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Monday, January 16, 2012
"Under the Never Sky" by Veronica Rossi
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
There have been no shortage of majorly hyped debuts over the past few months, and this one was among the top. I was a little concerned when starting it, because some of the others didn't win me over like I had hoped, but I shouldn't have worried. For me, this book lived up to all the hype and then surpassed it. The world building in this was just amazing. I really felt like I was wandering the forests with Aria and Perry. And even though it was deadly and dangerous, I kept wishing I could actually see an aether filled sky. The gadgets and realms that Aria grew up with were really cool to read about. It's the type of technology that you can really imagine being a part of our future, but as cool as it was with all of it's endless possibilities, I much prefered spending time in the open with the Outsiders. They weren't exacly like us either. Side effects of the aether storms have caused mutations in genetics and some of the outsiders have seriously heightened senses. The heightened sight and hearing that some of them had was really cool, but I think my favorite had to be the Scires. They could scent peoples tempers and feelings. That was one I'd never heard of before.
The book is told in alternating perspectives, between Aria and Perry. I can't pick a favorite between the two of them, they were both excellent characters. They start out hating each other, because that is how they were raised to feel, but as the story goes on they form better understandings of each other and learn to accept things they always been told to despise. Aria was such a fun character to get to know. At first she was fragile and scared of almost everything, just being outside was a completely new experience for her. It actually made me a little nervous at first, because I was afraid she was going to be the wimpy, needy girl. She didn't behave that way for long, though, and the more days they spent traveling the more of a spark you saw in her. The first time we meet Perry, he's a lot mysterious and hot tempered. Once him and Aria end up traveling together, he's an ass. He blames Aria for things and doesn't try to hide it, but as the story goes on you get to see that he isn't exactly what he puts on. I love a story where there is true character growth and bonds forming. Nothing about this book was quick or easy with the characters or their journey, and I was never sure which direction it was going to go.
This one has got action, rich story, vivid characters and an excellent world. It's an excellent start for this series and I am definitely looking forward to reading what's next. So much progress was made for Aria and Perry, but there are still so many obstacles that need to be overcome. Bring on book two :0)