Tuesday 4 December 2012

Review -- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky , #1)
Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky (1)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 03 Jan 2012
Date Read: November 2012



Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

(from Goodreads)

Aria is, well, an okay character, nothing special about her or her personality. I thought she was flat and two-dimensional. I didn't feel any sympathy or a real connection with her despite all of the hardships she had to go through. Glad to say that her character did improve but I still don't like her. Perry is a little better developed than Aria. Perry was caring and funny. He, along with a portion of the population, has heightened senses but he's double Marked, which makes him extra special. He's a Seer, can see very well in the dark, and a Scire, can smell things and people's emotions. Most of the time, this Scire thing of his was cool. But there were so many mentions of how he could smell Aria's period (smelled like violets) and when she was ovulating (she wasn't, at the time. If she was, she would've smelled, I quote, 'sweeter'). Ew. Ew. Ew. I was fully prepared to forget the whole thing but he kept going on and on about her smelling so good, like violets. No. Please, don't. I guess it makes sense, biologically. If he has heightened senses, like animals or whatever, then he should be able to smell pheromones like that. But I still found it creepy.

A small note: It was hard to get into Perry's character and to take him seriously. I had to work hard to ignore the images my brain was conjuring of Perry the Platypus instead of the muscular, strong Savage he's supposed to be. That's not the author's fault. It's mine and my inability to grow out of child tv shows.

Roar and Cinder were side characters that I'm guessing are going to be very important later on in the series. They interesting. Roar was funny, entertaining and canceled out the awkwardness that was sometimes there between Perry and Aria. Hopefully things turn out well for him. Cinder is the wild card with the mysterious back story. I can't help but root for these two.

The writing is in third person narrative, told both in Aria and Perry's perspective. I wish Rossi had done it in first person. I don't have a preference of anything but the third person just didn't work. It felt contrite and constrained. Especially at the beginning. It was a very rough beginning. And I wish I could say that it gets better. That you only have to stick around for a little while because the rest is amazing. That you would think that that rough beginning was worth it. But I don't think I can say all those things. It got better, but not by much. The rest wasn't amazing and I don't think that rough beginning was worth it.

My face the entire time
This is my main problem with Under the Never Sky: world-building. It was so confusing. Especially during that rough beginning. I thought the setting was in a spaceship after humans fled Earth because of an apocalypse or something. But nope. That's not what this world is, then again, it wasn't really explained what exactly this world is. Little flaws I can overlook, but there were just so many things that made no sense and I kept turning the pages, kept hoping that everything would be explained later on. I don't know what the Reverie exactly is.  I don't know why half the population decided to isolate themselves in these Pod things. They kept mentioning The Unity and I kept thinking 'Well? What the hell is that?' I'm still confused about the Realms and why they're there in the first place. What's the whole point of the Realms? There was this Aether sky thing. I don't know what it's supposed to be. Everyone is just scared shitless of it because it rains down lightning and kills lots of people. Our blue sky somehow turned into an angry, red, pulsing Aether sky, for no apparent reason, it seems like.

In a couple of months, I'll probably forget about most of what happened to this. The only things I'll remember are the feelings of confuddlement I had while reading this. I don't know if I'll read the second one. I might since this book oozes with debut novel-ness and Rossi might learn to improve. A lot of people seem to love this book. You might too.


  1. I have the same sentiments as to why I gave up the book!

    Aria was very, very annoying. Even in the beginning, I just couldn't get myself to even like one thing about her. She was too risky for me... I forgot what I said in my review, but she pissed me off a lot and didn't feel like reading further especially with a character like her... I didn't like Perry better, but like you said, he was better developed.

    I agree with almost everything here, and I'm GLAD I'm not the only one who didn't enjoy it. Almost everyone I knew in the blogging world gave this book high and praising reviews and i'm like "o_O.... Why...?"


  2. Character connection is important to me and with so many books to read I would like a book to be memorable. I have seen some favorable reviews for Under the Never Sky, but I have also seen several that share your same sentiments. I guess I will put this one off for awhile longer. Thanks for your informative and honest review. Much appreciated.


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