Monday, 23 January 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi



A couple of weeks ago, I won a giveaway on Manda's Movements. The prize was a choice between a number of titles, some of which I’d read, a couple that didn’t appeal to me and the other titles were ones I was longing to get my hands on. Under the Never Sky was my obvious choice, though, as of the very beginning.


Recent times have seen me become more interested in dystopian books and this one really appealed to me. The title’s snappy, the cover eye-catching and the synopsis had me hooked as soon as I heard about the book several months ago.


I was half way through Cinder (review in the works!) when Under the Never Sky was delivered but as soon as I’d finished that book, I scribbled down a review and cracked open this one.

Presentation:
Title: Under the Never Sky
Series: Under the Never Sky #1

Author: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: Harper
Binding: small paperback
Page count: 384
Chapter count: 45
Font: medium, spaced
PoV: 3rd person
Tense: Past tense

Story: 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)

Thoughts and impressions: I wasn’t ready to start this book until about 23:30 on a Saturday night. It was one of those times when I thought to myself that I’d just read a chapter before bed. One chapter turned into fifteen and even then I was reluctant to put the book down for the night! I was even toying with the temptation of not sleeping so I could get more reading done. It’s been a long time since I was so drawn into a book that late at night.

This one caught me and just would not let go! As soon as I got up the next morning, I was back with my nose in the book and manage to finish it off in one sitting. The boyfriend attempted to get me to put it down once but quickly saw the error of his ways!

The world invented here is really ingenious. At some point in the past, these things called Aether storms set in and killed a lot of people. No explanation about this Aether storms is offered: where they came from, what caused them. They’re just there and surprisingly the story does not suffer for it one bit! All we know is that after the storms set in, the remaining people protected themselves from this new weather phenomenon by building “pods” where they could live in safety. The only problem with this is that there’s not enough to do in such a small, enclosed area to keep everyone from getting bored and so the Realms were created.

The Realms are essentially virtual realities where you can do what you want, be who you want, and are accessible via a clear patch worn over the left eye. This is something that I can readily see being the future of man in a technologically advanced world.

There are, of course, people who survived outside the pods as well. We’re not really filled in on why there are outsiders – whether they did not want to enter the pods, failed to get to them in time, or just were not permitted entry – but they were there and over time their genetic makeup allowed for certain changes, as seen in Peregrine, our hero.

As the story opens, Aria, the heroine, is so desperate to hear news of the pod where her mother has been working after days of no communication that she wrangles her way into what is supposed to be fun and games in an Aether-compromised area of their pod with the son of the head of security and three others. It soon becomes clear, though, that she may have bitten off more than she can chew and when a terrible event takes place, Aria is used as a scapegoat.

She finds herself cast into the Death Trap – the world outside the pods. Her reactions to all these new experiences in a world she’d always been told was full of dangers that she would not survive were always realistic and occasionally heart-wrenching. The only thing that I’m not sold on is the idea that she walked for days while the skin on her feet was shredded and full of blisters. My experience with severely blistered feet has always been that they slow you down considerably as you’re forced to hobble and running on them is the very last thing you’d want to do.

Perry has got his own interesting story and motives, joining forces with Aria only in an attempt to get his nephew back from Aria’s people, who kidnapped him. But together they end up on quite the adventure, learning to tolerate one another as they run from a cannibalistic tribe and meet a boy with a most peculiar and deadly ability.

I loved the outside world that was created and the dangers they pushed through in their separate quests: her to find out about her mother and him to rescue Talon. I loved Perry’s genetic difference and how that filled him with a duty he felt he has to honour but also left him feeling cursed. This gave him a hard but vulnerable edge that made me adore him just that much more. And I loved how Aria seemed to slowly come to the realisation that maybe the Realms aren’t really all that great but still struggled with the feeling of needing to go home. Especially towards the beginning, when she wanted to wear the Smarteye over her eye because it was simply something she was used to really rang true for me. It was the little details like that that made the story something really special.

The progression of the relationship between Aria and Perry was also just perfect. It didn’t take too long and it didn’t rush into anything forced. I admire the way that Rossi was not afraid to take the relationship to the next level when it was time.

I’m interested in seeing how their relationship will progress. There are already certain hurdles placed in the way and I want to see how they will overcome them. I’m also really looking forward to discovering more about some of the other characters (Liv, Cinder and Brooke (in particular Brooke’s reaction to Aria as it’s made obvious as of fairly early on that Brooke hopes Perry will choose to be with her)), and the dangerous world they live in.

This book was just my cup of tea and I loved the adventure that it took me on.

Style: Occasionally a bit rocky. The main perpetrator was when two or three sentences in a row would start with the PoV character’s name. Despite this, it really drew me in.

Final verdict: I was really lucky the weekend I read this (a week ago now). I was on a real YA high. I read two books in two days and both of them were absolutely brilliant reads that have ended up on my favourites shelf! I really cannot wait for the next book in this series! 5 stars.

Extra notes: I didn’t notice any bad language. Sex behind closed doors.


37 comments:

  1. I so wanna read this :) Deffo my next to buy once
    its out in the UK :)

    Great Review :)

    Tara - Basically Books :)

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  2. Thank you. And yes, you MUST read it! And then force both of your sisters to read it too!!

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  3. interesting story. I will definitely add this to my TBR pile. Your review made my hands itch for this book. :)

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  4. I really want to read this one...I'm going have to squeeze this in somehow to my TBR list

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  5. I actually just finished this book yesterday. Unlike you, it took me a while to really get into it, and it wasn't until about halfway through that I got really interested. But by the end I was screaming "WTF?!" and wanted book 2 ASAP.

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  6. Everyone's raving about this! The world-building sounds really great, and the characters all seem very likable or relatable. Thanks so much:)

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  7. great review, i can't wait to read this!

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  8. I cant wait to read it, seems really interesting and refreshing. :)

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  9. I love your review, that "not wanting to sleep" feeling was exactly what I got when I read this book from after I checked it out from the library. Thanks for the great, and very accurate review.

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  10. Awesome book! I read it a few months ago, and I totally loved it! At first I was a bit confused though, I couldn't understand what's happening, but after I fell in love with the characters!

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  11. Wow. I read some good reviews but this one is explosive! Thanks for it because I think I am bumping this up my wishlist now! Love dystopians too! Such fun!

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  12. Fantastic review! I really want to read this and you've sold it to me - I really need a 'can't put it down' book :)

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  13. This was one of my favorite books so far this year, too. You touched on a reason I liked it so much -- the relationship between Aria and Perry is natural, instead of the "love at first sight" we see so much.

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  14. This has been on my TBR list for so long. I cant wait to get my hands on this!!

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  15. Haha, I know the feeling "one chapter turned into fifteen" :D Its been on my wishlist forever,and it's obvious that this book made you very happy :)

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  16. I always love to hear about new 'I-Could-Not-Put-It-Down' reads. I can't seem to get enough Dystopian YA's lately. This one sounds fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Tracy A.J.

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  17. I have to agree with you- this is now one of my favorites! And I absolutely adore the cover. Very pretty. =) Thanks for the great review!
    ~Shelby
    http://gobsandgobsofbooks.blogspot.com/

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  18. Aria has it rough!! Good review, I'm more interested in getting this now.

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  19. Thanks for your thorough review. It gave me a real sense about the novel, which I haven't yet had the pleasure to read. I love it when a book compels you to stay up all night because it's THAT good! The last time that happened to me, I was reading, "The Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood!

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  20. Great review! I was curious about this book and after reading your review, I am definitely adding it to my TBR list! Sounds like it has great characters and lots of adventure so that's my kind of book! You gave it 5 stars so what's not to like?

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  21. I loved this book too :) although it frustrated me at first, not knowing what an Aether storm was, but I agree, in the end it didn't really matter

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  22. OMG. After this review, I so so want to read this book! Your giveaway is a great chance to readit! ]

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  23. Great review of Under the Never Sky! I absolutely adored the book. I went into it not exactly sure what to expect. I didn't know if I would like it, love it or hate it. Thank goodness, I love it! I will own this book one day, and I will read this book 1,2,3,4,5....10 times a year! Thanks for your review. Hopefully you have helped turn others onto this amazing book!

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  24. it;s an interesting story. I didn't read the book yet but i think it would be verry soon une of my favorite

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  25. Sounds like she could do with some blister plasters!
    I have recently started reading dystopian books this year, and this one is on my wishlist. A friend of mine is absolutely obsessed with Perry and I really need to get in on the action :)
    I can't believe that the outside world is called the 'death trap', that's inspiring isn't it?! Can't imagine many people would be anxious to get out there!
    Looking forward to this book :)

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  26. oh wow, a very positive review - I really want to read it now!

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  27. Thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read this. I've had this on my wishlist for awhile now!

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  28. I love relationships that aren't pushed quickly. Thanks for the review. :)

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  29. Under the Never Sky is a new interesting dystopian story. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the review!

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  30. Great review!!! I loved this book it is my favorite read so far this year as well. I can't wait for book 2 to come out!!!!

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  31. I cant wait to read this book! So interesting :D

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  32. this book has been in my TBR list since very great reviews about it came out. even some of my friends recommend this to me. im mostly intrigued with Aria :)

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  33. This seem a interesting story. The all barbarian thing i thought that was funny, sort of what european thought about american back in the day.
    I´m looking forward to read this book.

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  34. I also gave a good 5stars to this book! A very interesting plot. And I love Perry and Aria's love story! :))

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  35. This book has been on my TBR list forever. I think I have to move it up, based on your review! Great job :D

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  36. I love this book sooooo much!!!! It's amazing!!!! Like a breath of fresh air. I love the technology incorporated in this book, especially when the Smarteye is something that scientists are already looking into. So far, there doesn't seem to be a love triangle, which is AWESOME!!!! I despise love triangles. I was a little afraid with Roar and Aria, but he loves Liv. And then I was afraid with Perry and Brooke, but I don't think that's going to happen. I like the journey feel of this book. It's different from other books that also have the journey setting. And I love Aria, and Perry. They are strong, likable, imperfect characters. Ms. Rossi did an amazing job with this book! I hope Through the Ever Night and Into the Still Blue are just as or even more amazing!!!! Thanks for the review!!!

    Alyssa Susanna

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