Wednesday 18 June 2014

Book Review - Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian | Young Adult
Release Date: 8th January 2013
Publishers: Atom
Pages: 384
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

My relationship with Under the Never Sky bore the same resemblance of the romance in this novel; I had no patience or the effort to wait for the explanations or the signs of honesty and I really only stuck around because I thought I might get something out of it, but after a while I found myself interested in the background and the history and found myself falling slowly in love with everything about this novel, from the genetic talents the characters had to the survival and rescue story that, excuse me, puts The Hunger Games to shame. By the time I'd finished this novel, there was very little stopping me from becoming a puddle of ecstatic happy emotions, other than something I cannot for the life of me name.

Starting the novel, I was pleased that it was straight into the action and that Rossi wasn't afraid to touch on large amounts of violence and societies sense of hierarchy, but I was disappointed that I wasn't getting very many facts about the world or the how on earth there came to be a a separate way of living for the Dwellers and the Outsiders and while we did get this information further on in the novel, it did frustrate me a lot in the first half. It easily affected how much understanding I had of their backgrounds and their history, how much I could connect to the characters and the more questions that came appearing and popping up, the more annoyed I got when I wasn't getting answers. Yet when the answers came, the book shot up into the 4 stars region instantly because to me, it was and still is one of the few things that held it back; the world building could do with some more touch ups and being a little more vivid but what it had was good enough as a whole. One thing I'm still a little weird about is the Aether in the sky, I just have no idea what on earth that was and is all about, but maybe I'll get more answers on that further in the series.

For me, the winning features in this book were all about the characters, whether that be the actual characters, their development, the backgrounds and history that came with them, or the relationships that the characters formed with one another, and in the end, I was an complete and utter sucker for the romance involved. I found Aria to at first be quite annoying, but the moment she was attacked by Soren, she suddenly became this entirely different character, her perspective changed, her priorities were different and she hit rock bottom before she grew into a better character with more skills, more strength in herself and more apparent talents and I genuinely couldn't have connected better to her. Her fears and her wariness over Perry in the beginning was clear and understandable after the scenes at the beginning of the novel, while her friendship to lover romance with him was also believable and honest; being within one another's company can draw people together no matter what their backgrounds, and the revelations for the both of them only added to the strength. While Perry might not be book boyfriend material for me, I found his character to have one of the most in depth and varied amount of levels I've seen in a few months; he had a dark, damaged and scary background, negative relationship with his brother, absolutely beautiful relationship with his nephew and blamed himself for actions beyond his control. In one breath I would feel so much empathy for him, and in another I would fear for his safety, how he flung himself head first in keeping Aria safe, in the beginning for the sake of his nephew, but as they spent more time together, for the both of them. Their relationship was so subtle, so sweet and so damn relatable, even the small sex scene was honest and well done, although I might not approve of sex in a tree house that seemed a little unstable to even walk in, everything about their connection, relationship and feelings was so perfect. I was sucked in good..

There were other moments in this book that had me smiling; Roar and Cinder as characters, even Marron, were wonderful editions to the novel, bringing depth, diversity and much need humour and sarcasm to the feel and set up, while the plot and pace quickened as we got further through the actual novel. Sadly, there was something missing from the novel, I don't know whether it was to do with the missing world building, or the speed it took for the novel to pick up, but there was definitely something not there, however, what was there was so utterly mesmorising and so intriguing that I'm most definitely going to be continuing. There is very little I could fault in Under the Never Sky, Rossi created characters I loved, a world I could grow and learn more about and a romance so real, so relatable and believable, I just couldn't help but smile, smirk and find myself giddy with excitement and pleasure in the cheesy but beautiful moments. I so ship it.


  1. Great review! This series has been on my TBR for a while, and once I've made a good dent in my physical TBR I'm planning to purchase it along with the Lunar Chronicles series!! So many series, so little time!! Oh, think I've just found the title of my next discussion post! Lol xx

    1. Thank you! Oh that is a phrase I use well, and a lot, you'll have to link me to that discussion post hunny! ;)

  2. This is a series that I really want to read but can't find the time to start, this was a fantastic review and has reminded me how much I need to read them!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    1. So glad I could tot up your memory Thea, it's a beautiful book and I'm excited for the rest of the series!

  3. I am SO GLAD TO SEE YOU ENJOYED THIS! :D I absolutely adore this series and it was so sad to see it come to an end.

    You'll get more answers about the world in the future books :) The world building, admittedly, isn't the best in book 1 but it gets better as you find out more.

    I also love that you pointed out the characters, they are all so brilliantly crafted and they have all come so far :)

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the series, Amanda!

    Fantastic review!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    1. Oh that is good news, the lack of answers and a little in the way of world building was the only problem I had with this book to be honest, thank you Rashika, I'm looking forward to continuing! :)

  4. What the... okay, I'm convinced. I tried reading this book via audiobook a while back and just couldn't get into it. I also have the paperback. You've just successfully convinced me to give it another try. It sounds like I would really enjoy this one. Great review! :)

    1. Yay! I was convinced by Charnell, so it's getting around now! Good luck, and thank you Lisa! :)

  5. This book does sneak up on you. So happy you liked it and I hope you love the rest of the series too.

    1. It really does, one minute is quite bland, the next you're in love! Thank you Nereyda! :D

  6. Yay! Yay! Yay! YAAAAY!!! Can you tell how excited I am? Super excited!!! I am so happy you ended up loving this one, after I read it I knew I had found a new favourite series. The aether confused me so much, I never really understood if even after you get more explanation. So I googled it and just came to the conclusion it is like giant lightning that you just don't want to mess with ;)

    I loved Perry, he won me over a lot. I definitely love him and Aria together and loved how real their relationship felt, it's very believable and that can be rare to find in a lot of YA atm.

    I hope you love the next two books just as much! :)


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