Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 3 January 2012
Format: Ebook - EPUB
Genre: Dystopia / YA
Source: ARC from NetGalley
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. (Goodreads Synopsis)
This is a book that had a great premise and one I had already heard some good things about. Sadly, I came away a tad disappointed.
The idea is great and I loved the world-building and the way the scene was set. The book opened strongly with a storyline that capture my interest from the first page and I was excited to see where Rossi would take it. My level of enthusiasm lasted for about three quarters of the book, but then I just felt that the story started to lag. A lot of things are revealed and we are given a glimpse at what might happen in book two, but I never got any sense of excitement or anticipation from what could have been a great cliff-hanger ending. I felt the final chapter or so could have been taken out and used at the start of book two. Perhaps that would have left us on a higher note of tension. As it was, I closed the book thinking 'Oh, okay then'.
Aria and Perry were okay as characters and I liked the dual third person narration that allowed us to get viewpoints from both characters. Even so, neither of them really jumped out at me and I felt no great bond with either. They just weren't especially likeable. Perry is pretty much a stereotype brooding hero and Aria seems a bit of a spoilt brat for a chunk of the book.
At the end of the day though, I gave this book three stars. Despite the issues I had with it, it was still a fabulous storyline and there was excellent world-building and some great ideas in it. I would still be keen to read book two to see where Rossi will take things.