Saturday, January 14, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - Book Review

Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Pages: 384
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Summary: 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. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Radiant and spectacular, Under The Never Sky is devastatingly strong and poignant, showing the world that under the barrage of dystopians, it will not back down.

In a world where anything is possible, Aria lives among the Dwellers of Reverie and it's many Realms. Science, the leading background of the Reams, is the basis for most thought as well as all the support of the people who live within. Aria has resided in Reverie with her mother her entire seventeen years and while she knows of the Outside, it's not something she cares to explore. Suddenly her mother goes missing in one of the outer pods of Reverie and Aria will do anything to make sure that she is alive and well. But things don't go as Aria has planned and instead she finds herself in much more danger than she ever thought possible. Thrust into the Outside under the aether filled sky, Aria must learn to survive and acclimate or death will surely claim her.

Told in a third person double narrative, Veronica Rossi's debut novel, is deeply creative and inventive. Dystopians being rampant around the publishing world, Under the Never Sky definitely stands out as its own breed of novel. Built within the Science Fiction world with a different feel around the government and outsiders, Rossi has crafted her novel into one that is more about surviving what we don't know rather than sticking it to the man. Originally I was leery of reading another dystopian with the fear that it would be much of the same. However, Rossi has significantly done away with the tedium of the genre and created something new and exciting.

I keep attempting to pinpoint the delicious differences between Under the Never Sky and other dystopians, and I think what it really comes down to is most of the book is not necessarily about Aria finding herself and discovering that the government is shite, but rather her fighting from the beginning because nothing is as important to her as her mother. It's a refreshing turn to see a teen not quite so self-absorbed. Hopefully that doesn't come out wrong, because Aria is indeed a conflicting and flawed character and humans in general are prone to moments of narcissism, Aria being no exception. In the same light, Aria sees what's in front of her and can't seem to get past most of her preconceived notions about The Outsiders, particularly Peregrine - the other POV - or Perry as he is known to most and his weird traits and habits.

Perry, a huntsman by lifestyle, is part of the hunt in a way that makes him a bit more animal than human. He is harsh and rough around the edges, but living under "The Never Sky" there really is no other choice. Strong and loyal to those he loves and trusts, Perry is the best sort of ally. Then again, he's the worst kind of enemy. Lean, sleek and deadly, he prowls around every step and every word he utters, always waiting for the sky to drop down an swallow everything - literally and metaphorically. Perry and Aria's relationship is strained and mostly non-existent, but it's truly fun to watch and follow as they learn each others movements and personalities.

Their interactions are one of the largest developments of each others character, showing how each learns what is and isn't true in the world they were raised. Aria and Perry teach each other through pain and trials how things are not always what we thought and that hardships and loss can bring us together to share something that not everyone can necessarily understand. Emotional and heart-rendering, this electrifying tale will keep you on your toes, with a host of sub characters to layer the plot and develop the story, Rossi has created something I won't soon forget. I give Under the Never Sky 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction.

Note: This book alludes to having sex

I'm sure you've all seen that Veronica Rossi and Under the Never Sky are a part of the Dark Days Supernatural Tour currently touring. For all you ARIZONA fans, she's going to be signing at Changing Hands Bookstore, today (Saturday, January 14th) at 4:00 p.m. She'll be there with Tahereh Mafi and Ellen Schreiber. Click the link for any further details.


  1. two words for you. No, three.


    1. Hahaha! Thanks Leo! :D I really did love this one. I actually went and met Veronica Rossi last night. She is so FREAKING NICE! I seriously fangirled everywhere and she didn't care one bit. Just talked with me and took pictures with me.

  2. I am all for a book that id "deliciously different than other dystopians" I have been itching to read this one! Oh I bet that was awesome to meet Veronica.
    I am a former AZ girl. I lived in Chandler for 10 yrs. Now I am in rainy Oregon. I miss the sun but not the heat and traffic!
    I am thinking about participating in your read along in March.

    1. Yay! I love meeting people from AZ...even if they aren't here anymore. :D I'm in Scottsdale right now and thinking of moving to Gilbert or Chandler because of house prices. I'm a born and raised Arizonan (Mesa, AZ to be precise). So, I'm used to the heat and sad to say I've never thought much about the traffic. LOL! I have been to Oregon because my sis used to live there, and it is BEAUTIFUL! I was up in Astoria for a bit.

      Meeting Veronica was so AMAZING! Tahereh Mafi was there as well and she was so adorable! I wanted to just squeeze her and take her home with me. NICEST. AUTHORS. EVER. I really hope you do participate in the Read-a-long! They are so fun!!

  3. Ive seen only good reviews for this one......There are so many great books coming this year I cant decide which ones to read first...:D

    Lovely review Jen!!

    and ps...oh my gosh I cant wait to read Hounded and do the read-along with you guys....woot woot...I heart read-alongs!!

    1. This one was awesome! I actually ended up buying 3 hardback books for signature so I could spread the joy! Veronica Rossi and Tahereh Mafi were so fun! They let me hang around and talked to me whenever there was a lull in the crowd. Plus, they were huggers and I love me some huggers, being that I am one myself. LOL! Seriously, it felt like hanging with longtime friends.

      I KNOW RIGHT?!?! I'm so excited for the read-a-long! I <3 them too! Plus, Atticus is like smex and yum mixed together! Kiss me I'm Irish!! :D

    2. SMEX!!??

      I need to work that into my daily vocabulary...


  4. I'm the only person I know who isn't narcissistic in any way. Yup, I'm that awesome. True Story.

    And OMG, woman! What are you doing to my little heart. It's about to explode just by reading how you described Perry! Please send that huntsman my way. LOL

    I've been looking forward to a dytopian novel that stands out from the rest. But I don't know how well I'd deal with the third person narrative. I guess that just another way the author makes her take on dytopian different, eh?

  5. I'm narcissistic, BUT other than that I'm totally perfect. No, seriously, I'm PERFECT. I'm going to ascend into heaven at any moment. I swear.

    Oh, Perry is YUMMY in all sorts of fantastical and delectable ways. I want to lick his body from head to toe and not stop for anything, including a crowd.

    As for the 3rd person narrative, it's actually really good. I prefer 1st person, so a 3rd person narrative was nice in that I got to see things from that characters point of view with a little extra added in. Plus, Rossi makes you love her characters and wish for all sorts of things for them. Including molestation where Perry & Roar are concerned. Although, I may have crossed into actual molestation. I'm sure my restraining order is in the mail. :D

  6. AZ? *whines* ;D

    Btw... reading above... you both know it's not narcissistic when it's true. ;D

    Hm...Perry in my harem... sounds good. I guess just based on that I need to read it. Plus, I do like dystopian and sci-fi so I'm all good. ;D Seriously, I didn't think this was that different when I first saw this book. I am so getting it now!

  7. Maybe, just maybe...a lovely review though, thanks!

  8. WOO HOO!!!! So glad you loved this one as much as I did Jen, I thought it was fantastic. I just adored Aria and Perry together, and loved watching them through all the trials you mentioned, seeing them both teach and learn from one another to grow into a true partnership instead of just a physical connection. LOVED! Wish I could have been in Arizona for the signing!

    Also, I see you're reading Scarlet, what do you think of it? I really enjoyed it once I got used to her dialect:)

  9. Dude, I am so mad at myself for not having read this yet!!! I fail so hard!!!!!!

  10. I'm sold! I need to read this book!!

    Your wording gets better and better when you are so excited about a book. I love it!



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XOXO Jen the Bibliophile

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