Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 4 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky was a story that I thought started slowly because it put me smack into the middle of a world I barely comprehended, and used terms which I didn’t understand. As the story progressed however and I started to grasp everything, I ended up getting sucked into the book and falling in love with it.

Basically, the Dwellers have taken shelter permanently from the Aether storms in domed buildings and have become very technologically advanced. Never being able to venture outside I suppose has its perks: the Dwellers have managed to eradicate disease so that they can live up to over a hundred, figured out how to create designer babies, and built virtual environments to avoid boredom.

On the other hand, you have the Outsiders who have learned to live with the Aether storms and developed mutations in the process. Seers have better vision than most; Audiles have sensitive hearing, and Scires have a heightened sense of smell. It all sounds kind of sci-fi-ish, but the Marked’s (i.e. those who have enhanced senses) powers also have a fantasy element to them. Furthermore, Rossi doesn’t go into a huge amount of explanation about her world – so for example, I still don’t know what the Aether is. Still, she makes it work; and over time, I sort of forgot that Under the Never Sky was inconsistent on the science-y details.

I really liked both Aria and Perry, and so it was nice that Under the Never Sky alternated between their perspectives to provide more insight into their character. When Aria is thrown out of Reverie, she has no idea what will become of her. Luckily, Perry has been seeking the Dweller he saved to help him find his nephew. He needs Aria, and she’s smart enough to understand that she needs him to learn how to survive on her own. Theirs is a mutually beneficial arrangement that gradually and unexpectedly blossoms into a romance as the two learn to see beyond their prejudices about ‘Moles’ and ‘Savages’ to the actual person underneath. (Seriously though, what was up with Perry smelling violets? As much as I liked the romance, that part grossed me out.)

The secondary characters were also great; and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Roar and Cinder in the sequel. As well, I’m hoping that Olivia will grace us with her presence in it since I’d like to see how she interacts with Perry, Aria and Roar.  

Under the Never Sky was released by HarperTeen on January 3, 2012.

Comments About the Cover: If there are Aether storms, why does the outside world look very serene? Why is Aria confidently out walking, dressed in leather? If you haven’t figured it out, the cover doesn’t match the story at all.  

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via NetGalley. 


  1. EXACTLY! That's the same way I was too! :) It was a little hard to not be confused by the new world with all those proper nouns and stuff, but once you get used to everything, you end up absolutely loving it! Perry & Aria were both just such AWESOME characters, and oh my gosh, ROAR! I'm hoping we'll see lots more of him in the future too (and Liv)! ;)

    Super-awesome review, Z! :) I'm really, really happy that you loved this one like I did! <3

  2. Great review! I had a hard time getting into this book because of all the new terms and the writing style (there are a LOT of pronouns it was hard to read almost) but I still enjoyed the plot overall. Glad you did too and I agree the characters were great I loved the romance.

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I feel like everyone has read this book but me. I'm really trying to play catch-up. Work has been crazy and I can't keep awake when I get home. This is on my stack "to read ASAP" especially since my galley copy will expire in a few days. I can't wait to meet these characters. They definitely sound like people I would really like.

  4. I'm definitely hoping for more Roar and Cinder in book 2 as well! Loved them:) I agree with you on the beginning, it was strange and a little disorienting but then once Aria got booted I got sucked right in and couldn't get enough of it:) Beautiful review Zahida!

  5. Okay, once again, you are a book ahead of me. I just got this book a couple of days ago. :)

    What is up with this "Perry smelling violets" reference. I'm so curious about what that means. Like every time he is around Aria, he smells violets? How is that gross? LOL

  6. Too bad about the cover not fitting the story, because it rocks. ;) Perry smelling violets? Seriously, yeah that is weird.

  7. Thanks for the review. I have been curious about this one but I haven't picked it up yet.

  8. Glad you liked it! Perry, Aria, Cinder, Roar are all very likable characters. I'd want to see Olivia in the next book too. And I also agree with you on the cover. I actually like the UK version better even though it doesn't seem to suit the book as well.

  9. This sounds like a great book and one that it is worth it to stick through. Thanks for writing such an honest review. Now I will know that it might be confusing at first- but that it will get better! You made some excellent points about the cover.


  10. I'm so glad you like this! I saw a few negative reviews first, so I wasn't sure, but lately all of the bloggers I tend to agree with most have liked it. I love the way the romance sounds.


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