Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Under the Never Sky: Perry, I want you...

Under the Never Sky
By Veronica Rossi
Hardcover, 376 pages
HarperCollins, January 2012

Genre: Sci/Fi, Dystopia, Paranormal Romance
Rated to Read: 5 Plus Plus Stars on Goodreads. Your shelf needs this.

Summary: 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.

Review: Finally. It's happened. Book after book, I'd been waiting for that ONE close-to-perfect story of 2 polar opposites: characters who hate each other--then grow to love. And while there have been some really great stories out there like Angelfall and Legend which share a similar element, I wanted something more: I wanted to feel more of their hate at the onset. (Of course, what you feel is completely subjective so that's not to say the other stories can't produce the same feeling. It's just that this one worked better for me.)

Having been raised on the inside of a metal dome (pod), Aria's life basically consists of visits to the Realms through her smarteye. The Realms are a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional place accessible through your brain. Think of it like the Matrix. But when Aria loses contact with her mother (who is a geneticist/scientist on a secret mission), she is determined to find out the cause. Her plan? Hang out with the son of the man in charge of the mission by sneaking into an empty section of the pod. Unfortunately, not the best plan for her as she ends up exiled to the outside world.

A world she has only heard stories about. "A world of nevers under a never sky." A place controlled by the Aether storms: a swirl of colorful clouds that strike fire on the ground. A place governed by Savages: tribes that survive together. Here, Aria must learn to survive or die.

First, I hope I haven't divulged too much. The beginning was a bit confusing so I hoped to give you a base to start from. And even as I was intrigued by this "new world," my interest really didn't pick up until about 100 pages in...right when Aria and Perry meet up. But then. Oh boy, did things start to get really interesting...

What I loved most about this story was Aria and Perry's relationship: their misconceptions and disgust for each other. It was raw hatred. Which made it all the more exciting and fulfilling to discover how, when, and why those feelings changed. And why they need each other even more now. Aria was especially an interesting character to me; I really enjoyed her sarcasm, optimism--even in light of dire situations, kindness, sacrifice, and naivety.  Oh! and how Perry rivals all the other male leads! He is both ruthless and gentle, loyal, and sensitive.

The other parts I loved were how so many ideas were woven so neatly into this complex world: the idea of nature being a catalyst for genetic change (our "senses" growing stronger), genetic modifications, and how a simulated reality can alter our nature. By the way, the Aether storms aren't fully explained--which I didn't have too much of a problem with...I assume it's an act of nature. But then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's the result of a nuclear bomb or something. So, yeah...I guess Rossi could have explained its origin better as well as how it contributed to the genetic mutations. 

Overall though, Rossi must have read my mind. For me, this book had all the right elements that made it one of the best stories I've read so far this year. I do still like the UK edition better *sigh* (I need this cover.) and the tag line makes better sense, too. The only bummer about reading this so late in the year (sadly, I had to wait that long for its library arrival) is that I missed all of her book signings! If I had only known...but at least now I won't have to wait so long for #2!

This marks Book 11 in the 2012 Debut Author Challengehosted by the Story Siren.


Perla said...

Yes! I loove Perry as well. Seeing the relationship grow from hate to true love was amazing. LOVED IT!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it! I think Rossi did a fabulous job detailing how the relationship changed...and I loved that it didn't change because of the typical "he was hot looking" but because of what they were both going through. And wasn't the ending just the best?! CANNOT WAIT FOR #2!!!!