Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 3, 2012
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 374 pages

"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."


Characters: Aria is a "dweller," a girl who has lived her whole life connected to virtual "realms" in which she can do and be anything she wants, but after a tragic set of circumstances she is exiled to "The Death Shop." At the beginning of the book, she seems to be a pretty put together and confident character, even using manipulation to find out information not privy to her. I thought that this might make her character too developed for a compelling story, but boy was I wrong. After being thrown out of her "pod" her vulnerabilities really come into play and after having to team up with Peregrine an "outsider" she begins to change and develop the skills needed to survive on the outside.

Romance: The thing I loved about this romance is that it was probably one of the most realistic ones I've ever read. It doesn't begin with an immediate attraction or an awkward but sexually intense run-in. Also, the romance wasn't something that is even acknowledged for quite a while and when it does it comes as a surprise to both Perry and Aria. Though we didn't get to see much fully realized romance in this book, that's what book 2 is for.

World Building: I was completely entranced in the detail of this world that Ms. Rossi created. From the politics of the outsiders to the creativity of the realms, everything was so incredible that it almost seemed real. Most of the outsiders run in tribes similar to Native Americans or American Indians, I forget which one is politically correct, and the dwellers live in encased pods to escape the wrath of the Aether storms. Dwellers have eye pieces called "Smarteyes" which are kind of like this, but the fit over one eye and give user access to the realms, where you can go anywhere, do anything, and be anything you want. Outside the pods deadly Aether storms rage, as to what Aether really is, that's up to interpretation, personally I think of it as lightning stretched across the sky that can swirl and attack the land. Due to these storms, many on the outside have developed enhanced senses, which can give them special abilities such as hearing thoughts and smelling emotions.

Predictability: I'd rate the predictability level of this book fair. It's not overly full of twists that would put you on edge at every turn, but it's not a book that just flows monotonously. The dramatic twists that are revealed are amazing though. The foreshadowing only becomes obvious after the twist is presented leaving the my mentally slapping myself for not putting it all together. It was so much fun to watch this story unfold and to have surprises along the way to keep me guessing.

Ending: This was probably the most unique ending I've ever read for a first novel in a series. Even though there were still so many questions left unanswered I felt that if the book had to end I wouldn't be feel completely crushed. Unlike most firsts in a series this book doesn't plateau, instead it kind of wraps it up temporarily with a "Don't Open Until..." tag on it, providing just enough agony over not having the next installment right away. 

Overall I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. The story was placed in such an intricate and detailed world that I felt as if I could fraction into it myself. Alas I couldn't, but I did get a chance to visit this world again early, and you can too, be sure to head on over to my Giveaways/Contests page to enter for your chance to win an Advanced Copy of Through the Ever Night.

P.S. Due to the swarm of new followers I've now gotten over halfway to my 100 follower giveaway of The Iron Fey Boxed Set by Julie Kagawa and will put up my reviews for The Iron King and The Iron Daughter soon. Be sure to follow if you haven't already or get your friends to follow because this giveaway will be INTERNATIONAL!


  1. Under the Never Sky was one of my FAVORITE books this year! It was entrancing, as you put it :) I can't wait to read Through the Ever Night in a couple of months. It's almost hereeeee! :D

  2. This book was awesome. At first, I didn't like it. But once I got past the first chapter or so I loved where it went.

  3. Book two is out. Both are great books! Now the loonnngg wait for book #3!

  4. This book is at the top of my to-read pile and with good reason! Sounds like something I'd devour in one sitting :)