|Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Dystopian/Paranormal YA
Reviewed by: Abigail
Kissing. References to sex.
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.
Combining the best of dystopian and paranormal elements, UNDER THE NEVER SKY is the first book in an explosive new trilogy full of danger and romance. Beautifully written, UNDER THE NEVER SKY transports readers to a frightening and fascinating world populated by the technologically advanced Dwellers aka Moles, those who sought refuge from the destructive Aether storms that decimated the planet within reinforced domes and created elaborate virtual reality worlds to escape in, sort of like the Holodecks on Star Trek. Then there are the Outsiders aka Savages, a nomadic people who live hand to mouth on the surface and have developed rare and highly prized heightened senses called Marks.
Aria, a Dweller, and Perry, an Outsider are the protagonists and are forced to form an uneasy alliance in order to save the people they love after a tragic chain of events leaves them both exiled. The world and clashing cultures in the book are just one of the strengths in UNDER THE NEVER SKY. Aria and Perry were completely callous and disdainful of each other when they met, and not in a way that you know will soon blossom into love either. Perry’s interest in Aria is to keep her alive just long enough for her to be useful. He has no sympathy for her, no real kindness, and would kill or abandon her in a moment if needed. Aria’s behavior towards Perry is little better. He is a means to an end. A necessary survival tool. Basically an animal.
It’s with perfectly agonizing slowness that they both begin to change. Prejudices are broken down, worldviews are shattered, and treachery exposed. Admiration and respect bridge the chasm between them and their worlds, and when something more began to grow, it was almost more painful since Perry is honor bound to choose a girl who shares his Mark or risk it being lost to his people and jeopardizing their chance for survival.
While I would never want to live under the never sky, I never wanted to stop reading about this harsh but magnificent world, these fierce and brave characters, and the star-crossed love story between Aria and Perry. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is a must read for anyone who love dystopian fiction, but also paranormal fans. Can’t want for the sequels.