March 8, 2012

Title: Under the Never Sky
Series: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 374

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.

Celeste’s review: Loved. That is all. This book lived up to and went beyond all my expectations. Post-apocalyptic AND dystopian AND a romance. What more could I ask for? Ms. Rossi created a fabulous world and I felt like I was living and breathing it. There were so many layers of things to consider, from the different societies to the different characters….just amazing. The “outside” did indeed remind me of the primitive dustlands in Blood Red Road, but the total opposite existed as well in the pods, the idea of realms and smarteyes were fascinating to me. The beginning was a bit slow, or maybe it was just because I knew it was setting up the scene for the book. I knew both Perry and Aria had to be outcasts in order to meet up, I just was impatient for it to happen!

Oh, but worth the wait. There are two types of societies the reader is introduced to. One is the Dwellers: people who live in pods and virtual realms with no worries and no need to ever leave their little bubble. The second society are the tribes: people who live on the outside, fighting for survival. For all the technology and genetic engineering that existed in the pods, the scientists could not have created the swoon for the hero and outsider Peregrine in a lab, or as everyone called him, Perry. RAWR! Aria, the heroine and Dweller, on the other hand thinks of Perry as a savage when she meets him with his tattoos, wild hair, sharp teeth, oh, yes, those are just a few things….Perry is not fond of Aria either and calls her a mole, as she has lived in the inside of her pod for her entire fragile life. The two are totally different, but not as fierce or fragile as either of them first seem.

Aria’s mother is a scientist and works in another pod, Bliss, but the connection to Bliss is down and Aria starts to worry as she does not have contact with her mother. She makes an attempt to find out if she is ok by breaking the rules and is part of disarming Ag6. But things go terribly, terribly wrong and people end up dying, including her best friend. One of the consequences is that Aria is exiled from her pod, Reverie, simply and literally thrown to the “outside”, what she calls the Death Shop.

At the same time Perry, who lives on the outside, continues to bump heads with his brother, Vale, the Blood Lord of their tribe the Tides. There is plenty of testosterone and quite the power struggle. If it weren’t for Vale’s son, Talon,who is also Perry’s 8 year old nephew he would attempt to fight Vale for position of Blood Lord. I will let you read for the details, but ultimately Perry leaves his tribe.

That was the beginning, now comes the part I wanted to hurry up and get to: Perry and Aria crossing paths and become allies for reasons I can’t say because I hate spoilers! However, the alliance between them grows as they make their journey. I not only loved the romance as it bloomed (and violets, oh I will never think of them the same, le sigh) but loved delving into this world where survival is always an issue.

Some of the names and the title of this book were so fitting and just came together for me in a way that made my heart sing. I loved the title of the book, I loved Aria’s name, I loved Perry’s name, and I loved Perry’s tattoos. It was just beautifully done.

Of course this amazing story has an amazing ending. I had wanted more detail of the reunion (what can I say, I love romance!) but hopefully that will be seen in the next book *fingers and toes crossed*. If you love dystopian or post-apocalyptic books,  Under the Never Sky is for you. The style of writing is easy, which is wonderful because the book is an absolute joy to read.


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