Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 12, 2012 | 1 Comment

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by HarperTeen (1.3.2012)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

My thoughts

Rossi did not disappoint in her debut novel. Under the Never Sky was a beautiful, enthralling, and unique story and I ate it up! Although, I must say I started out extremely confused. You’re pretty much dumped into this advanced future world with hardly any explanation and terms are thrown at you – pod, Reverie, Bliss, Scire, Aether, Smarteye – it was a little overwhelming at first. But as the book went along, I picked up (slowly) on what it all meant. Once you understand the world, it’s absolutely incredible. Everything was very well thought out and structured. The only thing that wasn’t explained much was the Aether. It comes in storms and causes a lot of damage, burning up everything in its path – but what is it? What is it made up of? How did it come to be? Oh, I lied. There was one other thing. The Unity. I didn’t really understand what that was all about either. Except that it changed everything.
The Smarteye part of it reminded me a lot of Surrogates and the gaming worlds in Gamer. The concept of doing everything virtually so there’s no risk involved is vastly similar. These were the parts I found most intriguing.
I loved the development between Perry and Aria (love that name, by the way). They are forced into an uneasy alliance and at first they hate each other, are disgusted by each other. They’re both closed-minded and stubborn, Perry withdrawn and Aria a bit petulant. But as the story goes along they started to see each other in a different light and it turned out they’re more alike than they realized. 
I really enjoyed the idea of being rendered. I  thought it was a great twist to the relationship and added (more) complication into the mix.
I don’t have much to say about this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading book 2!
“Do the clouds ever clear?” she asked.
“Completely? No. Never.”
“What about the Aether? Does that ever go away?”
“Never, Mole. The Aether never leaves.”
She looked up. “A world of nevers under a never sky.”
She fit in well then, he thought. A girl who never shut up.
“Fine,” she said, and frowned. Monosyllabicism. An Outsider disease, and she’d been infected.
In life, chances were the best she could hope for. They were like her rocks. Imperfect and surprising and maybe better in the long run than certainties. Chances, she thought, were life.
Plot: 4/5
Not really much happening, but original and intriguing.
Writing Style: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4.5/5
Brilliant! Would have been 5 if Unity and Aether had been explained better.
Pace: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
It’s pretty, but the main reason I love this cover so much? The top portion in the light blue is shiny and the bottom darker area is matte.

Overall rating: 4/5 starfish

Jessi (Geo)

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