March 25, 2012

Book review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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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.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

At its core, Under the Never Sky tells the age-old story of a boy and a girl from different worlds who meet, initially dislike each other, and then fall in love. What makes this book so great is the universe the author creates. It's a young adult dystopian novel with elements of sci-fi and fantasy mixed in with the romance. If you're a fan of any of those genres, you'll probably enjoy the book.

The author also does a good job of building the two main characters into people I cared about. The book alternates points of view from chapter to chapter. Under the guidance of a less skilled writer, those shifts can be jarring and confusing. However, this was certainly not the case with Under the Never Sky. Not only were the shifts not confusing at all, they brought me closer to the character from whose viewpoint each chapter was written.

The only negative comment I have is with the cover, which shows a girl walking seductively toward the reader. It's not that the cover doesn't look nice, but it screams romance. If I hadn't read the book's description and only saw the cover or title, I doubt I'd pick it up because romance isn't a genre I like reading. I'm afraid that the book won't attract some readers who will find it as enjoyable as I do.

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