375 pages, HarperCollins
Borrowed From Library
"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."
I first and foremost heard about Under the Never Sky because it was a dystopian book and dystopian is one of my favorite genres, so of course I had to get my hands on this novel! I greatly enjoyed reading Under the Never Sky, but it did fall flat in a few areas.
The story begins with Aria, a girl who is being exiled from her city called Reverie. Upon being exiled, she is left to survive in a place called The Death Shop where cannibals lurk. She then meets Perry and this is where the plot really starts to get interesting. Perry recently lost his nephew Talon and is willing to do anything to find him and return him to home. Aria was a character I both liked and disliked. She was incredibly vulnerable and didn't think before she acted, so that was the part that bothered me. The part I did like was learning more about her past life with her mother, Lumina. Aria is a very caring person. Which brings me to Perry or Peregrine, whichever name you prefer. I adored Perry! He is one of those guys with a rough exterior, but deep down, he's all soft on the inside. Especially when introduced to Aria, his more sensitive side is revealed. Aria and Perry's relationship developed throughout the book which was nice. At the beginning Aria cannot keep her mouth shut, but Perry is extremely reserved, which is realistic with a person you don't know or haven't a clue what their intentions are. But as the story progressed, so did their relationship and I enjoyed the fact that they didn't fall in love at first sight. I guess the only aspect I did not like about the romance was that it felt pushed front in center as the importance of the story. As much as I love romance, the plot felt like it lacked definition.
This brings me to the plot and where Rossi fell a little flat for me. I came into this novel expecting a dystopian book, but was a little confused when the main focus seemed more fantasy/sci-fi oriented. Don't get me wrong, I love fantasy/sci-fi, but I sort of wanted there to be more of a distinction within the genre. Another area that fell a little flat was the world building. World building is key when creating a fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi novel because it's important to the reader that they understand how this world came to be and for it to be entirely believable even though it's fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi. There is all this talk about the Aether and the sky, but I feel as if I never fully understood exactly what the Aether even was. Maybe I didn't follow along well enough, but I wanted to read more background on the Aether, why it came to be and how the Reverie also came to be.
Rossi's writing style was great. She was descriptive without focusing too much on the details and her characters developed throughout the plot.
Overall, I wasn't thoroughly impressed with Under the Never Sky, but that's not to say it's a terrible book. I'm just becoming disappointed with the dystopian genre focusing more on the love interest rather than the world building.
Rating: 3 stars - I liked it. Worth borrowing.