Author: Veronica Rossi
Published: February 7, 2012
4 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.
I love finding new dystopians to add to my ever expanding collection. I give them high expectations, hoping for The Hunger Games or Divergent qualities. Under The Never Sky shows promise at being one of my favourites, but I think I'll need to read all three of them to know for sure.
I immediately fell in love with the premise. It not only felt dystopian, with the outside world constantly in danger from Aether storms, but there was also a great sci-fi element added. Those who could afford to live inside, live in pods where they can go into realms and live as though there is no danger out of the walls. They don't really know what's happening outside. They've been taught that anyone who lives out there is a Savage, dangerous and uneducated. Aria never expects to meet one. She lives her life comfortably, singing operas in realms and living any life she wants. But when her mom goes missing and she takes a chance at getting information, she ends up outside alone with nowhere to hide. Desperate to find cover from the Aether, she decides that she will find her way back home to save her mom. But when Perry comes into the picture, a Savage that proves everything she knows about them is wrong, they may just have to pair up in order to get the answers to all their questions.
Romance is the central theme here and I'm a sucker for it. Surrounded by danger, cannibals and the storm, Aria and Perry find a way to trust each other. Away from the ones they love, they find new ways to live, to love. The story is told from two different point of views, both third person, but both with distinct descriptions. You see how alike Aria and Perry are and that the only thing that separates them are the walls built around the pods. The Savages have developed in the the ways no one in the pods ever could. Heightened senses give them the ability to survive in the wilderness. Perry can see well in the dark and also read people's emotions. You soon realize that being an Outsider is much more complicated than living in the pods. There are tribes and rules and Aria does not fit into any of it.
I think I would have connected with both Aria and Perry more if it had been written in first person. I'm forever a fan of this viewpoint because it leaves room to show emotions and thoughts that no one would see save for the narrator. Rossi does a good job with this even in third person, but I think it would have been much stronger told through the eyes of both Aria and Perry. They are both so different, raised in separate ways and born to different rules. They think different and see the world in their own ways. The viewpoints would have both been strong and stand all. I know there would be no doubt as to who was talking, so I wish this had been brought into the story.
Death looms around every corner. I wanted to know what Aria and Perry would run into next and how well they would prove against it. Aria is fierce even though she's lived in a cage. Rossi does not tell us why the Aether came or how the pods came to be, but somehow it doesn't really matter. She sets the mood, sets the pace, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. A true Romeo and Juliet tale, this book will leave you wanting more.
“There are other things I'd rather do when I'm alone with you."
Time to step off the edge. "Then do them.”