The characters all flowed very well together and the adventures and tribulations that Perry and Aria faced throughout their journey were interesting. I found myself wanting to learn more and more about this dystophic world and the two groups of humans that inhabit it. Rossi did an amazing job and I highly recommend this book to dystopia readers everywhere.
I was slightly disappointed in this book. Perhaps it’s because there’s been so much hype surrounding it and I set it up in my head as this amazing read, but it fell short. It was good and enjoyable, but I was expecting beautiful prose and a wonderful plot filled with unforeseeable turns, and what I read just wasn’t that. However, this is a good, just not wonderful, book. I really liked the following aspects:
The characters, Aria specifically. They were easy to relate to and had strong motivations and desires that prompted their actions. Their actions never seemed forced or unrealistic. I like Aria’s growth through the book, how she realizes she can survive in the world outside. Perry was a intriguing character as well. I didn’t like him as much as I thought I would, but he was a well-written character.
The plot was fairly interesting. I was involved and the story and the characters. I liked the addition of the strong senses and the cannibal tribes, which were rightly terrifying.
The little bit of the book that took place inside the pods. This was so interesting, and what I wanted more of! I want to know about these pods. How did they come to be? What exactly has happened that force a society to live in these pods? We get a little bit of this, with the explanation that the Aether storms drove humans inside, but I wanted more, and I ate up every word where I did get to explore this world.
The Aether storms. The description of them leaves quite a bit up to the imagination, but in my mind they are incredibly beautiful and incredibly beautiful. I like the addition of these massive lightening-type energy storms.
Like I said, I did really enjoy these aspects of the book, but there were just a few things I couldn’t overlook. I’m not convinced of the romance yet. I like both characters individually, and while I do applaud the rather mutual romance that’s going on here, I just haven’t bought it yet. I’ll probably read the future books and I hope it’ll grow on me, but so far the romance is a no-go. And my biggest disappointment with this book, which takes it from a potential 4 star down to a 3 star review is the world. There is so much interesting things that could be explored in this world that’s been built, and I want to know it all. The whole concept of smarteyes and the pods and the storms just left me wanting more, but not necessarily in a good way. This had the potential to be an insanely interesting story based on the unique world alone, and I feel it just kind of fell flat for me, because instead of the world we get a much narrower story.
Final Impression: Decently good, but not great. Interesting enough that I do empathize with the main characters and will finish the series, but not enough that I feel the need to excitedly converse about this book with others. The writing is good, but I want more of the world. 2/5 stars.
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.