What’s it all about?:
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
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.
What did I think?:
Under The Never Sky is another one of my books from Chrissi Cupboard Month in June, the debut novel from Veronica Rossi, and a series I had been excited about starting. It’s not just another one of those dystopian novels that seem to be all the rage at the moment instead it blends a bit of fantasy and science fiction with some high class world-building to give the reader strong main characters and a story that they can really invest in. Our first main character is a teenager called Aria, known as a Dweller, who lives in a little bubble of a world called Reverie. Inhabitants of this strange dome are protected from the wild lands and occasionally dangerous climate outside and exist mainly in virtual reality, with an eye attachment that allows them to escape to other virtual settings – say, if they fancied lying on a beach, well er… virtually lying that is! Aria’s mother works on a different planet on very important business but she finds time to virtually link up with her daughter via Aria’s “Smarteye,” where she encourages her to sing, hence the name.
When we first meet Aria, things are going a bit haywire. She hasn’t heard from her mother for a while and has no clues as to her disappearance. Rebelling slightly against the rules of the pod they live in, her and a few friends decide to break out and see what the outside world is really like. For example, what exactly is fire? What does it look like, how does it smell etc? Well, unfortunately the teenagers soon find out with some tragic and dangerous results for them all. An outsider called Perry, who seems somewhat mythological to the Dwellers, saves Aria despite his misgivings, but in the end she is expelled from the protection of Reverie to try and survive on the outside.
Perry is a fantastic character. From his impossibly long canines, to his difficult relationship with his brother, and to the love and responsibility he feels towards his nephew are all points in his favour. However I also enjoyed the fact that he wasn’t perfect and breathed a sigh of relief while reading about characters that are quintessentially flawed, therefore human, and far more realistic. Aria’s mission apart from trying to stay alive in a dangerous world, (hey, it’s not called the Death Shop for nothing!) is to find out what has happened to her mother. When Perry meets her for a second time on the outside, he is also looking for something, and it makes sense to team up and look together – at least for a while anyway, as they both find each other highly irritating. However, the two must learn to work together if they are to survive in a world of cannibals, disease, and storms so intense that even the air has the potential to kill you.
As I mentioned before, I loved that this wasn’t just another dystopian novel, much as I enjoy them. I loved the science fiction edge to the story, even if I didn’t really understand what was going on at times. What exactly is the Aether again?! Aria and Perry are both strong and intriguing main characters that I found easy to like, and am curious enough about them to want to continue the series. I’m hoping Veronica Rossi has some more tricks up her sleeve, and a bit more explanation about this fascinating world in the second book as I think this series has the potential to be really fantastic.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):