Under the Never Sky (#1) by Veronica Rossi
HarperCollins (January 03, 2012 ), 384 pages
eARC via NetGalley.
Overall: 30/30! Totally engrossing!
Title/Cover Bonus: 5
An epic journey to find a mother, save a child, and bond one barbarian of a male to one strongwilled girl.
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.
They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod “the Death Shop”.
Most Memorable Scene
I LOVED it when Perry makes shoes for Aria out of the leather cover of an old book! Also: Tree house, after the encounter with the wolves, um, yeah. 😉
The beginning of this was INTENSE. I was kinda confused as to what the heck I had picked up. It was a brilliant opening though, to show exactly what the Dwellers can suffer from. When Aria finds herself outside of the Dwelling I immediately connected with how she felt. The fact that Perry joins her almost immediately is pretty freaking awesome. His intenseness was palpable in those first few scenes. He had every reason to be of course. Aria and Perry join forces: her to find her mom and him to rescue a loved one. The journey they encounter along the way is epic and unforgettable.
Reverie is the city that Aria “dwells” in at the beginning. Dwellers are forced to live inside due to the Aether that is in the air and causes intense lightning storms that scortch the earth. Dwellers are prone to DLS (a disorder that makes them pretty much insane) so they’re always connected to their version of a virtual world, since it is too dangerous to have a life outside the dwelling.
The outside is a world surrounded by Aether clouds which rain lightning. Veronica did an amazing job building this world, espeically the journey through the woods.
Written in alternating point of views between Aria and Perry. Brilliantly done because it would have been awful not knowing what Perry was thinking! Tons of creative thought went into this story from the plot to the intense characters.
The technology in this is abundant. Aria, and all Dwellers, sport a Smarteye contraption that fuses over one eye giving them a connection to basically their own network that streams a virtual world. The worldbuilding is nothing like I’ve read before. I loved the references to the old world artifacts.
I read Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder right before this one and while they have quite a few similiarities they are completely different, and I loved them both!
Aria was a Dweller before being cast out as an Outsider. I’m so glad she encounters Perry. I’m not sure if she would have survived! She is frightened of Perry at first but she quickly puts her fears aside and man’s up to the challenge. I enjoyed her character immensely. I loved how much she grew and changed.
Perry is a Scire. He can see clearly in the dark. He’s an Outsider and a Barbarian to Aria. He is a fierce protector and guides Aria through quite the journey. His attention to his surroundings and people were qualities I enjoyed most.
Roar – Perry’s best friend with extremely good hearing.
Vale – Perry’s Blood Lord brother. He knocks heads with him constantly becauase they are both “alphas”.
Talon – Perry’s nephew of about 6. He’s ill and Perry loves him so much.
Aria and Perry’s relationship starts out as one of those hate/hate relationships. They can’t stand each other. He’s a barbarian with a weird accent and she smells funny. Their relationship reminded me of Avery and Kerrick from Maria V Snyder’s Touch of Power, which I had read just prior to this one, and it was lovely to see them come together.
While Perry was a hard man at first, he softens so well for Aria.
Love them both!
I was so sad by the end of this book! The ending is not as tidy as can be. It’s very vague but you think you understand what happens. Since this is #1 I’m assuming a second book will be released to continue this story. If so, I’m so ready!
Untitled (Under The Never Sky #2) | 2013