Monday, January 9, 2012

Up in the Aether: UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi

UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi
YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
384 pages, hardcover
Available now (Jan. 2012)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

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 a barbarian, 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.

Positive: Charismatic characters. At the beginning, Peregrine and Aria couldn't be more different if they tried. Aria's sheltered, has never known violence or hunger, and she's relatively incapable of taking care of herself. Perry's had to grow up very fast in the harsh world, can survive weeks or months on his own, and has quite literally violence bred into him. Over the course of the story, Aria learns not only how to take care of herself but she actually flourishes outside of her domed world while Perry learns tenderness and love through his contact with Aria.

Positive: Creative worldbuilding. While the idea of a protected, domed city isn't a new one, the world and people who live outside the dome are quite unusual. Many are Marked, with extra-strong senses: Audiles can hear a long way off; Scrires have fabulous senses of smell, a rare few, like Perry, can even scent emotions; and Seers who have impeccable vision. And then there's the Aether, a swirling, ever-present essence in the sky that blocks out the stars and can form into incredibly destructive storms that scorch the earth.

Positive: This will be perfect for my post-apocalyptic/dystopian unit. This year, I'm moving up this unit to next month, so I can get as many kids as possible reading and finishing THE HUNGER GAMES before the movie comes out (hells yeah! Can't wait!). But, since a lot of people have already read THG, I give them a long list of other post-apocalyptic/dystopian books to choose from and UNDER THE NEVER SKY will definitely be on that list.

Wish: I wish this was a stand-alone. It's not that I won't be very excited next year when book two comes out but here's yet another first book in a series. *sigh* Series overload!

Overall: Fast-paced and intriguing, UNDER THE NEVER SKY is a great edition to the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound

21 comments:

  1. There have been a lot of dystopian-YA series lately. And for me, reading a dystopian novel is exhausting! But this one sounds good. Hmmm... maybe I will find a way to put this on my to-read shelf...

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    1. It's worth a read--a bit different than the others.

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  2. I'm happy that this is just the first book because I felt as if it was more like an introduction to a world ...SO dying to read book 2 :)


    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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    1. Yes, definitely more of an intro to the characters and the world--I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes them.

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  3. I love this book. I feel that one book wouldn't be enough to fully build the world, which is why a lot of paranormal/dystopian books are first books and we see more first-book contemporaries.

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    1. Very true, very true. Maybe I need to read more contemporaries so I'm not so series-overwhelmed! :)

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  4. I agree that we are having a series overload!
    I would love to read more stand alone books, I think I would be more likely to pick up stand along dystopian/post-apocalyptic books than series.

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    1. Yeah, me, too. I do love a good series but I'm overwhelmed with them lately.

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  5. I adored this one, I'm so glad you loved it as well Mary! I agree there is quite an overload of YA series, but it works out well for me because I'm always left wanting more. I can't even remember the last stand alone book I read!

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    1. Yeah, I'm with you--if I loved the book, I do want more.

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  6. I know what you mean about series overload. So many books to keep track of, and then I always get the urge to reread the earlier books in the series before I start the newer installment, which always takes up so much time!

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    1. I so wish I had the time and energy to re-read a series before the new book comes out, especially if it's one I particularly loved. Would that there were 48 hours in a day!

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  7. Wow, great review! Maybe the best, most enticing one we've read for this book so far. Your first paragraph about the characters is what really sold us. Those relationships are so integral to our enjoyment. (Not because of the romance, but because of the evolution of our heroes/heroines.) Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And PS: you're probably one of the coolest teachers ever.

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    1. Thanks! :) I love to see characters grow and develop into stronger people.

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  8. I'm so excited to read this one!! Hopefully I'll like it, too. The characters sound really awesome. I like standalones but if I like the characters a series is awesome! Amazing review!!!

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  9. Series overload indeed! I agree, too many series! I really enjoyed this book and felt like there were some super strong elements that I really loved. But then there were some things I just didn't love. I felt like it lagged a bit in spots and then the ending felt WAY rushed. Like she should have ended the book sooner so she could explore things a bit further in the next one. I was quite confused with what exactly happened in the last few pages. I appreciate when an author can skim some stuff out that's not really necessary, but that was just too confusing. Loved the idea of the book and powers and stuff though!

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  10. Yeah, I agree with wishing UTNS was a standalone. There are too many series out there! But yeah, I enjoyed Under the Never Sky (probably not as much as you, but I still liked it). Thanks for the review, Mary!
    - Lauren @ 365 Days of Reading

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  11. Great review! I didn't love this one but I did enjoy it and I agree the world building is well done - though I found a bit confusing at first. Glad you liked it! :)

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

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  12. So glad you enjoyed this one, I really liked it too. The characters were great, and I completely agree about the series thing. It'd be nice to have more standalone books :)

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  13. I'm with you. I long for a good standalone, the kind where you close the book and sigh in satisfaction.

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  14. First off, I¿ll admit that I was a little confused when I started reading this book. As Aria described her world, I was thrown a bit trying to digest how her world worked. Fortunately, it didn¿t take me long to get the gist of it and fall head first into this extraordinary new world.

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