So recently I’ve noticed that a lot of the mind blowing, ridiculously good books that I’ve read over the past few months have been books or series that I had initially hesitated to pick up or decided to put off due to either mediocre summaries or unappealing covers. Even if a book has received good reviews, I usually make up my mind based on the short blurb authors provide us — which essentially is supposed to give readers a teaser of the epic story to come. More or less, rarely has anything screamed: Read me this instant! Well everyone, it’s safe to say that after reading Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, I’m going to literally force myself to stop the annoying habit of judging books by their summaries (for the most part), because quite frankly… this book rocked my world. The summary for Under the Never Sky does it no justice because…boys and girls, it’s just that good!
Under the Never Sky Summary
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.
I’m generally not a fan of dystopian/post apocalyptic story lines–only because I feel dead inside the majority of the time. For an example, The Hunger Games left me empty and depressed, and it hardly felt like I truly connected with any of the characters–everything was so…distant and uninviting. Which is why I tend to shy away from books like these. But once again, after hitting Barnes and Nobles about a million times and browsing through Amazon over and over, I finally decided to give Under the Never Sky a shot.
It was superb.
Rossi’s writing style is similar to that of Cynthia Hand, author of the Unearthly series, in which their writing is both simple and easy to comprehend. Each word is carefully crafted and used to convey just the right amount of feeling and emotion behind every character and their storylines. Not a single sentence is wasted on random nonsense, but effectively adds to the plot in a positive and enjoyable way. I love this style and I love how Rossi uses third person perspectives to tell her story. More specifically, I loved how the story was told from both Perry and Aria’s point of view— allowing me to fully understand each character much more deeply. It was the perfect set up for a storyline like this – two different worlds, two different characters and two different purposes unexpectedly intertwined, resulting in a fantastic plot with a good mix of action and romance.
Perry, our main male lead, literally had me at hello. Notable moment — and probably when I fell in love with him — was early into the book when Perry had grinned at Brooke and pulled her towards him on top of the roof. For some reason, that scene just won me over and I knew I was in for a good read. I just couldn’t help but squeal and roll around in my bed. I like it when a guy knows what he wants…and for once, it’s nice to see a male character that is not overly done when it comes to masculinity. Nowadays, I feel like writers try too hard to point out that the main guy is well…manly. The little things that Perry did or said were just enough to make me fall head over heels for him. He was so rugged and chiseled and real. Even the relationship between (Uncle) Perry and Talon was interesting to read. He was definitely my favorite character. Aria, though not entirely up to par with Perry’s standards in my opinion, was pretty brilliant in her own way. I get her. I get why she is the way she is and I understand why she had to do what she did to survive. Sometimes, I was just a little perplexed at how calm she could be through all of it. But I loved how she detested Perry in the beginning. It was all very real.
The plot is well paced and I absolutely loved the interactions between Perry and Aria. Most of all, I thought the scene with Aria overcoming her body changes were hilarious. And as you may already know, because I love books with epic stories, I love epic stories with subtle but great romance even more. I thought Rossi did an excellent job with this and I truly cannot wait to read the next book in this series. The only issue I had with the story was the few final romance scenes between Perry and Aria – I was just a little thrown off at how quick Aria was giving herself to Perry and vice versa. But any who, everything before that was perfectly pace — which pretty much makes up for it and doesn’t change my love for this book at all. I actually thought the action scenes in Under the Never Sky were pretty good. The final showdown between Perry and his brother was quick, but I also felt that it was done right. In a wow-that-was-brilliant sort of way. I guess anything Perry does is fine by me at this point.
As for what happens in the next book, I’m eager to find out. We’ve got an interesting plot here with so much more to come. I was surprised at how much occurred in this book alone. Hopefully Rossi manages to keep her character’s focus on their missions as Aria and Perry’s journey continues. As much as I love romance, I don’t want either of them to lose sense of what needs to be done just because they’re smitten. As for the world building, I certainly had no problems with it. Sometimes, it’s just easier to accept that that’s how it is in the world of Veronica Rossi.
The theme music I chose for Under the Never Sky is Aethera et Terra by Magna Canta. Listening to this music gives me flashes of Aria and Perry traveling across the barren lands of the Death Shop together. I envision their entire journey with this music playing in the background like a fan made music video. I discovered the song after hearing it on Pandora while reading one of the traveling scenes. I immediately thought it went well and almost laughed out loud when I saw Aethera in the title. Very fitting.
As I mentioned before, I’m not much of a dystopian/post-apocalyptic fan, but this book definitely had me purchasing Blood Red Road the next day. That should tell you how much I loved Under the Never Sky. Definitely pick up this book and read it as soon as you can. I can’t believe I ever hesitated. Veronica Rossi will be visiting Chicago in April and I’m still contemplating whether or not I should go to her book signing. I definitely want to!
Theme Music: Aethera et Terra by Magna Canta
Photo Credit: Image by Tayfun Eker from http://utopic-man.deviantart.com/art/the-last-shadow-141204285
Click here to read my review of Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi