Saturday, March 10, 2012
Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
Release date: January 3rd 2012
Published by: Harper Collins
Genre: Dystopia (YA)
Rating: 4/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
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.
Dystopia is well known these days. After The Trilogy (a.k.a. The Hunger Games), the amount of dystopian books multiplied like crazy. For me, this is a very complicated genre to work with - and read about. I love futuristic books, but only if the future in question is explained and can actually happen, if I can relate to it somehow. There is also that kind of dystopia that makes no sense whatsoever, and it leaves us wondering what the hell happened to the world to come to this point. Under the Never Sky, unfortunately, was more of the latter.
This was my biggest problem with the book. The lack of answers was disconcerting. I couldn't connect with Aria and her world because none of it made sense to me at all. What is the Aether? Aria and Perry talk about it a hundred times, but still, I felt like an outsider - without a capital O. What was the Unity, what happened to Earth? Were is the rest of the population? More than 3 billion people didn't just evaporate, or died overnight. Where are they?
Aside from this plot hole (that bothered me a lot, but still, I tried to get over it), the characters were fine. That's exactly how I'm going to put it. They're fine, and that's it. I didn't love Aria, or Perry, but I was okay with their personalities, their actions, the way they looked out for each other. I saw where the romance was headed, and I enjoyed it. It's better than hating it all, I suppose... I just didn't fall head over heels for Perry or Aria, which felt right to me.
However, as much as the characterization worked, a particular aspect of Perry's abilities left me hanging. You see, Perry can smell pretty much everything - the leaves, people, trees... even from a mile away. I know I'm probably babbling, but this had me laughing for five minutes (not kidding). Perry smelled Aria's menstruation, and according to him, it was just like violets. Aside from the WTH thought that passed through my head, Aria smells like violets pretty much the whole book. They spend, let's say, weeks walking in the jungle, and then a couple of days with an old friend, then another week walking and looking for answers... and she's still bleeding? Either her period is completely different from a normal human being, or Veronica Rossi missed this detail, and it turned into an enormous plot hole. Aria's period lasted two months? Awkward.
The plot was greatly planned. It surprised more than once, and I found myself incapacitated to let go of the book. Rossi's writing style is full of details, but it fit the story perfectly. A simpler writing would let out some aspects of the narration that were essential, and a more complicated writing would be too massive to read. So, thumbs up.
Since I didn't connect with the characters too much, the ending left me hanging, but not dying to read Through the Ever Night. I'm looking forward to it, sure, but I'm not squealing like a fan girl. Under the Never Sky was a slight disappointment. It had everything I thought it would've had, but there was a spark missing, a certain emptiness that does not let me give it 5 stars. Still, it's a very good book. I understand now why a lot of people loved it.