Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)
My book club is full of girls who really enjoy YA. We don’t exclusively read YA, but we do read a lot of it. But it’s hard to find a YA book that hasn’t already been read by one or more of us. So I was extremely surprised when I found out that NONE of the girls in my book club had read Under the Never Sky, including me.
I’d had the book for a long time, and my husband had read it and LOVED it. Every few weeks he’d ask, “Have you bought the sequel to Under the Never Sky yet?” And I’d always respond, “I haven’t even read the first one yet!” And then when I heard the sequel is going to be at BEA, I figured I should get around to reading it ASAP, and since May was my month to host book club, I thought, “Why not kill two birds with one stone?” And I’m glad I did, because not only did I really enjoy it, the girls in my book club all enjoyed it, too!
Kind of Science Fantasy?…
One day I was on Twitter and I saw a few authors (I can’t remember who they were now), talking about the genre Science Fantasy, which I took to be kind of a melding of Science Fiction and Fantasy. They said that Star Wars was the perfect example, and that made total sense to me. So after reading UtNS, I felt like I had found a good example of a Science Fantasy book. It’s set in the future, on our world (I think), with lots of Sci-Fi gadgets, and there’s kind of a dystopian thing going on. All those make it pretty Sci-Fi. But then there are the Senses that some of the Savages have and that seems more Fantasy to me. But no matter what it is, I enjoyed the book, and I like when authors mix and match their genres within one book.
I also really loved the fact that this was a mystery, but I didn’t feel like it was solved in one infodump at the end of the book. While I’m reading, I take notes, and I often find myself noting little clues that are sure to help solve the mystery. But these are often things that the main characters dismiss, or don’t even acknowledge at all, and then they aren’t mentioned again until the very end when the main character suddenly remembers them and solves the mystery. This kind of bothers me, because although I know it’s a good way to keep the characters and the readers in the dark, it seems really convenient that at the last minute the protagonist suddenly remembers all those clues, when they hadn’t thought about them for most of the book. Anyway, my point here is that this didn’t happen in this book. Aria not only acknowledged those little clues but she put two and two together as they happened, and figured out the mystery at the same time as the reader. That made me pretty happy, because it truly made her a smart character.
And I also feel like Aria was a truly strong character. I see lots of reviews about strong female characters and a lot of the time I don’t necessarily agree with their assessments. Characters don’t have to physically fight to be strong characters, and showing emotion does not make them weak, but sarcasm and attitude doesn’t necessarily make for a strong character. Yes, anything stronger than Bella is good, but I really feel like in this story, Aria proved that she was strong in several ways, like when she continued to walk in the wilderness when Perry left her to fend for herself. I also just like the major concept of this book, which I won’t go into because of spoilers. And I loved some of the side characters, like Roar and Marron.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Under the Never Sky: