Friday, July 6, 2012
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
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.
In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.
This Coke Zero commercial sums up my thoughts on Under the Never Sky pretty thoroughly. Thank you, Coke Zero.
I only got UTNS at first because it was at the library. When I saw it on the self, just sitting there all new and shiny, I was excited. I wanted to read a book with a bunch of positive hype, and there it was! I was afraid of buying it on my own because I didn't see the "and?" factor that I so love in post-apocalyptic novels. So what? Who cares if your world has been ravaged by storms that have decimated the population? And? You live in a bubble and he lives on inhospitable land? No. It's hard to find a big enough "and" to stand out when being compared to post-apocalyptic "and's" like love is a disease (Delirium) or 24 kids killing each other in an arena (If you don't know this one, the rock you are living under is currently residing in deep space. Might wanna get that checked out.).
I saw no mind-bending post-apocalyptic concept that would've drawn my attention in. That's okay. Enclave by Ann Aguirre survived with characters I cared about. That was Enclave's "and" factor. Aria and Perry were not characters I really even remotely liked. Aria spends the whole first part of the book complaining about everything. The POV was split between Aria and Perry, which meant I was super-duper lucky. I got to read Aria internally complain from her POV, and Aria externally complain from Perry's POV. Then something happened. Perry complimented her. That was it. No more complaining after that. After that she becomes a badass. No more prompting necessary.
Major confusion. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL. Perry and Aria's relationship proceeds much in the same manner. The first half of the book, the "loving" couple did nothing but hurl insults at each other. Aria was the talkative one, always trying to strike up a conversation. Perry stays dead quiet except, you know, the insults. After Perry compliments Aria on her badass manner of trying to save Perry with her dying self (Turns out to just be her first period. Lovely.), Perry stops with the insults. Aria still held up the brunt of the conversations they have. Most of their attraction was made out to be physical. Perry sniffs Aria; Aria kisses Perry. BAM. And a soul-mate was born. I almost wanted to say WOAH, GUYS. REMEMBER TEN PAGES AGO WHEN YOU CALLED PERRY A SAVAGE? Remember Perry barley said fifty words since? (You badass. You smell like pretty flower.) I felt like they built their relationship more on proximity than any kind of good chemistry.
Just because I spent the last three paragraphs trashing everything about Under the Never Sky, from the annoying characters, to it not meeting my twisted expectations calling for about twenty-threeish children to die on a televised event or whatever, doesn't mean it was a complete loss. The world the book is set in was pretty amazing to read about. The descriptions of the tribe Perry lives in, and the virtual Realms Aria spent most of the book lamenting about not being there made me want to visit their messed up world. Not all of the characters were a total loss. Roar was the side character who made the last half of the book better then the first. He becomes a problem when I like him better then the two main characters combined. I would be ecstatic if Veronica Rossi wrote a book about Roar and his own killer forbidden romance with Perry's sister.
My point is, Under the Never Sky is plain Coke. Three and a half stars. It was good enough for a rainy day, but it was not Coke Zero. It was a dog with a helmet on a skateboard, cool on its own, but it preformed no tricks. It was pretty good on its own, but I don't think I'll be picking up the sequel.
I hope the Coke Zero analogy made as much sense to you as it did to me when I woke up at two o'clock in the morning with the uncontrollable urge to write "Under the Never Sky = Coke" on a post-it note.