Thursday, January 3, 2013

REVIEW: Under the Never Sky

Book: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012 by HarperCollins
Pages: 374 pages
Source: Library Copy

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.
So first off, before I start the review, I want to add in about how this is a second chance read. This means that I've read it in the past but hadn't finished it. My background story for Under the Never Sky is that I've read first chapter in March 2012, but then stopped because it got confusing. This time, I've stuck through with it. And I'm glad. Read on to find out why.

Nicole's Review:

In most books I've read, the girl falls for the guy before they even get to know each other. But thankfully, that wasn't the case in this book. The romance actually turned out to be pretty good. I liked how it wasn't even romance at first, and that it started out as friendship between Aria and Perry. They had no reason to fall for each other at first sight because of their different backgrounds, so it hadn't happened. The romance made sense. They didn't fall head over heels for each other because of their looks either --- there was none of that. Their romance gradually transitioned and I enjoyed reading about it.

The action and adventure, however, in my opinion could have been slightly better. And don't get me wrong; there was a lot of adventure in this book. But it was all written in a way without suspense. Instead of that hanging-of-the-edge-of-your-seat thrill, you would sometimes feel bored. At one or two fighting scenes, I would look up from the book and skim some pages. Though I have to admit, for the most part, Under the Never Sky kept my attention. The characters Rossi developed really kept the story going. I found myself liking Roar's personality a lot (he's quite charming).

As for the speed of this book, I thought it was mostly perfect. One or two scenes could have been spared, but I enjoyed the background information it gave us about the characters. 

And speaking of characters, I enjoyed them a lot! Like I mentioned before, Rossi's characters are well-developed, making the story fun to read, and easy to understand. I loved all the secondary characters as well as Perry and Aria (the two main characters). The parts about Perry's nephew and Perry's search to find him made my heart ache. 

I felt like Under the Never Sky mostly focused on Perry, even though it's supposedly Aria's story as stated in the summary. For me, a big chunk of the story was more about Perry than Aria. To be fair, the first hundred pages or so was all about Aria, but then it was about Perry. In the last moments of the story, it returned back to Aria.

And the ending. I don't know whether to scream or to cry in happiness. I won't spoil it, but it was almost an opened ending; it left the readers with a few paragraphs of closure, then you had to determine what was happening. It didn't exactly end with a sense of a sequel, but there was that almost cliff-hanging feeling. Nonetheless, it just depended on how you read it. Though from my comprehension skills, it was satisfying and perfect. It's only that small part of doubt that makes me wonder..well, I guess that's what the sequel (Through the Ever Night) is for.

The Summary:

The Good Points: Amazing characters, great description, good romance, good humor, good adventure (for the most part)

The Bad Points: A few boring fighting scenes, confusing beginning (that was what made me stop reading the first time, but stick with it and the story will get a lot better)

Final Rank: 

1     2     3     4     5
A respectable four is what I would give this book. I sincerely enjoyed reading it, having read it in just one day. For 99% of the time, this was a well crafted book, but it fell flat for a few fighting scenes. They weren't a big problem, because the beautiful (and mysterious) ending made up for it. I liked how the plot and the science fiction in this story. It was what made it unique. I would recommend this book to science fiction/dystopian fans.

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