Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 3, 2012
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 went into this book (and series) with very high expectations. So many people had given it rave reviews and so many of my blogger friends had told me I NEEDED to read it – that it was a must-read and I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Well, I was a little disappointed.
I’m not saying it was bad.. It was still a really interesting book. The plot felt unique and it really held my attention – The science/genetics and technology were really fascinating. The Realms sound very cool! The Aether storms are creepy and feel as though they could happen in a not-so-distant future. The writing was gorgeous, too. Rossi can definitely write! And for me, really great writing can make or break a story. I could despise the story, but if it’s well written and captivating, I’m sold. That’s not to say I’ll jump all over it and recommend it to people left and right – But it makes a slow plot or iffy characters more tolerable.
Things went down-hill, for me, with the characters, mostly. I’m very character driven – if you’ve read a lot of my reviews, you can tell that I focus a lot of my review on discussing the characters. And the characters in Under the Never Sky were.. okay.
Aria was a complicated character for me.. I really liked her but I have no idea why. There was nothing really remarkable about her that made her stand-out. If you asked me, “Why do you like Aria?” I’d shrug and say, “No idea! I just do.” Now.. I really did like her. But.. If I liked her that much, shouldn’t I have AT LEAST one solid reason why? Shouldn’t I be able to say something about her? I mean.. She held her own, but she also didn’t really do anything to help or assist. She was kind of just .. there. But I didn’t dislike her. And she never really had a moment where I was like, “Ugh, she’s getting annoying!” – Nope, that didn’t really happen. Or if it did, it was so insignificant that it didn’t faze me. So.. Yeah. I’m torn on how I feel about her.
Perry.. Guys, don’t hate me, please. While I didn’t dislike Perry, I certainly didn’t like him. The sections of the book that were told in his POV were kind of boring and I just couldn’t connect with him. I did love him with Aria and I can absolutely see them as a couple. I just wasn’t his biggest fan. I’m definitely not swooning over him. Sorry, Team Perry! But maybe he’ll be better in Through the Ever Night?? *Hopeful smile*
One of my absolute favorite characters was Roar. I loved him so much, from the minute we were introduced to him. I love his playful personality, his slightly cocky attitude (which, he’s mostly cocky in a cute and funny way). I’m SO RELIEVED he’s not a part of a love triangle with Aria and Perry, but I love the friendship he has with Aria. Also, as a side-note? I’m relieved that Aria and Perry weren’t all insta-love-ish. There relationship definitely had a slow build-up.
Overall, the story was very slow-moving – and, at times, borderline boring. It came in waves – a huge chunk of the book was slow and boring, then a huge chunk was interesting, etc. Most of the story was just build-up and back-story meant to get us from book one into book two. Which was weird, because usually it’s the second book in the series that does all that, in an attempt to build up to an “epic” conclusion in book three (if it’s a trilogy). It’s called Second Book Syndrome. Yet.. book one had that this time. So.. Kinda weird. I would still recommend this book and I’m definitely pushing ahead with book two (which I’m currently reading) because I’ve heard it’s amazing and way better than book one. And supposedly Into the Still Blue (book 3) really IS an epic conclusion.