Under The Never Sky
By Veronica Rossi
Under The Never Sky – Book 1
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love – one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY
This Blonde’s Review:
Aria lives in an enclosed city full of people who spend their time in virtual worlds. If they want to become mermaids they only have to decide they are for it to happen. Life is easy when they never have to experience pain. When Aria, her best friend, and several boys break into a closed section of the city they find themselves in the real world. Aria has ulterior motives in accompanying the boys since she hopes to talk one of them into helping her. Things don’t work as planned and soon the girls find themselves afraid. When the blame for their choices is placed on Aria she soon finds herself stranded in the middle of nowhere alone.
Perry is an Outsider, he lives in a dangerous world where death is always a possibility. He has been twice gifted with the ability to see exceptionally well at night and the ability to smell things others can’t, including human emotions. There are other outsiders with abilities, but no others have two abilities. He met Aria in the damaged part of Reverie and was familiar with her smell, so when he came across her scent in the outside world he couldn’t stop himself from helping her survive her first Aether storm.
Aria and Perry have a mutual lack of respect but agree to work together to get what they want. Perry is concerned for his nephew and Aria is worried about her mother. Their love for their family is more important than their dislike for each other. As they work together to survive and succeed they learn things about themselves and each other they never expected. With the help of new and old friends Perry and Aria work their way towards finding the answers to their questions.
When Perry and Aria start to have feelings for each other, they know it can’t last since they both want to find their way home. Those feelings are tested when Aria discovers a secret they never expected. It changes the way she sees herself and the way she sees the world she left behind. She knows she still has to return to find out what happened to her mother.
When I first heard about this one I was hesitant. I figured it could go either way but decided to go for it and hope for the best. Veronica Rossi certainly delivered, I am so glad I decided to read it!
Switching viewpoints between can go either way for me, depending on how it’s written so I was a little concerned when I saw that we’d see Aria and Perry’s point of view. Luckily the author pulled it off fabulously and I can’t imagine how the story would have suffered if we only had one point of view to go off of. And I love how she came up with the title! “A world of nevers under a never sky” was beautiful to read and the title reminds me of that lovely line each time I see it.
I wasn’t sure about Aria at first, she coaxed her friend into doing something dangerous she didn’t want to do. She was using a guy to get information, even though he did turn out to be a jerk. She had the sense of entitlement that I suppose would be natural given her life so far. She could easily be a character we liked to dislike more than a character we could love. Perry seemed too unfeeling and wild, he killed too easily instead of simply incapacitating and wasn’t too concerned with what would happen to Aria after he left her. He even seemed unwilling to help her when he found her in the middle of an Aether storm.
But looking beyond the surface gave me a better idea of the type of characters they really are. Seeing the world Perry lived in made it easy to understand why he’d kill instead of leaving them alive to potentially hurt him later. And his love and devotion to his nephew went a long way towards making him a character I could care about. Aria did well considering her situation when she was in the outside world and we were able to see that she had her own strengths and wasn’t going to cower in fear. She had a spine on her and she was willing to do anything to make sure her mother was safe. Their love for their families went a long way in my book.
As they started to work together and get to know each other better it became easier to love them. And when you love your characters you want to read their story without interruption. I love that this world Veronica Rossi has written had so many new things but she didn’t treat each one to a huge explanation like it was unusual. She fit it into the story like we should expect it but she still made it easy to understand what was going on. And I especially loved the way the romance in this one played out. Too many stories rush the romance, even enemy turned lover stories tend to change within a short time frame. This one had a slow build that felt more natural and was easier to hope they’d find a way to make it last.
I loved the side characters and their stories in this one. Roar was a fantastic character that I can’t wait to read more about. He was funny and charming and there is obviously more to him than we’ve found out yet. He wasn’t written like we have two stories going on at once, but I know I’ll be disappointed not to find his story interwoven with theirs in the next one. We also have a boy who has aether in him, a friendly man with connections and a fortune at his disposal, the bad guy who wants to use Aria, enemies who become friends, and enemies who want to eat them. Somehow the author makes all of this work together and makes me want the next book immediately.
I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series. I won’t give away Aria’s secret, but I can’t wait to see how it plays into the rest of this series and how it affects her relationships with the other characters. I also can’t wait to see what happens with Perry and his tribe or with his nephew. I was left with so many questions at the end of this story, and they’re all the good kind that make me want this series in my hands and on my bookshelves.
If you enjoy strong characters who don’t rush into romance and an exciting new world with special abilities, then you’ll love this one. Basically, anyone who finds the description even mildly appealing like I did should pick this up right away because you’ll be sorry you waited so long to get started.