Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
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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.
Aria lives in Reverie, a world that is protected and sheltered from the outside world. Those who live inside are safe from the Aether, powerful electrical storms that leave destruction in their wake. But their bodies and lives are regulated to the extreme and most of their life is experienced through virtual reality. The conditions outside of the pods are extremely harsh and people live in nomadic tribes to survive. They are considered savages by those who live inside the pods. These two worlds could not be more different and they clash when Aria is exiled and encounters Perry, who is searching for his little brother.
Though I have had my copy of Under The Never Sky for quite a while, I held off on reading it until recently. I had read a slew of dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA novels and found myself burnt out on them. After a lengthy break though I finally felt it was time to dive into this world. And wow, what a world! I found the story and characters to be original and inventive. The fast paced storyline kept me on the edge of my seat and the romance was refreshingly believable.
Under The Never Sky is told from the alternating POV of Aria and Perry. I don’t usually like multiple points of view but it really gives the reader a lot of insight into Aria and Perry. They each approach life so differently and seeing through their eyes helped me understand them better. Both have prejudices against the other and I liked seeing how their feelings developed as they got to know each other.
I wasn't sure I was going to like Aria at first but I came to really admire her. She’s very strong-willed and stubborn and is willing to risk her life for what she believes in. Though generally reserved, Perry has a deep capacity to love and the relationship he has with his nephew Talon is really sweet. He is also very loyal and will put the needs of others often before his own. I liked that both of these characters evolved and grew over the course of the story, each coming into their own. I also liked that their relationship started off as adversarial but developed into deeper feelings once they got to know each other. No insta-love here.
I was a little surprised by how much I liked this book. I was afraid that it would not live up to my expectations. However, Under the Never Sky lived up to the hype and reignited my excitement for the genre. The solid world building and well developed, nuanced characters make Under the Never Sky stand out in the YA landscape and I can’t wait to read more.
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.