Review: Under the Never Sky

Review: Under the Never SkyUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by HarperCollins on January 3, 2012
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: ARC
Source: Won

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 Sentence: “They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod ‘the Death Shop.'”

When Under the Never Sky first came out, I was really excited, hoping to love it. I nearly ordered a copy for myself a couple of times, but, ultimately, decided against it. I feared this would be another disappointment, with a trap of a cover. For whatever reason, I was pretty sure this was going to be another instalove dystopia, but I’m glad to say that it’s definitely not that.

Under the Never Sky is told in third person from the perspectives of Aria and Peregrine (aka Perry). Aria lives in Reverie, a Pod, safe from the aether outside. Most of her life is spent in the Realms, complex simulations that are thought to be even better than the real world. She has no issues with her life, except for her worries about being separated from her mother, a doctor working on a project in another Pod.

Having lost contact with her mother due to network issues for longer than usual, Aria decides to investigate. To do so, she befriends Soren, the son of a powerful man in Reverie, hoping to lure the information from him. Little does she know what a creep Steldor and his dad are. This first section made it difficult for me to relate to Aria, not so much because she found herself in a bad and stupid situation, but that she should have seen it coming. She has observed some weird behavior from him before, but did not think better of going somewhere with him. Not wise.

Peregrine, desperate and searching for a way to save his nephew’s life, breaks into Reverie just in time to save Aria. Ultimately, though, this condemns both of them to expulsion from their respective homes, him from his tribe, The Tides, and her from the Pod. Even worse, a bit of tech he took from her brings Reverie’s soldiers after him, during which attack they kidnap his nephew.

Gifted with night-vision and a crazy good sense of smell, Perry finds her, doomed for death in the desert and rescues her despite his loathing for her. Note: there’s no instalove. They both hate one another for a good portion of the book. Real trust and affection are slow in coming. In fact, she thinks he’s a monster, a savage, and he thinks she’s useless, a mole. Circumstances require them to put their feelings aside and work together.

For the most part, I didn’t particularly connect with Perry and Aria. With Aria especially, I just didn’t really have a sense of her personality. Perhaps this stems from the fact that she wasn’t a real person until she emerged from the pod and really got to experience life, but I found her very bland for roughly the first 3/4 of the book. Thankfully, a lot of the side characters grabbed my interest, particularly Roar.

What really caught my interest in Under the Never Sky were the powers possessed by folks on the Outside. These powers are essentially enhanced senses. Did they evolve? It’s curious. I’m also really interested to know what’s up with the aether. Is that from people having destroyed the environment? That’s what I would guess, but I could be wrong.

While I was not blown away, I am definitely eager to read the next book, because I would like to learn more about this world and how it came to be this way. I also hope to see Aria really grow into a powerful heroine.

Favorite Quote:

“She had no illusions about becoming a master knife fighter. This wasn’t the Realms, where a thought delivered a result. But she also knew she’d given herself a better chance. And in life, at least in her new life, chances were the best she could hope for. They were like her rocks. Imperfect and surprising and maybe better in the long run than certainties. Chances, she thought, were life.”

26 responses to “Review: Under the Never Sky”

  1. KM says:

    This one was just sort of meh for me. And there were some really awkward moments, like when he can smell the fact that she’s on her period. Or the weird treehouse sex that came out of nowhere. But I agree that Roar was awesome! I’m glad there’s going to be a novella from his POV ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, I’m actually really excited about that novella, because I’m guessing Liv will be super awesome too!

      Him being able to smell her emotions was bad enough. I did think it was interesting that Rossi brought the period up, though, because those usually get ignored in books. Still, it was hella awkward.

      TREEHOUSE SEX. I both loved and hated that. Very convenient that he can scent her babymaking capabilities.

  2. Lilian says:

    I LOVE COLORS OF THE WIND! Even though Pocahontas is my least favorite Disney Princess movie.

    Somehow, I like couples that start out hating each other and growing to appreciate one another

    I read that Anna Sheehan didn’t like that A Long, Long Sleep was released after Under The Never Sky, making it seem like a copycat. I was gong to read this one since I love A Long, Long Sleep..but this one sounds like a bore.

    • Christina says:

      I’m totally a sucker for initial hatred that turns to love. I can tell you why: Pride and Prejudice. It’s my favorite book and ever since I’ve always rooted for couples that hate each other at first. I sometimes end up shipping the heroine with the wrong person as a result, and then I am sad when she chooses the friendly guy (Ouran High School Host Club).

      A Long, Long Sleep was AMAZING. They really don’t seem that similar to me at all. Like at all. Weird. This one pales in comparison for sure.

    • Lilian says:

      That hatred turned love is what Asian dramas use so well! So the girl always ends up with the bad boy and the nice supportive guy gets left out…and I’m all bitter. I almost root for the friendly guy…most of the time I pick the better looking one in Kdramas. I am shallow like that.

      NEVER MIND! WRONG BOOK! I got confused between Under the Never Sky and Beth Revis’s Across the Universe. And A Long, Lomg Sleep was similar to Across the Universe…another dystopian I didn’t read.
      Now I need to wipe your memory to shave myself from embarrassment.

    • Christina says:

      No wonder I love Asian dramas. Haha. Although I don’t think I’ve watched any like that. Oh wait, maybe I have. Goong did that. I was like why are you such a douche to the cutest girl ever?!?! The manhwa was a little different though, because the nice guy was freaking insane in it and it was more obvious that the jerk just sucked at showing his feelings and liked her the whole time. STILL. It was painful.

      Always pick the better looking one. DUH.

      A Long, Long Sleep was better than that one too imo, but since it’s from a smaller press it didn’t get as much love. Across the Universe is good, but not as amazing as I’d hoped.

