Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review- Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi
Harper Collins
Available Now
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Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY. (From GoodReads)

So, you know the story. But you don't know the real story. Aria is a teenage girl who is left to her own devices while her mother, a geneticist, is in another Pod for months doing classified research. They keep in touch through their Smarteyes. But the link in her mother's pod goes down and Aria is desperate to find information about her mother. She'll do anything to find out information. And she does something stupid. But not more stupid than some of the people she's with and she is the fall guy. So she finds herself outside of Reverie with nothing.

I like Aria from the start. She was determined to get answers from people who might have them so she used her singing abilities to her advantage. When things went awry, she took charge and tried to find a way out. When she has to tell her story, she does, even though it may condemn her. And when she finds herself alone outside of the safety of Reverie, she doesn't sit down and have a pity fest. I would have the biggest sob fest ever and wait to die. But she gets up and looks for a way back to where she thinks she can find her mother. I like this character very much!

Perry is a teenager or maybe a little older and his life isn't much better. He lives with his brother and his tribe The Tides, but winter is coming and they are going to starve. The Aether storms are getting worse and his brother won't listen to reason. A fight is brewing between them and the only reason he stays is because of his nephew. But, when the Dwellers come and take his nephew and his brother and the tribe blame Perry for it, he makes a run for it and finds Aria.
Perry has skills that Aria doesn't know about nor understands at first, but together they make their way toward Aria's home.

I like Perry as much as I like Aria. He's not nice to her, but that's not really his way. Being nice is not a survival skill and that's what it takes to live outside. He takes Aria's insults really well when I'm sure he'd like to backhand her. And he has a slow growing admiration for her which is well deserved. He makes no allowances for her, makes her keep up, but he also feeds her and clothes her. It's more than I would do for the enemy.

The story is told with one chapter narrated in Aria's point of view and the other Perry's. I loved it being written this way. I love knowing what's going on in both characters minds instead of having to guess what the other character is thinking and feeling. It makes me feel more a part of the story. I got so involved with this one I had to read it straight through. The writing is neither spare nor overly descriptive but perfect for each scene or character. Each word was chosen carefully, even the names Aria, who has a singing voice like an opera diva and Perry or Peregrine who has the sight and smell of a master hunter, the falcon. Reverie was like a dream land, unrealistic in that you couldn't feel, didn't even touch. Touch was so foreign to Aria that she was repulsed by it, even from her mother.

I loved this story, this coming from a reader that says she doesn't like dystopians. I'll have to change my opinion as this and other stories have proven me wrong. Under the Never Sky was like nothing I've read before. The world was brutal, yet softened by the love between Aria and Perry, which only happened maybe in the last third of the book. But they took care of each other, helped each other and their feelings grew slowly over time. I guess I fell in love with the characters, individually and as a couple. Aria is strong, never helpless, yet doesn't refuse help when offered. Perry is confused by his feelings, but follows through on them, he doesn't deny them, he even cries and is thought none the less for it by Aria. I think I have to re-read this story again!

I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher. It in no way influenced my opinion of this novel. Thank you Harper Collins and Veronica Rossi for such a great story!
I look forward to the next one!

Happy reading,


  1. *claps hands* Oh I'm so glad you loved it as much as I did! Isn't this world fantastic? This mix of generes is phenomenal as was the cast of characters!

  2. I think you wrote an amazing review Heather! I agree with everything you said, I love that Perry didn't make allowances for Aria, and Aria didn't need him too. She often fell behind but she never gave up and then they ended up making such a great team. So excited this book meant as much to you as it did to me:)

  3. Loved the review. Adding the book to my list!!!

    <3 jordan

  4. Great review, Heather. I didn't think I would liket his book because I thought it would have too much fantasy (don't know why). Your review really changed my mind. I'll have give this one a read. THANKS!!!

  5. Wonderful review Heather! I'm so glad I had added this one to my TBR list! I keep reading very positive reviews :-)

  6. Danny- I loved the mix of both, thought I thought of it more of a dystopian. I do think the Realms is definitely a fantasy element. The whole world inside Reverie was fantasy and yes I LOVED it!

  7. Jenny- Yes! Yes!! I so totally loved this one! So much so that I think it might have clouded my judgement on the next book I read. So I think I have to read it again!

    Jordan- I love your blog! Those glittery shoes are so cool! And yes this should be on everyone's TBR.

    Paige, it's not like a high fantasy kind of thing. The fantasy is just a creation of the powers that be. The dystopian world is fascinating. The people and what's happening is what captures you.

    Amber- It is so worth reading! Don't miss out! And thanks for reading the review!!

    I appreciate all of your comments

  8. I am SO glad I read your review! I was kind of iffy about this one, but you make it sound like something I'd like a lot. I love the sound of the characters, and that romance progression sounds like exactly my kind of romance. I like how you said you fell in love with the characters individually and as a couple--that's my ideal. Thank you!

  9. I read a couple of reviews of this book already, but wasn't really sure I'd like it. You convinced me!
    Awesome "review voice".
    I love a heroine that's determined to solve her problems. The fact that Perry isn't Mr "nice-guy" is even more intriguing. This goes on my TR list!
    _yay_ @


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