Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Publication Date: 
February 7th, 2012
Publisher: Atom
ISBN:  1907411054 
Age Group:
Young Adult
Genre: Romance/Dystopian/Adventure
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.

In her debut novel for Young Adults, Veronica Rossi explores what it means to truly interact with the world around you after a lifetime of isolation within a virtual world. 
Aria has spent her life living within the small dome of Reverie, making things more beautiful and more exotic through the use of virtual reality and living in fear of the outside. Then her mother goes missing and Aria finds herself exiled from Reverie and relying on strange, uncouth Outsider Perry for help.

What I Liked: Aria and Perry were naturally antagonist in the beginning, seeing in each other everything they know to fear from the unknown world. But, with only a short time to get to know each other, Rossi creates a believable sequence of events that would make friends of anyone.
Rossi has tackled the idea of a world of virtual reality and gone straight to the crux of the issue: in a world where nothing is real, how can you tell the truth from the lies?

Characterwise, it was Perry's best friend Roar who was the easiest to like. He was open, friendly and loyal. He was also the only character who wasn't carrying a damaging amount of bitterness towards life's lot. 

What I Didn't Like: So, ummm, Aria, what's the deal with the domes, the Aether, the Unity, the Outsiders, and ummm, every other aspect of your world's history? I need some more to go on please!
I would, at least, like to know what the (regularly mentioned and never explained) Aether is and how it destroyed your world?

The plot progressed well enough but if you want to write a post-apocalyptic story, with some much potential, then I'm going to expect a little more world building from you.
Especially with so many options! Flammable gas clouds created by global warming, remenants of a nuclear war (which would explain the necessity of the Domes and the extra sensory mutations of the Outsiders), what about a radical change in the Earth's axis throwing us closer, or further away from the sun? A lethal, and visible, highly contagious disease? I wanted more!

I can live with a lack of world building but I can't give this story more than three stars because it took nearly half the book, and three failed attempts to start it, for me to get to a point where I enjoyed the story. Rossi created a likeable main character, an interesting conspiracy and a fast moving plot but the first half of the novel really dragged.

If you're excited by Sci-Fi and want a story that feels like D.J McHale's The Reality Bug, or The Matrix then you will probably enjoy Under the Never Sky but I'm hoping Rossi lives up to her promises and brings some world building into the picture for Through the Ever Night. There have been rumours that she has promised to explain Aether further in the sequel so I have my fingers crossed!
Raiding Bookshelves Rating
Cover Conversations: I like the blue and red cover (below) with Aria striding down the middle. The colours are create and the heading looks very striking. The pink cover (above) with Aria and Perry looks like it should be fronting a Boons and Mills story.


1 comment:

  1. agreed on the cover
    what were they thinking lol

    tbx 4 the review


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