by Veronica Rossi
January 3, 2012
Source: ARC traded with a friend
Mature content: some non-graphic sexual situations
When I pick up a book that others have liked, I’m nervous. High expectations can ruin a perfectly good story if you’re expecting it to be amazing.
Luckily, Under the Never Sky delivered. It's an imaginative and engaging book.
Under the Never Sky opens as Aria and a group of her friends sneak out of the enclosed city of Reverie and into the world outside -- the ominously named Death Shop. Something goes terribly wrong. Aria is questioned, blamed, and banished from her community.
Aria’s certain that she’s doomed. After all, the reason that Reverie was enclosed was to protect its residents from the dangerous Aether storms.
Then Aria encounters Perry, a "Savage" who lives outside Aria’s hermetically sealed world. Perry is one of the Marked, a person who possesses a dominant sense. (He can scent others' emotions.) Perry is searching for his beloved nephew, Talon, who was kidnapped by a group from Reverie. At first Perry wants nothing to do with Aria. Then the two of them realize they can help one another. Aria can help Perry get Talon back, and Perry can help Aria gather evidence that she was unfairly scapegoated.
The book is written in chapters that alternate Aria’s and Perry’s points of view in the third person. I found Perry a much more compelling character, but Aria grew on me. In fact, a lot of the story grew on me. It took me a good chunk of the book to piece together all the different aspects of the story world. There’s a lot to keep track of: Pods, Realms, Dwellers, Moles, Outsiders, Audiles, Savages, Seers and Scires.
Under the Never Sky is a book that kept me at a bit of a distance as a reader, engaging my imagination rather than my emotions. The world of the book is vivid and compelling, almost dreamy. I liked that the story incorporated elements of fantasy and sci-fi. There were some great secondary characters, and some intriguing loose ends (Liv the runaway bride, the genetic engineering that resulted in Aria's singing talent, the mysterious DLS disease) that will undoubtedly be picked up in subsequent books.
Try Under the Never Sky if you liked: