Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is a post-apocalyptic YA novel that successfully balances adventure and romance. Strong plot and character development along with a compelling premise combine to make a true page-turner, but the ending isn’t as awesome as it should have been.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi has been on my to-read list for months and I was thrilled when it was available from the library. I’m not generally a YA fan, but the promise of a strong adventure to balance out the romance and no love triangle convinced me that this book would be a wonderful excuse to dip my toes a bit ;-).
Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Pages: 374 (hardcover)
Genre-ish: Post-apocalyptic YA
Rating: ★★★★☆ – Stellar premise and development, disappointing ending
Setting: Under the Never Sky takes place on a post-apocalyptic world where some of the population lives in Pods (Dwellers) and spend most of their time plugged into virtual reality Realms. The other half struggle to survive outside the Pods (Outsiders) in the death-filled wilderness where Aether storms, wolves and cannibals are just some of the great sight-seeing opportunities. Some of the Outsiders do have the advantage of having super-power mutations to one (rarely two) of their senses to help them though!
Premise: Aria is a Dweller faced with tragedy and betrayal and is forced out into the “Death Shop.” Peregrine is an Outsider trying to do what is best for his tribe and his nephew. He is Marked with both enhanced sight and smell. Now if only this annoying Dweller girl he finds would stop smelling so good and needing his protection, he might be able to save his kid nephew….
- Post-apocalyptic novels have to be careful not to be too depressingly terrible while still being true to the genre and Under the Never Sky does very well with this. The setting is fascinating, but the dangers are perfectly spread out through the novel so as not to stress out poor readers (I have had a problem with stressful pacing in the past xD).
- While Aria annoyed me from time to time, I found her character and her development to be satisfactory and Peregrine just plain rocks!
- The writing and pacing on the novel was very compelling. Easier sentence structure is typical of YA, but Under the Never Sky managed to be easy to read without being annoyingly simplistic, props to Rossi for that!
- The romance developed very naturally, so crotchety old (;-) ) readers like me didn’t get flustered :-P. Oh and only brief sexy times.
- The ending was so disappointing! Under the Never Sky would have totally gotten a 5 star rating from me if the ending had been a satisfying resolution of the adventure instead of completely focusing on the romance…. It was so close to perfect!
- That’s all I got…. I’m honestly just staring at the screen trying to think of another weakness. Aria is good at singing opera so her name is kind of cheesy? There that’s it, no more weaknesses from me!
As I said above, I really wanted to give Under the Never Sky five stars! I was planning the stellar review the whole time I was reading. Then the ending just completely fumbled. It was so unsatisfying! There is a second book (Through the Ever Night) that I’m totally going to have to read to hopefully get more of a plot resolution, but just be aware that apparently Rossi was much more concerned with the romance being wrapped up nicely than the adventure. Otherwise it was a completely awesome and easy to read book, very much like The Hunger Games!
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Similar Stories Reviewed:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins– Another kick-butt YA post-apocalyptic novel with a slightly reluctant heroine.
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk – More girl power adventure with a strong emphasis on the romance. Not PG though!
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