TITLE: Under The Never Sky
AUTHOR: Veronica Rossi
SERIES: Under The Never Sky #1
PUBLISHER: Pier 9
PAGES: 384 (Hardcover)
Lucky for me, Under The Never Sky got an early release in Australia, and as soon as I saw it on the bookshelf I jumped on it with (frightening) glee. A captivating look into Veronica Rossi’s imagined future, her debut novel, filled with romance, action, survival and love, is one you surely won’t want to miss.
First of all I just want to say that Rossi’s world building was amazing. A stumbling stone most authors fall at, Veronica created a beautiful and yet barren world that really leaves an impression. Truthfully, there are two main worlds, that of the Pod Aria longs for and that of the ‘Death Shop’. In the Pod (Reverie) the inhabitants use Smarteyes to travel among imaginary ‘Realms’, where anything is possible and everything is believable. I will say that I never really got my head around the concept of the Smarteyes, they just seemed too impossible, but for the purposes of the story they worked well.
I loved the way Rossi portrayed Aria; she didn’t make her necessarily likeable, as shown by her spoilt and wimpish attitudes at times, but she made her real. It’s a rare thing to do that, most authors just want to make their characters perfect, but in the essence of Susanne Collins’s Katniss I think the author managed it well. Not to say, though, that I didn’t like Aria. Sure, at times she annoyed me, but at others she showed such quiet strength and compassion that I really did come to be fond of her.
And, of course, how could you not like Perry? An admirable young gentleman who stays most comfortably on the side of sane – unlike the Croven – though he had every reason to take advantage of Aria, to keep her unhappy and his prisoner, he chooses to protect her and work with her for both their gain. Not your stereotypical hero (bad boy, dark hair, smouldering good looks), he still has a hidden charm that sneaks up on you just as much as it does Aria.
I really loved how this wasn’t an ‘insta-love’ cliché story, it grew naturally, through the proper stages of friendship and hesitant crushes. I know this probably won’t make sense, but to me it was a ‘quiet’ sort of romance, a peaceful type that was both what these characters needed and what they wanted. It was cute and yet strangely perfect, and I can’t wait to see how it continues in the sequel, Through The Ever Night.
Though I loved loved loved this book, there are just a few niggly things to mention. First, there was a lack of history mentioned; I have no idea what this Union or Unity thing was, and how the world came to be like that and Reverie was established. I think it has something to do with the Aether, but again, we don’t really know what that is exactly and the purpose of it either. Other things like that, not fully explained or just thrown in there, ruined it a bit by confusing me, but I’m sure Rossi shall address them properly in future books.
A great way to round of 2011, Under The Never Sky is an amazing addition to the dystopian cohort, one that I’m sure you’ll all be reading soon. A beautiful adventure romance set in a time yet to pass, I expect great things from debut author Veronica Rossi in Through the Ever Night and the books to come.