Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by HarperCollins on January 3, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
UNDER THE NEVER SKY is a book I’ve read twice since its release in January 2012. To put it bluntly, like Perry would: I freaking LIKE this book.
The book is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two main characters. Aria, a Dweller, lives in a protected Pod, safe from starvation, boredom, and Aether storms. Perry, an Outsider, lives in the savage, dangerous remnants of Earth. Thrown together, they must overcome their differences to find Aria’s mother and rescue Perry’s nephew.
Usually I don’t care for different points of view, but in this case, I really liked it. Having both Aria’s and Perry’s voices represented gave me a clearer look into each of their worlds, as well as their characters. Aria and Perry see things very differently, a result of the way they live and what they believe. The chapters were different enough that I didn’t feel like the author was just slapping “Aria” or “Perry” at the top of each chapter; I could have easily identified who “wrote” each chapter without being told.
UNDER THE NEVER SKY is a mix of fantasy and science fiction, with some adventure and romance tossed in. Unfortunately, there’s no worldbuilding on how Earth came to be wracked by such violent climate changes, BUT its current state is well-established. Dwellers like Aria are privileged, living mostly in virtual reality, while Outsiders like Perry struggle to find enough food to eat. Usually, a lack of worldbuilding drives me crazy, but based on what’s revealed in this book, I think the author will fill me in, and soon.
Another big plus for this book: Aria and Perry don’t fall in love the minute they see each other. Instead, they really don’t like each other, and work together only reluctantly. Eventually, of course, that changes, but I liked that they took the time to get to know each other first. Also a plus: Perry isn’t a bad guy or a jerk, like so many YA love interests. He’s a bit short on words, and violent (but with cause), but inside, he’s a very nice guy.
Aria and Perry both have unique gifts. Aria’s is genetically engineered by her mother: she’s an amazing soprano. Perry has the ability to scent “tempers,” which basically lets him read someone’s emotions and thoughts. He also has amazing night vision. Their talents mean different things in their worlds; Aria’s is a luxury, Perry’s are useful. I’m curious to see how those talents will factor into the rest of the trilogy.
I could go on about UNDER THE NEVER SKY all day long. I know it’s a book I’ll reread again and again. I just had FUN reading it. The author drew me into Aria’s and Perry’s worlds, and left me emotionally invested in their characters and journeys. I cannot wait to dive into book two of the trilogy, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT.
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