Thursday, 10 April 2014

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

Description from 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 think Under the Never Sky is a bit difficult to review, not because I didn't like it, but because there were some things that just weren't my thing which made a bit confused whether I loved it or not. I did like the overall plot and the characters, but then there were few things in the novel that just made to furrow my brow - I don't like this. The beginning also was a bit slow which probably didn't help me to get into the world. I think I started really enjoying the story only when Aria and Peregrine start helping each other and when their relationship started really evolving. Even though the world was rather interesting, I wish there were more details that would have aided the establishment of the world (what's the deal with Aether; where did it come from and what is is exactly and what implications does it have?).

I think I'm hesitant to love Under the Never Sky probably because I imagined the whole setting to be different. Even though it is mentioned already in the description that Aria and Peregrine need to depend on each other in order to survive in the outer wasteland, I never realised how primitive that setting really was. And this probably caused me to dislike the book a tiny bit (I kept picturing Vikings while reading the descriptions of Peregrine's culture and tribe). I have nothing against Vikings (and I know that there weren't any Vikings, but I can't let go of that image), but their stories don't float my boat, at least not yet. The Reverie world, Aria's world, on the other had loads of potential and possibilities to explore, but instead we got a lot of Viking-like action which just wasn't to my liking. But I did learn to like it after a while, I just needed time to adjust.

And this whole Viking thing almost caused me to dislike Peregrine. He is described as this wild thing - lots of tattoos; long, tangled hair; intense green, but feral eyes. I did really like Perry's ambition and insightfulness, but I didn't really like his violent side. But then again, I did end up rooting for him and Aria, so I guess that's something? H tended to exhibit a  lot of sulkiness and aggression, but then again he was born into it and he had faced rather difficult things in his past which of course affected his present behaviour. I felt the same thing with Aria - I did end up liking her in the end, but sometimes I just couldn't really connect with her. She did sometimes the most illogical things (for example in that scene where she was left alone while Perry went hunting, and she just left the safety to gather some berries without any protection or knowledge of the area or its dangers) which caused my temper to flare a bit. Despite these little things, I did find Aria a decent heroine.

Aria and Perry's romance is one of the most well paced that I've read for a really long time. It's clear that they simply loathe each other in the beginning. The tension between these two characters brings interesting scenes and it's so heartwarming to follow how their mutual hate starts to form into a completely different emotion. They both have lost something important making them vulnerable, and I loved the fact how Aria and Perry's vulnerability was a little bit healed by getting to know each other. There were moments when I was "just kiss already!!", but I'm glad that the author took her time to make them trust each other and form a bond that in the end might become indestructible. I can't wait to see where Rossi is going with these two and their relationship! 

I found the heightened senses theme really fascinating. Some of the outsiders have developed mutations due to being exposed to Aether for longterm which caused them to acquire superhuman senses. It was interesting how for example people with heightened hearing could actually hear people's thoughts if they touched them, and how some had develop a night vision. Peregrine possessed heightened sense of sight and smell which was a cool move from the author to make Peregrine even more unique than he already was. The ability to smell things from far away and detect people's emotions with solely smelling them was, well, rather interesting to read. One of the things Perry was able to smell was when Aria had her first period. I didn't really find it that important to be included in, so I suppose the author was trying to say something with that (not sure yet what). 

I think I need to get back for a moment to that Viking thing (I know that Peregrine's tribe isn't really a Viking tribe, but I just keep picturing them as such) and why it caused me to dislike the book a bit. As I already mentioned, I was expecting to get know more about Reverie, but instead I got something completely different. This wasn't made any easier as the author drops really cool details of Reverie like how all the children are genetically manipulated, how the Realm (the virtual world in which the people of Reverie spend their days) functions and how integral part it is of the whole society, and cool technology, which just made me to  ache to know more about this fascinating, science fictiony world. But the readers have be satisfied with these occasional facts. What a shame - I could've read pages and pages about Reverie and its technology!

In the end, I did find Under the Never Sky entertaining despite the slow beginning. The romance between Aria and Perry was extremely well paced, sweet, and gripping. I really appreciated that the author took her time to make Aria and Perry like each other, after all they were taught to be natural enemies. I do want to read the next book because I'm really anxious to know more about Reverie and how Aria and Perry's relationship will develop. I could categorise Under the Never Sky "it's me, not you" category because I know plenty of people who absolutely adored the book.


  1. I also had a few issues with the book but I really enjoyed the character development and the originality of the story. Oh and Roar of course :-) He was my favourite ♥
    Monique @ Mo_Books

    1. Oh, I loved Roar as well - he's definitely my favourite character! He's so swoony. :) I really enjoyed the originality as well after getting used to the whole settings - it wasn't exactly what I was expecting at first. Thanks for commenting! :)


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