Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky Book #1
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
374 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult dystopian
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: May contain spoilers
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Synopsis: Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.


Under the Never Sky is hands-down one of my favourite books of 2012 so far. This book had a bit of everything - action, romance, and suspense, paired with an incredibly unique story and unforgettable characters.

The concept for this story was absolutely brilliant. I haven’t read that many dystopian novels, but so many of them are the same at the heart - the story may be a bit different, the characters vary, but the basic plotline is similar. That’s definitely not the case with Under the Never Sky. Right from the beginning we’re thrown into the action. It was a bit disorienting at first because there wasn’t much time to acclimate. I didn’t know where or when we were, or what was going on, but that sense of drama and suspense was there right from the very beginning, and I knew this story was going to be different from the others I'd read in the genre. 

The characters in Under the Never Sky really make this story. Aria is strong and smart, but there’s this innocence to her because she’s led such a sheltered life. She adapts quickly and learns just as quickly, and she realizes she’s tougher than she ever imagined, and she’s a survivor. I loved watching her growth as a character.

"She knew how to put one foot in front of the other even when every step hurt. And she knew there was pain in the journey, but there was also great beauty." ~ page 350
Peregrine - or Perry - is this tortured character who’s haunted by his past, by his Senses, by his feelings. He’s intense, but he has all these different, surprising sides to him that he slowly reveals to Aria. There were times when he broke my heart, but he also made my heart melt.

Then there’s Roar. I can’t remember the last time I loved a secondary character this much. He’s this sexy rogue with a big heart, and I fell in love with him almost as much as I did with Perry. I can’t wait to see more of him and to learn more about him in the next book.

I loved the progression of Aria and Peregrine’s relationship. At first it was all about fear, hatred, misunderstanding, and misconceptions. When they started to accept each other, it was begrudgingly - they didn’t want to admit that they might need each other or might be able to help each other. Along the way, there were moments that were so achingly sweet I had to read them several times just because they gave me butterflies. There were also scenes that were sexy, but even those were so sweet they made my heart ache in the best way possible.

"They reached for each other then like some force had pulled their hands together. Aria looked at their fingers as they laced together, bringing her the sensation of his touch. Of warmth and calluses. Soft and hard together. She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past few days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she’d ever taken. And never had she loved life more." ~ page 252

One thing I loved about the story was that despite the fact this book took place in a post-apocalyptic world, it sometimes felt more like an historic novel - something like Robin Hood that took place in the middle ages. I absolutely loved that. It was fascinating how the worlds were different - Reverie was unbelievably high-tech, while the Outside was almost primitive (which is when it reminded me of something historical rather than futuristic), and Delphi was a mixture of both. I thought that was brilliant, and it was one of the many things that set this book apart.

The pacing was quite slow, and it made the book feel much longer than it actually was. At times I thought that would affect my overall feelings toward the book, but by the time I reached the middle, I was enjoying every single word and every single scene, and I wouldn’t have wanted anything to change. There’s so much depth to the characters and the story itself, and it unfolds slowly with these little jewels of revelations and revealed secrets. The writing is so beautiful, and Rossi has such a unique writing style that sometimes I forgot I was reading a YA book.

Overall, Under the Never Sky is an extraordinary book that is a must-read in my opinion. With a storyline that is unique, engaging, and driven by emotion, along with characters that leap off the page, this book is the perfect start to a series that’s sure to be a favourite.

Have you read Under the Never Sky? What did you think? What's your favourite dystopain/post-apocalyptic novel?


  1. Oh my goodness. Marie, your review says it all! The pacing for me really gave me time to fall in love with the characters and settings, and I LOVED the diversity between the two "worlds." And I absolutely NEED more Aria/Perry because how tender, beautiful, and perfect are they?!

    FAB FAB review!

  2. "Along the way, there were moments that were so achingly sweet I had to read them several times just because they gave me butterflies."


    I LOVE LOVE LOVE books like this. They make me squee like mad. Oh man... seeing your review makes me want to just buy this book, even though I don't have the time to read it. AH!!! Great review!

  3. I'm so glad you loved this one as much as I did. :) Definitely one of the best novels I've read this year. :)

  4. This sounds like JUST the kind of book I've been waiting for. Now I'm off to Emily's (*waves*) to see what she thought. This is super interesting because I follow both of you so well.

    Marlene Detierro (CashFund)


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