Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Atom (Little, Brown)
Release Date: 7th February 2012
Worlds kept them apart. Destiny brought them together.
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 he might be her best hope at staying alive...
Under the Never Sky is easily my favourite dystopia from the ones I’ve read this year, and there are so many being published this year...
The world that Veronica Rossi has created is fantastically drawn. Aria’s world has elements of ors taken exaggerated to the highest degree because of a natural disaster. The people of Reverie live in a virtual world where basic, normal experiences just aren’t exposed to. A world without colour and projections and where you have to communicate directly with another person is alien and terrifying for Aria at first. She has no knowledge of things we barely even think about: the feel of the sun on your face, the scent of a rose, the presence of facial hair and nails that grow. It’s fascinating to watch her learn about the world outside of Reverie.
Another element to Veronica Rossi’s world is the existence of the Aether. It’s dangerous, but beautiful and the title of the novel is from a stunning line where Aria describes what it looks like to her. As well as being a major threat to the Outside in this new world, it is also the sources of some fascinating powers for some of the Outsiders: there are the Scires, the Seers and the Auds. I won’t ruin the surprise about what they are and the role they play in the tribes, but they are excellent, especially the Scires, I do like them.
Behind Aria’s search for her mother lies the secrets surrounding Reverie and it’s work into genetics. The mystery behind Aria’s mother’s work in Bliss and her disappearance isn’t directly referred to for most of the novel as Under the Never Sky largely focuses on the developing relationship between Aria and Perry and how Aria adapts to life outside of Reverie. As the climax is neared, we learn the reality behind what Lumina was working on and the shocking circumstances around it.
Though Under the Never Sky is neatly wrapped up and Aria’s story isn’t left on a painful cliffhanger, the sequel, Through the Ever Night¸ is set up nicely and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.