Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Exiled from her home in the enclosed dome of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the wasteland, the Death Shop, are slim. Very slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent electrical storms will. She's been taught that the air outside the domes will kill her if she breathes it in. Then she meets a wild Outsider, a savage, who becomes her only chance at staying alive. As a hunter, Perry sees this frightened Dweller girl as a risk, as sheltered and useless, but he needs her in order to find redemption. Opposites in every way, they have to accept each other in order to survive.
Under the Never Sky is a compelling blend of the dystopian, the futuristic, and the fantastical. Wandering a landscape both desolate and extremely dangerous, two people from different sides must come together to make sure not only they survive but so many others. Similar to other dystopian novels, it has elements that make it stand out on its own.
It was slow to start for me, it actually took me three tries to get into the book, but once I got past it I couldn't stop reading it. I think that my issues with the beginning came from the fact that I wanted more descriptions of the world around Aria and Perry, more setting and less of them treating each other as something to be wary of. Perhaps I wanted Moira Young's Blood Red Road or Jeyn Roberts' Dark Inside and their unique landscapes. Again, after a bit it picked up, the book got more interesting and much more complicated.
Aria and Perry. As much as I like both of them, enjoyed both of their characters, it was the classic pairing of a scared sheltered girl with secrets in her past that she doesn't know about and the rough and dangerous guy who has friend and family but is still an outcast because of abilities he can't control. I found the heightened senses aspect to be possibly the most intriguing part of the book, with the exception of side character Cinder. Side characters that do one thing to stand out amongst the others are some of the best parts of stories.
The book has an interesting premise, mixing the futuristic and technological with the desolate and the basic need for survival of clans of hunter-gatherers, the dangerous Aether storms. It is reminiscent of other novels set in an unknown future where the world is vastly different and complicated, a little like Jodi Meadows' Incarnate, but I'm curious as to where the next book will go, what else Aria and Perry will learn about the world and themselves.
(I borrowed a copy from the library.)