Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (4.5 out of 5)
I really enjoyed this book. It’s been hard to get much reading done at all, but once I start on a book that I enjoy, well, you know it’s going to be read quickly. Under the Never Sky was one of those books. I thought it would be so jumbled and chaotic that I would not dig it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I dug, I dug, I dug. I liked it almost as much as Divergent, and would call it a cross between Maze Runner and Grave Mercy. Others would call me nuts, but they’re not writing the damn review so they can suck it!
This is a story of two seperate people- Aria and Perry. Aria is kind of the pampered princess- the one that everyone protects, even from the everyday things that she should know about and be allowed to experience. Her life is golden until her mom disappears. Perry is the outside world, the guy who’s outside of the Protection of the Domes and is constantly trying to prove himself and fighting for every little thing to survive. Opposites? Oh yes, you couldn’t get more opposite. When they meet under unpleasant auspices, they clash in a spectacular fashion. However, they fight to understand each other and manage to co-exist and even grow to love one another, despite their colossal differences. I like the realism of their radically different personalities clashing and that Rossi didn’t take an easy way out. Their worlds, like their characters, are also very different. The Domes are protected and safety is guaranteed–for everything is so technologically advanced that the element of surprise is completely removed, and thus so is the threat for takeover or hostility. The Outside where Perry resides- there’s a whole lot of nothing going on, desolate and barren barely cover the Outside. Little by little, more things are revealed to the reader that make the story even more difficult to put down. Thought you had it figured out? Think again.
Of course, this isn’t the atypical Romeo and Juliet romance of the Dystopian Universe. Then again, Aria and Perry aren’t that far away from their Shakespearean character molds. There is something there in the writing of the two of them, you just know they’re going to end up together in some fashion. That part disappointed me. It shouldn’t have, because the great love story building behind the clash of the worlds, isn’t the biggest part of the book. Except they end up hijacking the story and you can’t wait to see if they make it. I hate to admit I was one of those people, but unfortunately for my bitter, cynical reputation, I kind of hoped they would make it. Like Luke and Laura on General Hospital in the 80’s, despite the rape that started the relationship. No joke. That’s what this felt like. However, UNLIKE General Hospital, not enough adventure. That’s why I deducted a half star from the overall point spread on this book. I felt like it lost something in the courtship that went down in the book between Aria and Perry.
There are other unexplained things that bug me- Aether is a term you run into throughout the book. They hold their hearts in palm hands under the Aether sky. The what? You never really get a good definition of Aether. You almost feel like you don’t need to, as you end up enjoying the book so much that you don’t care. Until you go to recommend it or write a review, and then you’re fucked. Because those are the little things that kill. Those little plot holes are likely going to be bothersome in the other books in the series, and I really hope Veronica Rossi explains it better in the next book.
Despite those little threads of inconsistency, I really enjoyed this book. I really can’t wait to read the followup, which apparently came out in January. I advise you, if you aren’t sure if you will like it, go hit the library and check it out. I think you’ll dig it, so it’s definitely worth buying.