I am a big fan of the dystopian genre, at least of the ideas behind them. Unfortunately a lot of them can be a little poorly written and feel rushed. Thankfully, Under the Never Sky was a book with both a good idea and good writing behind it. Rossi obviously has a vivid imagination and has managed to build a complex world and group of characters.
We are thrown into Rossi's dystopian world straight away. My only main issue with this book was that this book is quite confusing at the beginning and it wasn't until around the mid-way point that I really began to understand everything. Not everything was explained which was, in a way, good as it helped us to adapt to the terms and the world ourselves. I did find the world-building to be strong and it was very different to the world we live in now. There was a lot to take in, but it never got boring.
Getting past the start was a little slow as I did have to try and remember several people and figure out a lot of things for myself, but this certainly wasn't a slow book in terms of action though. There were plenty of twists and turns, many of which I wasn't expecting. This book managed to keep me on edge right until the end, which was fantastic and quite a rare treat! There are so many things that we find out during this first book, we are constantly discovering more. Through the actions of the characters and the events that happen around them, we get to learn more about both them and the environment around them.
The setting is extremely intriguing and I can imagine that we'll get to learn even more in the next books. The setting is in two main areas - Aria's home, Reverie, and where Perry lives, the Outside, or the outer wastelands. Reverie is least like our modern day as it is protected, generated and very modified, inhabitants included, to be at it's 'optimum', because of this, Aria is out of touch with our reality - for example, she doesn't she doesn't even know what real weather feels like. In complete contrast to Reverie, the outside, where most of this book is set, is more of a wild place where you must fend for and look after yourself. Reverie isn't completely 'normal' though, it feels like it's set more in the past, as well as some of the inhabitants having heightened power of their senses. They also live under an Aether, which covers the sky and causes constant danger.
Our main characters are two very different people, Aria and Peregrine (Perry). They are both very strong, bold characters and by the end, I had them very well formed in my mind. The relationship between them felt natural in their situation. The romance that built between them didn't dominate the story and it wasn't instant, which I was very glad about. It was great to see how their relationship progressed throughout their time together. Both characters go through a lot of mental changes, and Aria also goes through several physical changes. All of it felt very authentic and well thought out. There are several other characters who in this book, including Vale (Perry's brother) and his son Talon, and his friends Marron, Roar and a young boy that they found in the woods - Cinder. Cinder has such a good basis for even more development and I really hope that he is featured more in the next book(s).
This book has very frequent twists and it's hard to review this book without giving much away, but I don't want to spoil the book if you're planning on reading it yourself, and this is something that I think you should read for yourself. I'm pleased that I've read this as it was a lot more complex than a lot of other books that are on the market today and it wasn't completely based around romance. I think that Under the Never Sky will definitely appeal to a lot of fans of young- adult dystopian stories and I would certainly recommend it. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series, Through the Ever Night, to see what I will discover!show more
by Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page)