Aria and Perry live in two completely different worlds. Aria lives comfortably in Reverie — a very science fiction type city of enormous domes where technology allows you to do anything you want or be anywhere you want within different realms. You could be walking around the ancient streets of Rome or singing at the opera. When news that her mother, a scientist working in a top secret pod, goes missing Aria seeks answers at any cost which leads to Aria getting exiled from her home…into the Wastelands where she meets Perry, a Savage. Their journey for answers and redemption forge together as they realize they need each other to survive and to find the answers to the get them back to the ones they love.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is exactly what I needed to read right now! This post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel was fast-paced, highly imaginative and made for one exhilarating ride. I loved that part of this novel was more science fiction-y than most of the dystopian reads I’ve encountered but there was still that wild, badlands feel with the “outside” world where Perry lived that seemed more like a post-apocalyptic world. The world-building was incredible in this book because of this. I was equally interested in both worlds and how they operated, what they looked like and how they became separated in the first place. Veronica Rossi built these worlds so intricately that I couldn’t shake the images that my mind was conjuring up. I am in awe of these worlds she created.
I really LOVED the characters of this novel. I loved seeing Aria come to learn more about herself through this journey. She proved to be so strong but believably so. She was still vulnerable, seemingly weak and scared when she first started it all but I loved watching her power through it all and WANT to learn how to protect herself and learn that she COULD survive in the outside world. I think the thing I loved about her is that she wasn’t some badass, superpower female lead but she was a normal girl who took her horrible circumstances and really became brave and made smart decisions to keep herself fighting. And Perry..he isn’t without flaws but it’s so hard not to like him. And their relationship…PERFECT. I loved how their journey and their inner turmoil helped them to really start to see each other for who they really were rather than the labels they had assigned to each other as “Savage” and “Dweller.” I fully enjoyed watching their relationship and tensed up quite a few times waiting for some sparks. The rooftop scene…YEAH…tension galore.
While I really enjoyed this novel and couldn’t put it down, there were a few things that bothered me about it. I felt really confused at first in the beginning. I felt like I missed a first chapter or something where things were explained about the world. There was just a lot of things thrown at you all at one time and it really took about 50 pages for me to really get into it. I really had no context for what happened to the worlds that they were like this.
The biggest source of contention, for me, was the Aether storms. They were mentioned so frequently and I didn’t feel like I even understood what the heck they were or how they came to be. The only way I can think to explain it is if you’ve ever seen Lost. The Aether storms to me seemed like the Smoke Monster (not actually that it’s like the Smoke Monster but in how confused it made me). It just always seemed to be in the storyline and you don’t know where it came from or why it’s there but it just keeps showing up and that when it comes around BAD SHIZ HAPPENS. That’s how I felt about the Aether sky and the storms. I just didn’t get them. I hope that we come to understand it in the next book but it honestly did make me really confused that there seemed to be no explanation about them — not even a little. I didn’t need to know everything but I felt I was missing something…
My final thought: If you are seeking a fast paced, exciting YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic from start to finish..Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi definitely a good pick. The world-building was fantastic and I could picture it all. It wasn’t without its flaws..there were a few elements that made it confusing in the beginning and I wished I would understand some things at least a little bit because..well I just felt like I was missing some things. Great characters, accessible writing & lots of action from the get-go! AND HEY..no cliffhanger. I was actually really satisfied with the ending!
* I received this book from the publisher — HarperTeen — in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelves full of great books that this in NO way shaped my opinions in this review.