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.
Under the Never Sky is Veronica Rossi’s debut novel. Set in a future where the sky is now our enemy, the world has been ravaged by ‘aether’ storms that burn everything in their path. Those left here have split into two groups; Dwellers and Outsiders. Dwellers live in pods that are carefully controlled for the inhabitants’ safety while the Outsiders brave the elements and make their homes in the real world.
The story is told from the points of view of Aria, a Dweller and Perry, an Outsider. Getting the perspective of someone who has been living in the Pods and had everything from their surroundings to the temperature controlled from the day they were born and is then thrust into the outside world without warning is eye opening. She shows you things that Perry, who has always lived outside may not notice in the same manner. Yet, Perry shows you his perspective of someone who’s had to fight and scrape a living out of the wasteland the aether storms have made of his home. It’s a startling contrast, one who is just discovering that beauty can be found out in the real world and one who almost takes it for granted.
Our main characters, Aria and Perry, are both complex characters; they are both immensely likeable and well-written. They are flawed, of course, both with their preconceptions about the other; but decent people, with the ability to grow and adapt to their situation as it changes. Written with flashes of humor and an innate, inner strength, I couldn’t pick a favorite from them. They are both amazing in their own right and they shine as they struggle to cope with the situation they’ve been thrown into.
The conflicts are many for Aria and Perry as they band together in an uneasy alliance. Her missing mother and his kidnapped nephew are their foremost concerns. Unfortunately, other life-threatening issues take over in the day to day of their quest. The narrative is funny, engaging and downright terrifying in turns. You find yourself laughing, gasping aloud and crying as the duo moves towards their goal.
The action in the story starts right at the very beginning and I found myself instantly riveted. There is the slightest of lulls in the middle, but it does not take away from the story in the slightest. It’s a fast read with the action at the end more than making up for the slight downtime. The story flows beautifully and the characters are masterfully crafted. The idea is utterly original and I was completely captivated from the start. This is an amazing debut with a few brilliant twists to keep you on your toes as you read. The ending was absolutely perfect and I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a book more.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian or fantasy novels.