Thursday, January 17, 2013

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 3 , 2012)
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

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.

First off, this cover is stunning. Absolutely stunning. Paired with such a cryptic and intriguing title, I'm surprised I took so long to snatch this book up. 

Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky has a classic storyline. Boy and girl from different "worlds" are outcasts in their respective societies. They meet up and have to work together to attain their goals. Oh yeah, and they end up developing feelings for each other along the way. Because this storyline is so classic, it can be tired in its execution, if not done well. Lucky for me, Veronica Rossi knows her stuff. This definitely had enough of a different feel for me to be eager to read on.

Most of the "differentness" came from the world itself. Rossi's creation is both similar and very alien from our own. To be honest, the first few chapters were a little disorienting to me. I couldn't connect with the story. In immersing the reader immediately, I felt as if I lost some of the necessary foundational blocks that would have stabilized my entry into the story. Don't get me wrong, I understood what was going on (for the most part), but it took too long for me to figure out a few different things, which I didn't like. That said, it's entirely possible I was having a slow-brain day and other people may not have had my same issue. Also, it's important to note that I did eventually become completely immersed in the story and the world.

Romance-wise, I was struck by how different Perry came across from other romantic leads. Yes, he has a lot of those classic attributes (strong, attractive, few words, etc.), but there was also a very different quality to his character. For me, a lot of that came from his Outsider society. Being a Scire and having these more primitive characteristics really helped him stand apart from other crush-worthy guys in the YA genre. Likewise, while Aria also had a lot of the typical characteristics, she also stood apart. 

Overall, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is a great mix of sci-fi and fantasy, with a healthy romance subplot. Fans of these genres should definitely pick it up. 

Final thoughts: Definitely borrow, but I'm tempted to say "buy" because of the beautiful cover.

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