Thursday, 31 January 2013

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Atom
Released: January 3rd 2012
Pages: 374 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Worlds kept them apart. Destiny brought them together.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

So I went into my local library in search of a specific book, and as I was browsing the Teenage Fiction section, I suddenly stumble upon this, and nearly scream - though of course I didn't, since they would have probably chucked me out. I've wanted to read this novel since forever, but I was never able to get my hands on a copy until recently. I have to say, I thought the hype was worth it.

To begin with, I found the concept of this strage world difficult to understand. Aria, the main female protagonist, lives in Reverie, a safe Pod where some of civilization are protected from the harsh conditions of the Aether - a massive expanse in the sky that randomly sparks chemical storms that devastate large areas of land all at one time.There, the citizens live in two places at once through a piece of technology called a Smarteye - something that secures itself to your face and which you can use to mentally travel to a vast majority of Realms, literally making any of your dreams a reality. Peregrine, the main male protagonist, lives Outside in the wild under the Aether, living in a tribe known as the Tides. However, despite living in fear of Aether storms, Perry is connected to it and was born with two of three known special powers - he is a Scire and a Seer, meaning that he has supersenory hearing and can see deeper than everyone else. In an unexpected turn of events, despite their differences, the pair need each other to survive and to find what they have lost.

Can I just go straight into ranting about Perry? Um, WHOAR! I don't care how sad it is, I have an undeniable book crush on him. Who couldn't? Muscular, rugged, intelligent, daring - can he not just be real? I loved Rossi's development of his character; she managed to target exactly the kind of guy most YA readers would go for, which managed to capture the reader's attention even if the storyline didn't. Aria was fantastic too, just the kind of female heroine I love in a novel - she was put in harsh circumstances, got hurt a lot, but instead of constantly whining she got on with it, developing her skills and becoming stronger and braver, I liked her so much so that even when - SPOILER ALERT - it turned out she was an Aud (possibly the most predictable plot twist ever) I still didn't hate her! Which is a good thing, might I add, since I seem to end up hating a lot of heroine's lately.

I also liked the characterisation of Roar, as he balanced Perry perfectly, and the two character's played off of each other. I also have a massive soft spot for Cinder - in the next installment, I definitely want to see more of him, as I think his character has a lot of potential.

The love between Perry and Aria, although obvious it would happen from the start, was revealed perfectly. It wasn't rushed and it wasn't "love at first sight" - despite the dystopian aspects, the love was portrayed realistically, which I thought helped the reader to bond to the characters. I was a bit worried that when Roar entered there would be a forced love triangle, as it seems to be with most novels nowadays, but luckily it wasn't, something I was more than happy to find out. Their love was natural, easy - I take my virtual hat off to Rossi for that one!

I thought the plot was incredibly good. Not an awful lot happens for how big the book is, yet it never got boring. There was a phase where I didn't feel motivated to read it, but I don't think that was down to the book, more to my mood. The pace was good and steady, giving the reader just enough detail to satisfy, but not enough to irritate. From some reviews I've skimmed few, Rossi's use of language was complained about, as some found it confusing. I didn't find this, however, which I'm surprised at considering I'm an easily-confused simpleton. I suppose the whole concept was, to begin with, difficult to understand, but as I read more of the book I just seemed to be able to flow along with the story.

Overall, I am addicted to this series, and am dying for more! I'm always wary around books that have been hyped up, as I'm usually setting myself up for disappointment. However, that was not the case for Under the Never Sky, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian novels. A book it closely reminded me of was Pure by Julianna Baggot - however, this is so so so much better! If you read Pure and liked it, then you will fall head over heels for this.
Rating: 5/5

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