What I've Read in 2012, Part 1: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky, Book One

by Veronica Rossi
Available Now!
ISBN-13: 978-0062072030, Harper Collins, 384 pages.
“An unforgettable dystopian masterpiece.” (Examiner.com ) 

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes 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.

At first I couldn't sink into it. Those first couple of pages with Aria inside Reverie felt soo.... one dimensional somehow (and I wouldn't understand why this was until reading all the story). Yet I kept reading, something in the story was pulling me along, this slowly increasing pace into something dangerous. Then Aria was unplugged from her Smarteye and her world and the book leaped into full vibrant dimension. Danger and uncertainty were the first jarring emotions, then came fear and a fight for survival. I drank in these pages as if I were slaking a deep thirst.

But all this would seem colorless compared to the wild brilliance of Perry. I don't know how this wild personality and his mercurial moods were contained within the pages of this book. He is one of those characters that feel larger than fiction, that are so clearly drawn that he almost breaths life and draws the air in front of you. 

As the story progressed, Aria grew and became just as dimensional and vibrant and strong as I could have wished. I hunger for strong female characters, and it was brilliant to see one grow before your eyes as Aria does.

The characters and the story feels cinematic and epic. From Roar to Cinder, Marron, and little Talon were all unique and precious to me as well. I hungered to learn more about them, I drank in their scenes. My breath caught for their moments of tenderness, danger, or strength. This is a rich world that I never wanted to leave. Parting from it left me feeling as if I'd been kicked out into the cold.

This is a MUST READ and I am in agony that we will all have to wait until 2013 for the sequel, Through the Ever Night.


Espana said...

"Under the Never Sky" is a dystopian with a very sci fi feel or is it a sci fi with dystopian scenery? Heck if I know, but whatever it is - it rocks. In this world, the Earth is falling apart and the land is being ravaged by these "aether storms" that tear apart the landscape and make it difficult to survive. Apparently, generations ago, a part of the population decided to leave the struggle and live in a giant dome structure that would protect them from the storms. To keep from going stir crazy in a confined, bland space, they use a virtual reality technology that keeps them hooked up together and able to go and do anything they want. Aria, our leading lady, finds out the hard way that this way of life can have complications though. When her mom goes missing, she knows she has to do whatever it takes to find her. Unfortunately, she messes with the wrong people and finds herself fighting for her survival in a world she's only heard horror stories about and with a man, a wild man, who isn't at all like she expected.
I really enjoyed this one... I don't dish out 5 stars lightly on Goodreads.com, but I was tempted. This book meshes a lot of my favorite things - sci-fi, action, romance (and good ol' slow building romance, not INSTA-LOVE), self-discovery, strong female character (who wasn't INSTASTRONG either), dystopian setting (I love it when the stakes are ridiculously high!), etc. It's sci fi though for people who wouldn't necessarily love sci fi. I am trying desperately not to spoil you here, but there are different environments at play and not all of them are virtual.

perla said...

I agree, 5 stars all the way.