January 28th, 2012

Under the Never Sky

by Veronica Rossi

Ana's Rating

Readers Rating

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Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of survival in the outer wasteland–known as The Deathshop– are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathers can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help, too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world that’s harsh but often beautiful.


Every once in a while, you’ll read a book description and melt. You’ll get all excited and feel happy inside, and the weird cover that has nothing do to with the plot won’t even phase you at all. You will buy said book, rush home, and devour it immediately.

Under the Never Sky is one of these books.

Aria’s world is quite arteficial; all civilized people live in enclosed cities. To escape the, well, confinement of these cities, people travel to the Realms; virtual worlds that are, as they say, ‘better than real’ , where there is no pain, risk, or fear.

Perry’s world is a bit simpler. All people who are not living in cities have formed tribes, reverting to an almost animalistic way of life. Their goal is simply to survive. But in the process of their unlikely evolution, many of these Outsiders have somehow developed their senses extraordinarily– to the point of being able to sent emotions and hear things miles away.

After a not-so-accidental accident in her not-very-accident-prone home, Aria is banished from the city of Reverie, and thus, the only life she has ever imagined.

After making a seemingly harmless mistake with not-really-harmless people, Perry has put someone’s life in danger– this person being, quite possibly, the only one he actually loves.

In this collision of worlds, Aria and Perry are forced to adapt, conspire, and stand each other in the short time they both have to earn redemption. Easy, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.

Especially under the Never Sky.

Rossi’s world building is amazing. I loved the clash of civilization versus freedom, rules versus instincts, illusions versus reality. The tribes, the Croven particularly, were fascinating– not to mention a little creepy. The Aether (although it was never properly explained, which ticked me off), was captivating. Another aspect I really like was the way Rossi described language; she made it sound beautiful without uttering a word: ‘It was Perry’s language but harsher. Edged where it should have been smooth.’

I felt really satisfied with the characters when I finished Under the Never Sky. This is a very rare occurrence, and I feel quite pleased that it was accomplished. I really think that Aria and Perry evolved and came out of most of their prejudices. This being said, I thought that Aria was a true snob when she first met Perry; all she did was complain, bitch, and feel sorry for herself. Quite frankly, I imagined her whining in an English accent. This was very amusing; I do suggest it.

Some other characters I absolutely love include Roar, Cinder, and Liv. Roar is a sort of atypical pretty boy. He’s in love, despite the circumstances, and Perry’s best friend. He’s quite funny…  delightful, actually. Cinder is your classic scrawny, skimpy kid… but with a big, bad secret. He is definitely a handful, and I can picture him breaking hearts when he’s older. Oh, yeah! There should be a spin-off series about Cinder, for sure!  And as for Liv… well, she isn’t exactly a character in Under the Never Sky… but I hope she is in the next book.

Oh, and Perry, of course! Perry has a very interesting perspective. His philosophies are simple, yet they have huge meanings. He is hardworking, frank, and a man of few words… quite a cute character, if I do say so myself.

Aria thinks he’s cute, that’s for sure. The romance between the two main characters is very well written and realistic. It has verrrrry slow onset– which is great, because it allows the first three quarters of Under the Never Sky to be very action/adventure-y, and the last 25% of it to be believable. I loved how the characters knew the extent of their feelings, but also realized that they had duties and responsibilities that were more important than their emotions. That’s true strength, right there.

As I said before, the only real issue I have with this Under the Never Sky is the science behind the Aether. Apparently, the Aether is some kind of blue, lightning-like energy that flows through the sky, scorching the earth during storms. Since the Unity (Yeah, what is that, anyway?), Aether storms have become more violent and destructive, causing the death of entire tribes… okay, so we’ve got some weird-coloured lightning that kills lots of people. Believable, ain’t it? Especially since we never find out key ideas such as where it came from in the first place.

In order to redeem herself for not explaining the Aether phenomenon, Rossi masterfully explains other technicalities in detail. One of my favourites is her account of a certain part of the brain.

Last but not least, I need to mention the ending. THE ENDING. The freaking ending! Dang, if that’s not a twist, then I don’t know what is. I mean, suspense much?

So, Under the Never Sky merits 4.5/5 stars. This is a post-apocalyptic dystopian that you do not want to miss, lest you be scorched unrealistic lightning. So, shoo! Buy and read!


I’ll keep you posted,

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