Book Review of Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title:  Under the Never Sky

Author:  Veronica Rossi

Genre:  Young Adult Dystopian

Release Date:  January 3rd, 2012

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

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review:  I heard so much buzz about this book plus, it already has an option to be made into a movie from Warner Brothers and they did that before the book was even released.  I mean, if that is not impressive I don’t know what is.  I saw this book come up on Amazon Vine so I jumped at the opportunity to read it.

I will admit I was questioning all the chatter for this book when I first started.  It did not grab me from the beginning like I thought it would have.  It was good, yes, and I was intrigued but nothing spectacular jumped out at me.  It wasn’t until about a hundred pages in that something shifted.  I went from not really being that interested, to not being able to put the book down.  The world that Veronica built became captivating and the idea of some of the population living in pods and basically experiencing life through a virtual source and the other half living out “the wild” was fascinating.

The aspect of this book that won me over the most was not actually the romance, which is usually what draws me in.  It was the plot that kept me gripping the pages to see what challenges Aria and Perry faced next.  I first thought the events in the beginning of the book were just a set up for Aria’s exile, but they ended up weaving back in later on and gave the story an extra layer of depth.  Once Aria and Perry are thrust together and forced to work side by side, Veronica kept the plot moving forward at a steady pace and did not add fluffy details that would have just slowed everything down.  I appreciated getting to see what was going on around the characters, but really loved absorbing all the action they were constantly wrapped up in.

I also enjoyed the two viewpoints Veronica gave us.  We got to see life through Aria’s and Perry’s eyes.  Their childhoods could not have been more different from one another.  Therefore, they do not view life the same way so getting just one viewpoint would have left tis book feeling incomplete. Each of them has a unique point of view and learning about the hardships they both face and how they get through them was enlightening in many ways.

The romance in this story is not even close to and “insta-love.”  Actually it was more like an “insta-hate.”  Prejudices cloud both of their judgments of the other and it takes a long time for them to work through their preconceived notions and view each other with a clean slate.  My heart aches for these two though because they are almost doomed to never have a chance.  She is a Dweller and he has to marry one of his own, so they have a tough road ahead of them if they truly want to be together.

Overall this book was not love at first sight for me, but it quickly grew on me to the point where I could not put it down.  Veronica has created and electrifying new world that I was fully engrossed in.  I saw online that this is the first book in a trilogy, but I do not think the next book comes out until next year.  With the way this book ends, I am happy with where we are, but am itching to get my hands on the next installment.  If you are a fan of dystopian novels than this is a book you have to read!

FTC:  I received this book through the Amazon Vine Program.

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