10 January 2013

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

Published: 3 January 2012 by HarperTeen

Pages: 374 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Dystopia

Source: Own

Synopsis:

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 Thoughts

Under the Never Sky is one of the best examples I've ever had of reading to suit your mood. The first time I tried reading it, I was just so confused I gave up about 30 pages in. The second try, I couldn't put the damn thing down.

I wasn't sure I liked Aria at first, but eventually she wore me down with her stubborn, never-say-die attitude. Although she initially came across as set in her ways and almost a bit of a snob, it's all understandable and eventually she overcame those issues and became a strong, likeable character. I had the same feelings about Perry to begin with, but by the end I was pretty caught up in the whole tough warrior with a caring side vibe that he had going on. There's really only one other secondary character in Under the Never Sky - Roar. I really liked him as a character, he was more open and I loved his sense of humour, as well as the strong, loyal friendships that he formed with those he loved and/or respected. I'm not the biggest fan of alternativing POVs, but in Under the Never Sky they worked perfectly for me.

And for those who hate insta-love, and love triangles - I've got good news!  There's no insta-lovey feeling in Under the Never Sky - there's an instant attraction feeling, but there's no undying declarations in the space of a few pages, instead the relationship development was based more on building trust, which I thought was done really well.

Under the Never Sky starts with action, and pretty much doesn't let up the whole way through - and this was where my initial false start came from - so much information was thrown at me in a short period of time, before I could get to know the characters and understand the world, and there's a fair bit of slang that isn't explained until much further in the book my brain was in serious danger of an overload. But that opening chapter certainly set the tone for the rest of the book, and once I got my bearings it was a real rollercoaster of a plot.

I really liked the world building - it's not all laid out at the beginning, and there's a fair amount of guesswork to begin with, but as I got into the story, there were more and more hints about how the world worked, how people had come to be split into Dwellers and Outsiders, and the way that the Outsider world worked. I particularly liked the tribal interactions, and the way that the story incorporated both Dweller and Outsider worlds and gradually revealed their secrets, without spilling all the beans - there's plenty of things that I hope will be revealed in the next books.

Overall, Under the Never Sky was almost perfect for me - apart from my false start I would definitely recommend this to almost anyone. If you've tried reading it, or do try and find yourself confused, push through - it's definitely worth it.


17 comments:

  1. I really need to read this one, the new one is out now and I wanted to read it before it came out, but that didn't happen. It sounds really good, I like that the romance has a good progression and that you get lost in the world. Too bad the first few chapters had you feeling a bit disjointed though I am happy that it all got sorted out farther in. Wonderful review, Kat!

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    1. The second time around I was perfectly fine with the beginning - it may have helped that I'd already tried it once before. But it certainly goes straight into the action, which I love!

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  2. And this is a perfect example of why I never like to give up on what I'm reading, even if I'm having trouble sticking with it. Sometimes (though not always) it manages to come back and really redeem itself, like it did with you and this book!

    I find the concept of the world very intriguing and it sort of reminds me of the world in James Dashner's 'The Scorch Trials.' Under the Never Sky is high on my radar now!

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    1. I need to read The Scorch Trials!

      I often 'set aside' books and never end up coming back to them, but I'm so glad I gave this one another chance, it makes me think that I should be more determined sometimes!

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    2. Just make sure you read The Maze Runner first (if you haven't already), as The Scorch Trials are 2nd in the series!

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  3. Under the Never Sky is one of my favorite books and I'm glad you enjoyed it! I like it for the reasons you mentioned: the action, the romance (No insta-love is always a good thing!) and the dual POV. Unlike you I like books that have a dual POV and I always end up enjoying and/or loving them.

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    1. I love dual POVs if they are well done, which they are in UTNS - I also liked there was only two - any more than that and I tend to skim the ones I like the least to get back to the characters I love!

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  4. Oh man, the time when you pick up a book matters so much! In grad school, I picked up Marisa de los Santos' Belong to Me and promptly DNFed. Then last year I read it and it was one of my top favorites of the year! Sometimes you really do just need to come back later!

    I didn't like this one as much as you did, but I'm thinking I'll love the next one!

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    1. This example makes me think I shouldn't be so dismissive sometimes!

      The next one is much darker!

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  5. Haha, it's funny how with some books you have to be in a certain mood to like what you read. I've done it myself so many times :) Great review, Kat! I'll be looking forward to reading the sequel. Everyone says it's amazing...

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    1. Some are a completely lost cause, but this one was definitely worth another try. LOVED the sequel!

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  6. I am actually just now starting Through The Ever Night. I read this one earlier this year and I kind of felt the same way you did in the beginning. I was so confused. I'm happy to say that's not the case with the sequel and like you, I look forward to many more secrets being revealed. Great review!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that felt that way! I think because it just jumps straight into the action, no back-story that it's a bit overwhelming.

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  7. Good to know it's not insta-love and it gets better if you wait and read some more. There are so many books I couldn't get through and people tell me only if you had read some more.

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    1. Definitely no insta-love here - they really build up their relationship from instant dislike, through to trust and then to love - it's very well done. The first few chapters certainly weren't bad - just overwhelming!

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  8. I love this book! And I'm so glad you did too. :D

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