Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Like everyone else in Reverie, Aria spends her time in the Realms, virtual environments accessed through her Smarteye. For Dwellers like Aria, life in Reverie is simple. When Aria is accused of a vicious crime and thrown out of the pod and the only life she knows, she knows she will die. That’s why the outside is called the Death Shop; danger is every where.
Perry has lived all his life on the Outside, fighting hunger, predators and strange energy storms generated by the Aether, the strange electrified atmosphere that has replaced the once-blue sky. Even in a world of Outsiders, Perry is special. He has powerful gifts, allowing him to sense danger, prey and even human emotion.
Unexpectedly forced together, Aria and Perry form a reluctant alliance. Aria needs his help to return to Reverie and Perry needs Aria to help him find his nephew, who was abducted by Dwellers. Not only will they battle cannibals, wolves and the Aether, but they must battle their prejudices against each other or neither will find what they need. Aria and Perry forge a bond, a bond that may change the lives of everyone—Dwellers and Outsiders alike.
Under the Never Sky is a young adult book set in a dystopian future. Lately we’ve seen a lot of books with a dystopian theme (Matched, Wither, Divergent). The question is: can Veronica Rossi create a story in a genre that is rapidly becoming overloaded? The answer to that question is yes she can. Not only that, but she does it very well.
Under the Never Sky has a fresh, inventive plot, a distinctive writing style and well-written dynamic characters. It was refreshing to read a dystopian story with such originality. I haven’t enjoyed a book of this genre so much since I read Divergent by Veronica Roth. The plot is well-paced and entertaining. Rossi has a fantastic writing style; she knows just what to do to keep her reader interested. The point of view switches between Aria and Perry, but she manages to make it a seamless transition. Perhaps using third person limited point of view is what eases the transition (unlike Crossed by Ally Condie which uses first person point of view and confuses her readers). Rossi’s characters are also very dynamic characters, obviously growing and changing as the book progresses. I loved the growth seen in the main characters, Aria and Perry. They both learn so much about not only themselves, but also each other.
In case you can’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is by far my favorite of the year thus far. I have already recommended it to several teachers I work with, as well as both of my daughters. I don’t know if Ms. Rossi is planning a sequel (and honestly, she ended the book in a way that would allow for a sequel, but not in a way that demands a sequel), but if she is, I can’t wait to read it.
My grade for Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: