Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by: HarperCollins on January 3, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
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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.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. The blurb wasn’t very informative, but most of the time I don’t mind that. After the reading the book, however, I found it to be a bit confusing and disappointing as a whole and that I minded. I really wanted to like this and I’m not going to say I flat-out hated it, because I really didn’t and do want to read what happens next, but after hearing all the the hype about it, I have to say that I didn’t like it. I think this might fall along the lines of how I feel about Fallen, although I have more of a love/hate relationship with that series altogether, whereas, this one I’m just curious about where it’s going more than anything.
I found most of it to be confusing. Rossi does little to clue the reader in as to how her storybook world got to the way it did and her vocabulary left one of my eyebrows arched up the whole time and me going “WTH is she talking about here?!”. Some of the things mentioned such as tempers, Aether storms, Smarteyes that suction to your skin or fit on your eye like contacts (I don’t know), and the like are basically thrown at you and you’re just supposed to understand what it all means. Usually authors will throw stuff at you, but then you discover and learn along the way and really see what it’s like to be in their world. I didn’t really care for how Rossi describes tempers and scents either. Maybe I’m not into the spiritual stuff or I’m a bit dense, but I couldn’t see how nervousness, fear, wonder, etc could equate to the certain smells and or senses that she was describing. While I was reading this I kept asking myself if I missed some explanation a page back or wondered if it would all be explained later on so I could put all the pieces together and realize what she was going for.
Her world revolves around people who live in Pods, cut off from the real world, where people use devices to basically jump into virtual worlds where they can be anything and anywhere they want to. It’s like all those sci-fi movies/tv shows you’ve seen. I always thought that was pretty cool and hope to see something like that in our world in my lifetime, personally. Anyways, something happens that causes the female lead, Aria, who happens to sing like an angel, to be cast into the world outside of the Pods where she meets Perry, a hunter with very special skills of his own. Their lives get tangled up after this particular incident and the story revolves around their adventure together.
I also have to say, even though it may seem like there’s some epic love story in here, I really don’t see it. I felt totally disconnected to the characters and didn’t even really enjoy it when they shared intimate or otherwise “steamy” moments together, and I usually swoon or get all giddy at those moments. Here, I couldn’t see how they could’ve fallen for each other just like that. Yes, they shared some tough times together and bonded through that and other things they learned about each other, but I really couldn’t see the emotions and love, if anything it seemed more like a strong friendship that Rossi simply turned into a love out of necessity since there are hardly any other major characters involved. I didn’t see Aria as a strong female lead, even though she eventually, and very slowly I might add, grew in the end. I didn’t connect to her in any way. While I did enjoy Perry’s special abilities and those of some of the other Outsiders, I didn’t really see anything special about his character either. If anything, my favorite character would have to be Roar, Perry’s best friend. He has a special ability too, and has one of those personalities you can’t help but like.
I give points for Rossi’s creativeness in building a unique and interesting world and really pushing the boundaries of dystopia. At times I felt like it was all a bit much and that she was trying too hard to be different and stand out that it became complicated. I’m really hoping since she got a lot of the background, I hope, out of the way that the second book will have a more fast-paced and flowing storyline. Although I didn’t enjoy this book so much, it’s merit lies in its dystopian world-building and makes me want to see what happens next, but if the next book is anything like this, and not at all better, I can’t see myself finishing this series.