Release Date: January 3, 2012
Age group: YA
Description (from Goodreads):
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 abarbarian, 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.
'Under the Never Sky' by Veronica Rossi definitely filled all the expectations I had. The start was a bit slow in my opinion, but once the action really started, I was hooked. The book was in a very unfortunate position in my so-called reading schedule; I started reading it right after finishing with 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline, which was incredible. I am happy to say that 'Under the Never Sky' was almost as good!
Aria has lived her whole life in Reverie, which an enclosed city where most of the time is spent in Realms, which are accessed with this device called a Smarteye. Through the Realms you can visit different places and time periods - they are artificial, but extremely well constructed - while you are in one of the Realms, you feel like you are in two places at once.
Aria's mother is a scientist and has traveled out of Reverie to work on something she has not been able to tell to Aria. When Aria decides to go look for her, things go really badly and Aria ends up being forced out of Reverie to the outside known in Reverie as the Death Shop.
Perry has been an Outsider his whole life. He knows hunger and panic. He survives better than most with his powerful sense of sight and smell. When he meets Aria, he right away realize that she is a Dweller, one from the enclosed cities. Despite the fact that he does not seem like to Aria, he decides to help her because she has something that could help him in saving someone important for him. As they embark on their journey, they get to know more about each other but also more about the lives they have not themselves experienced. And as they spend more and more time together, it becomes clear that there might actually be something between them, as much as they try to deny it.
I loved the two main characters of this novel. Aria is strong and independent, but not flawless. When she is thrown out of the place she has called home for her whole life, she is scared and ready to face her destiny, most likely death. But as she spends more and more time Outside, she starts to learn new skills and realizes that she actually might have a chance to survive. Perry is fierce and strong, and despite the fact that he seems cold towards Aria, he is also caring. He has been through a lot, and his life seems to be an endless struggle. He also blames himself for things he had no control over.
I kept rooting for these two characters throughout the whole book. Even though I knew they would eventually fall in love, I liked the fact that it took its time and it was not the type of instalove you see in many YA novels. The other characters were also interesting and the whole fictional world Rossi has created is fascinating with its little details from the Realms to the cruel Outside world.