Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi can be described very easily as “Deserved All The Hype”. I couldn’t put this book down and I didn’t want to, even after it ended. I would beg borrow and steal to get my hands on #2.
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky
Publication: January 3rd 2012 by HarperCollins
Review copy provided by the Amazon Vine program for review.
Links: Author Web >> Author Twitter >> Purchase Book >> Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The first thing that comes to mind when trying to describe ‘Under the Never Sky’ is the Pocahontas story via the dystopian genre. Rossi wove an interesting mix of science fiction and gritty dystopian elements to make a unique and breathtakingly awesome read. It was almost reminiscent of HG Wells and his classic piece, ‘The Time Machine’. In ‘Under the Never Sky’ we are introduced to Aria a teen that has grown up in a sequestered society. Her people have chosen to hide themselves from the environmental dangers that plague the Earth. Their world consists of Pods where they never expect to see the sky or the sun or feel water lapping upon their feet. To combat cabin fever and boredom they spend their time in Virtual Reality Realms, where anything is possible but nothing is ever quite real.
On the outside of the pods are what Aria and her people call Outsiders, thought more of as Savages. They live no better than the early humans, killing, hunting and riddled with diseases. Aria never expects to even encounter a Savage, but when trying to get information about a pod that has gone silent, a pod that happens to be where her mother was working, events spiral out of control and Aria’s life is turned upside down. Aria comes face to face with an Outsider — and things will never be the same for her.
My brain is still churning over this one. I can not stop thinking about the world that Veronica Rossi created and how well I was able to visualize everything. Rossi’s writing was fantastic and her characters were flawless, I fell in love with both Aria and Perry and their relationship transition was exceptional. It was a real gem to behold and an example to authors that you don’t have to fall into the trap of “Oh He’s So Hot” insta-lust-love that is prevalent in many young adult novels with romance undertones. Along with the character interplay, Rossi’s world creation was also well done. The future world was imaginative and original with the blending of the two natures of dystopian – technological and archaic, much like Suzanne Collins accomplished in ‘The Hunger Games.’ Yet, unlike Rossi’s stiff competition and what we judge all other young adult dystopian against, Rossi’s ‘Under The Never Sky’ explored more of the relationships of the surviving people as opposed to the political environment like ‘The Hunger Games’ did. It is definitely a book you would want to read if you are a fan of the dystopian genre. I did have to drop this one a half a star though, just because of the ending. To go into the details would be remiss, so I’ll leave it at the fact that it is a sort of cliffhanger but rather vague almost as if the author didn’t want to leave you too bereft. It just left me desperate for book two and shattered because book two doesn’t even have a name!
Recommended for fans of dystopian. I have a hard time describing this as a young adult novel, much like I did with other greats in this genre, mainly because it doesn’t have a young adult tone. The plot is intense and the characters are very mature, so even readers that don’t enjoy young adult this would be a good book for you to give a whirl. I do recommend this for a more mature teen audience, like most dystopian and post-apocalyptics the social climate is of a more mature nature and will have some heavier subjects that will be better handled by older teens. The characters also are involved in a sexual relationship, yet nothing explicit or overly described. There are some graphically described violence scenes.
‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins
‘Delirium’ by Lauren Oliver