Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky

Title: Under The Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

See it at Goodreads

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.

I was so surprised that I loved Under The Never Sky as much as I did. I was wary to pick this one up, though excited because it sounded just so unusual. I think a lot of my problem was that at the start of the year when it was first released, I’d been beyond ecstatic. I wanted the book. I wanted it bad. But as the days and weeks and months flew by without me still not having read it, and reading a few of my friends’ reviews on it, the wariness crept in and I held off from reading for a little while.

I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi. I think we’ve all learned that by now through the last year and half of my blogging. And while this is clearly a dystopia, it has its sci-fi elements and technology mixed throughout. Sometimes, I find my hidden gems though, and Under The Never Sky was one of them for me.

I think my only biggest problem with this read was that I felt like there wasn’t enough background to the world. I really would have liked to learn more about the history and how things came to be for the world and the characters. Instead, the reader just jumps right into the story and this strange new futuristic place with unusual happenings, and not really much of any explanations or back story. This bugged me over all, but it didn’t yank me away from the story either.

I found the new developments of humans really interesting. About like evolution. And in a way, I think it could be quite realistic. Our own future humans down the line may live to be 150 or longer at the rate science is developing. Sight could possibly become perfect for everyone--another science development already in the works. It’s a possibility anyway, and I liked seeing it cross-over into the characters for Under The Never Sky and show through their own varied specialties. Once again, another area where I would have liked to know a bit more background information because it was so fascinating.

Now, on to the R word. Not that word, sillies. I hate that awful word. For this one, I’m talking about: Romance! *breaks into Lady Gaga song*

Normally I’m not all gushy over romance in most books. I have my favorites, of course (Hello, Adrian Ivashkov?). But it’s always a struggle for me to get into a book that focuses heavily on romance and love, and even the minor characters show their struggles with that pesky emotion. I like the romance to be more the backdrop, rather than the focus. But Rossi…oh, you adorable author you, has done a fantastic job with the budding couple of Aria and Perry. Their romance started a little rocky, I’ll admit. I liked that, though. It immediately let me know it wasn’t going to be some insta-love let down. And it wasn’t. By the end, I was yelling at my book and the characters, and smiling and gushing and swooning. Nevermind. I’ll just say AWWWWW instead and be done with it. Needless to say, I adored the romance. The characters. The building tension between them. Very nicely done.

There were also a few unexpected twists here and there. And to catch me off guard is a great thing. I always seems to guess the twists beforehand. I didn’t here. Boom. Extra half-star points for that.

Really, I just found myself enjoying a great story with some absolutely fantastic characters and beautiful writing. If there’d been a bit more information perhaps to the background, rather than leaving questions hanging in the air, I’m almost sure this would have been a quick solid five stars. Either way, I highly recommend it.

Holy crap I can’t wait until the next book.




  1. I'm not sure why I've been so hesitant to pick this one up, but your review really makes me want to finally pick it up!! (And then I just as I was typing this got a tweet that it's a good audiobook too!)

    I guess it's the universe today telling me to read!!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. Meeeep I'm so glad to see you liked this one!!! Just wait until you pick up Through the Ever Night it is AMAZING. So different and so good :) Meeeeeeep I can't wait for the last one!!

    Literary Exploration

    1. I'm jealous to know that you read an early copy of Through the Ever Night! :P Hehe.. I can't wait to get it! :)

  3. Pixie, I went into this one with the same trepidation, especially sense I associated it with Divergent in my head and I really DID NOT LIKE Divergent. I'm pretty sure I just linked them because of the authors' names and genre, because they're not similar at all otherwise. Rossi's writing blows Roth's out of the water.

    There definitely needs to be more world building, and the characters still have a lot of room to grow, but this was an impressive debut!

    1. I think you're one of the very few people I know that doesn't like Divergent. I really did--it's a guilty pleasure I admit. ;) (I'd never be so crazy to say it's better than Hunger Games like some people I've seen saying though. Ridiculous.) But I didn't like the second one so much so I'm probably not too excited for the third like others are. After reading UTNS though, I certainly agree. Rossi's writing does blow Roth's out of the water. Maybe I need to re-read Divergent, and re-evaluate my review on that one. It's been over a year anyway, and my opinions tend to change with time. I know I've become more critical since reading it, too. Haha.

      I do wish there'd been more world-building in UTNS. Or this would've been five stars for sure. Just adore the romance and writing though. :D

  4. Your wariness sounds the same as mine surrounding this book. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a bookstore and picked it up, only to put it back down again. I can see myself having the same problem as you, because I am forever begging authors (in my head, of course) for more background on new worlds. But at the same time, after reading about the things you enjoyed may just have me picking it up next time I'm in the bookstore, and actually buying it next time! Great review!

    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

    1. I was the same way, passing it up many times in the book store. It wasn't until a friend and I made a book swap a couple months ago that I finally took my opportunity. So glad I did though! :) Hope you enjoy if you get the chance to read sometime and thanks so much for stopping by too!

  5. Good point! Actually there could have been a lot more background information to this story - the reader doesn't get to know a thing about how the world became what it is in UTNS...anyway I loved the slow development of Perry and Aria's relationship and I think Rossi handled the brothers' conflict really well!


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