Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Ebook available from: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
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.I have been excited for Under the Never Sky since the first time I saw it in the Winter 2012 Catalog from HarperCollins a few months ago. The cover is striking, with the streaks in the sky and the intense girl walking towards us. The synopsis is fascinating, with its mix of advanced technology and archaic tribes, and main characters that are the children of both. I am so happy to say I was not disappointed in the least.
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.
It took me a good while to acclimated to the world of Under the Never Sky. With Dwellers living in Pods, and Outsiders living in tribes, many of which are mentioned, it was hard to get a handle of who was who and what was where. Once I did, I was set, but it was disorienting. We were also introduced to five people in quick succession in the first three pages, two of which held no bearing on the story, and I actually had to read the first few pages twice. There were also words that people used, the Outsiders mostly, that were never explained. They were obviously tweaked English words, but it was hard to tell how they were being used. I can only recall one time when a word was remotely identified, and it was Aria guessing about how a word was supposed to be taken.
After I got over my confusion, I really got into the story, though. I expected a whole lot more time spent in the Pods, understanding the life Aria lived, but very quickly she was out in the Death Shop (A phrase I loved). Quite a lot went on, and I found myself devouring the book at a rate that actually surprised me. I felt like each chapter something new and exciting and interesting happened or was revealed, and I was like a kid in a candy store.
I believe Under the Never Sky is very much a story of growing up for Aria and Perry. Each starts off their journey very set in their ways and their beliefs. They're both quite sure their opinions on things are correct, but each soon learns they are very wrong. What they have grown up believing is not what it seems, and the people they thought they could trust are not so trustworthy. As they grow closer and begin to understand the other's worldview, they learn the power and transforming power of love grown out of trust and companionship.
I adored Aria and Perry's relationship. It had a very real, unrushed quality to it. They start off their time together hating one another, thinking there is nothing worse in the world than the other. But as they learn each other's strengths and realize they're not so different, they fall in love in a very natural and sweet way.
Not even counting Aria and Perry, there are loads of interesting characters. Roar, first off, is hilarious and a lovely lighthearted relief in many of the serious parts. At the same time, he has his own woes and deepness, and I can't wait to hear more of his story, especially involving Liv. Cinder also piqued my interest, and though we don't really see him much, he plays an important role in the story and, I believe, in what's to come. He's an intense and sorrowful character that I want to know more about.
Under the Never Sky was more of a visceral experience than many books I've read recently. If you can get past the beginning and get into the world, Aria and Perry's journey will touch you and leave you screaming for more. (Especially after that ending!!)
Risk a paper cut? Get past the first few chapters, and Under the Never Sky is worth at least one cut on every finger. Indeed.