Monday, 4 March 2013

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Author: Veronica Rossi Website|Twitter
Published: 7 February 2012 (Atom)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 374
Amazon: Paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: Paperback|e-book
Book Depository: Paperback

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

My Review:
So I've been wanting to read this book for ages and it finally became available at the library so I had to start it straight away! Under the Never Sky follows Aria, whose life has been contained in the domed city of Reverie, and Perry, an outsider living in the world beyond the boundaries domed city. When the two meet one night when Aria's adventure with her friends goes wrong it shakes up both of their worlds.

My immediate thoughts upon starting this book were mixed. On the one hand I loved how the book started with some action straight away. Aria and her friend Paisley tag along with fellow Reverie citizen Soren and his friends to break into one of the unused domes within the complex. Cue danger and action and a whole load of unexpected events! I really liked that. I found some of the world building hard to get into at first because the book throws a lot of terminology at you pretty quickly and I didn't always like having to wait a few pages/chapters to find out more about what certain words meant.

But once I got my head around things I really came to love the world the book takes place in and the post-apocalyptic nature of it. I loved all the cool futuristic technology, such as the smart-eyes the residents of Reverie use to connect to "Realms" - a sort of virtual reality created to provide entertainment. The whole idea of domed cities and a barren outside landscape was really interesting as well and created a fantastic setting for the novel.

This is one of those glorious books told from both the male and female perspective, in this case Aria and Perry. It was something that was so effective throughout the story, especially as the characters meet very early on and then drift apart until later in the book so you get to see what's happening in both of their lives. What impressed me was the contrast between the two characters, from their background to their hair colour, and that's something that ran through the book. As you would expect from a book where so much of the plot revolves around these two characters, there's a developing relationship there but I really liked how much of a slow burner it was. It was just so refreshing!

I was definitely more drawn to Perry than I was to Aria. I think that had to do with the fact that when Aria is introduced she's using a situation to manipulate someone to get what she wants, and there were other points where I saw a more selfish side to her so I found it hard to warm to her. In the long term, though, I think that's down to her environment and she goes through so much throughout the story that by the end I had a completely different opinion of her! I did like the exploration of her relationship with her mother which I think had a huge influence on how I saw her later on. As for Perry, well I adored him. He was so fascinating and likable - his relationship with his nephew Talon in particular melted my heart a little. I loved the different layers to his character and his fierce protective nature. I just found myself enjoying his chapters more and he's definitely going to be one of my favourite characters! Even the smaller characters such as Roar and Cinder had me captivated. I particularly liked the humour Roar added to the group and his relationships with both Aria and Perry added something extra to the story.

Within a few chapters of the book I was absolutely hooked and any early reservations had paled into insignificance. Rossi has conjured up this rich world full of danger and wonderful characters.  The whole book is a journey for the characters, both physically and within themselves as they face perilous situations. I loved getting carried along on that journey with them. I'm a huge fan of this genre and read the premise of this book I was excited, but it delivered so much more! I can't wait to check out the next instalment.

Rating: 4*
What to read next: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, the 2nd book in the trilogy & Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi - a prequel to the series
Books like this: Matched by Ally Condie, Hope's Daughter by Melanie Cusick-Jones

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