    • Lilian says:

      Many Kdramas do that, immediately I think of Shining Inheritance and He’s Beautiful. I stopped watching He’s Beautiful despite everyone raving about it because I knew she wasn’t going to end up with the super-nice-supportive-friend/guy who somehow always ended up a step behind.
      The friend guy was SO CUTE in goong…and I forgot his name, but whatever, it’s been years since I watched it anyway. I really, really wanted a sequel. But that’s most likely not going to happen. *sulks*

      I thought Candlewick was a smaller press (partly because their website looks like the cheapest thing ever), but then Patrick Ness is under Candlewick too…so maybe I have to reconsider.
      But seriously, why hasn’t someone bought the sequel to A Long, Long Sleep yet?!?!? *flips a table*

    • Christina says:

      Ewww, really? You liked the friend? Oh man, I thought the asshole prince was so hot. lol. But he was terrible. Yeah, I really hoped for a sequel too.

      Candlewick is a smaller press, as in not big 6. They do have some successful authors though.


    • Christina says:

      Also, did you see that Anna commented down below?

    • Lilian says:

      It appears I have an uncanny ability to lure authors to comment on your blog.


  3. Nori says:

    I really liked this one Lol. I thought the world building was excellent. Though I totally agree that Aria is just not there yet. Also, I kept picturing Aria from Pretty Little Liars…I feel like YA authors are having issues coming up with new/original names. I’m reading a book right now with another Echo…Ugh. Any way, I think Aria is definitely a character we will come to like more later. She just has a lot of growing to do. Also, I think I read somewhere that stuff involving the aether will be a bigger part of book 2. So, maybe there will be answers soon?

    • Christina says:

      I haven’t read Pretty Little Liars so that wasn’t an issue. Well, if you think about all of the books out there, coming up with original names that aren’t ridiculous is going to be seriously difficult. I mean, Throne of Glass has a unique name, but spelling it is a pain in the butt. Celaena. Oy. I had to triple check it every time in my review, and I imagine one is still wrong.

      Yeah, I liked Aria more by the end. I suspect she’ll be more of a distinct person in the second one.

  4. Tara @ Hobbitsies says:

    I’m totally with you – I’m super intrigued by the super powered senses and I hope book two explores it a bit more! I also loved that the non-insta love. It was so much more realistic (and fun) to watch their feelings develop.

    • Christina says:

      Definitely! I don’t know why I was convinced it would be instalove. I think maybe the gushing in some reviews made me suspect that would be the case. Anyway, it worked much better this way.

      I expect book two be full of MORE POWERS.

  5. Well. I usually have this song stuck in my head like once a week, so I guess it’s that time…

    This book sounds really, really weird. With all The Words and all The Places. I keep checking it out from the library when I’m in a sort of sci-fi mood, but then never actually read it. I read the first page once, but I just was not feeling that type of book then. I know I’ll eventually read it, but it’s not on the top of my TBR.

    • Christina says:

      Hahaha, really? That’s so funny and random.

      I have books like that. I’ve pretty much given up on library books for the moment, because I’m so busy with reviews, but I did that for like the first year of blogging. Check out all the things, renew maximum amount of times, return to library, check out again, repeat. Whoops. I’m so good for library stats though!

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed this overall. UtNS is actually one of my favorite books of this year ๐Ÿ™‚ I adored Roar and Marron, and even Cinder. I can’t WAIT for the second book, because I think it will allow the characters to grow exponentially and there should be a lot more action. Guess we’ll see!

    Great review, Christina! <3

    • Christina says:

      Haha, I really liked the world building. My main issues was not connecting with the MCs. There is no question that I will be continuing with the series. I really think there’s a lot of possibility for growth in Aria’s character, so yay!

      Roar! He is amazing. And I love Liv, even though we haven’t met her. Marron was awesome too, and Rose, despite being preggers. Cinder fascinates me. I must know more!

  7. aLilLacey says:

    Not super intrigued to read this. Never dreamed of being a knife fighter and no bueno to intimate relations in a treehouse. Thanks for the review as i would have also been tempted by the cover.

    • Christina says:

      Haha, her life goal isn’t to be a knife fighter; she just wants to learn how to defend herself, which is always a good idea in a dystopian or post-apocalyptic world. The treehouse relations were amusing to me, but there were a bit startling, mostly because they seemed rather sudden. I didn’t think this book was going to have sex in it.

  8. Anna Sheehan says:

    I don’t blame Beth Revis for the release dates of our books. Her sci-fi was perfectly competent, and I found it engaging. (Mine was better, but of course it was — mine is better than any Nobel Prize winner in history. Just ask my mother.)

  9. Kayla Beck says:

    I actually really liked this book, and it was mostly because of the relationship between Perry and Aria. It was soooooo nice to have their feelings develop at a more natural pace. Also, the world-building was spot on for me. I still had questions, but I was confused or bored. I may actually reread this one before the next one comes out.

    Side note: this was one of the first books that I ever received for reviewing purposes. It was terrifying to read. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, even though I didn’t OMG love this, I’m really excited for book two, because I think that I ought to like the characters much more if Rossi does it right, which I think she should be able to. Aria and Perry are both learning a lot more about being people, so they should be more complex, interesting characters in the next installment. Also, more powers.

      Nice place to start!

  10. I’ve been eyeing this one, but not sure about the third person and that you said you didn’t connect well with the characters, but if you are eager to keep going, I think I’ll keep on TBR for a bit.
    Brandi from Blkosinerโ€™s Book Blog

    • Christina says:

      I would still try it if you’re interested in it. There’s a lot of good in this book, and I can definitely see the next one improving. Lots of people did connect with the characters, so it could just be me.

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