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.
Action packed story with a slow building but breath taking romance.
I don't know why I waited so long to read this... (I know Rivie, give it to me) I really liked Aria's spirit. There was just something about her that I appreciated and connected with. I knew that bad things were going to happen to her, but I knew that I would root for her.
Aria is such a courageous character, and I appreciate how loyal she is.
Perry is awesome. I was a little thrown at first by the abilities and all the talk about scents, but I quickly settled in and understood more about it. I loved his relationship with Talon as well. It shows so much to me about characters in how they act towards children, and he won my heart there quickly.
I loved the slow build and intensity of Aria and Perry's relationship. It made me sigh and my heart beat faster. Their banter and thoughts about each other at first really made me chuckle. But the bond that they formed by working together and learning from each other was awesome. how I think that this illustrates that not all YA love interests are actually drop dead gorgeous, but when you are attracted to someone, you find all of the perfect things about them and they are hot to you. And since I was in Aria's head, that is how I pictured Perry.
This is in 3rd person but it didn't take away anything from the story. I still connected with the characters, could feel the power of their emotions (which were beautifully written), and understood their motives. The dual narration took me a bit because at first I wanted to stay in Aria's head, but I really began to appreciate and savor the moments that I got Perry's perspective as well.
Roar and Cinder were amazing secondary characters. Roar made me smile and a lot of his lines I laughed out loud and shared with my husband. His teasing nature and openness really shone for me. I also liked what he brought out in Perry--this whole other side of his character. The way they made a team and had each other's backs was superb.
The world building was great. I got the information as I needed, and Veronica Rossi has sculpted a dangerous but beautiful world. The set up with the pods, and the aether just blew my mind. I didn't understand the Realms at first, but to really think about the genius she is to come up with the sci-fi elements and how she distinguished living through what equates to virtual reality for the future, and what is on the outside is amazing.
The twists really kept me on my toes, and I didn't see most of it coming. And how some of the themes wove together, and circled back really amazed me as well.
I read most of this in the car on the way to New Jersey and I begged Allan to find a store to stop at to buy the next one because although the ending wrapped up things pretty well, I just NEEDED more of Aria and Perry.
Bottom Line: Action packed story with a slow building but breath taking romance.
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.(
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.
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!
"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.
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