Thursday, January 3, 2013

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Reverie is the only home Aria has ever known, and it's just one of many Pods created after a solar flare destroyed Earth's atmosphere. Here the Chosen and their descendants have lived a charmed and protected life, never wanting for anything and safe from the dangerous Aether storms outside. Aria and her friends only meant to have a little fun when they broke into the defunct agriculture dome but their night of adventure ends in tragedy and Aria finds herself banished to the outside world -- a punishment that means almost certain death. Perry saved Aria once before, on that fateful night. Now he is her only chance of survival. But Perry isn't gung ho to buddy up with a Dweller. Especially not after they stole his nephew. If he wants to save the boy, Aria might prove to be his only hope.

I read through the majority of Veronica Rossi's debut on the plane home for Christmas. It was a super quick read and definitely engrossing enough to keep me distracted during the flight. I found that the promise of reading both this first and the follow up title back to back was much more satisfying than if I'd had to wait, however. Under the Never Sky spends a lot of time setting up the world. It's not something that normally bothers me but with a book a short as this one, it meant that the story didn't move forward very much. The plus is that Rossi also uses this time to build her characters quite well.

The premise is pretty standard post apocalyptic, utopian/dystopian fare: Destruction of the atmosphere leaves Earth all but uninhabitable so a series of domed cities is created for the chosen few. Power in the domes rests in the hands of a select few but all is not as great as it seems. But the setting is a bit unique. The tribes and the roving bands of Croven as well as the Aether storms are different as is the explanation for the mutations exhibited amongst the outsiders -- Audiles, those with excellent hearing ability; Scires, those whose sense of smell is greatly enhanced; and Seers, those with exception sight.

I will say the Scire ability gave me a bit of the creeps, though, especially when Perry starts spending an excessive amount of time talking about Aria's scent... um, ew.

While I have to admit that I much preferred book two (review coming soon), I did quite enjoy this series opener. My suggestion would be to pick up both and read them back to back -- and then suffer alongside me as we all wait for book three to come out after the great ending of book two!

Under the Never Sky is now out in paperback and the sequel, Through the Ever Night, hits shelves in hardcover on Jan 8. HarperCollins also has a new prequel e novella out, Roar and Live: Under the Never Sky.

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