Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi 
374 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Purchased
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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 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 save - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunger 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 was a strange, strange, book. Maybe it was because of some late night reading that may or may not have been mildly incoherent, but honestly THIS BOOK CONFUSED ME. I still have no clue what half of the stuff in it meant. But, like I said, this could be blamed on me reading the first few chapters in a half sleeping stupor.

Lately world building has been a biggie for me and how I feel about a dystopian novel. Dystopians are becoming so popular nowadays that it's getting hard to weed out the good stories from the not so good stories. For me one of the distinctive qualities of a good dystopian is the world building. That being said I think that while Under the Never Sky did have some good world building, it was also really hard to follow. This was mostly because of the two completely different societies in the story (the ones living in the pods, and the Outsiders) each with their own systems of life, technology (or lack thereof), and hirearchy and I found it terribly confusing. It seemed like every time I finally started understanding one aspect of a society (like the Smarteyes) Veronica Rossi would throw something new into the mix and I would get confused all over again. >.<

I'm normally a fan of dual narratives but the dual narrative in Under the Never Sky didn't really work for me. Aria and Peregrine just didn't have very distinct voices so there wasn't really anything distinguishing them from each other. On top of that the book was told entirely in the third person which really made it hard for me to connect with the characters. The whole time I was reading I just felt very detached which made me sad. :( I appreciate that Veronica Rossi didn't rush the romance! It was definitely there but it wasn't the focal point of the story which I always think is a plus.

Under the Never Sky also had a very confusing plot. Maybe it was the fact that I sleep-read my way through the first few chapters that I was confused but for some reason I don't think that was the case. I think I've just come to discover that I'm not really into science fiction and as far as dystopians go Under the Never Sky was definitely more on the sci-fi side.

I don't by any means think that Under the Never Sky was a bad book. I just think it wasn't the book for me. The premise sounded quite ingenious but in the end it didn't capture my imagination like I thought it would. I give it 3 out of 5 ice cream cones.

If you like your dystopian novels to be a bit more on the sci-fi side then I would definitely give Under the Never Sky a chance! However if you're like me and sci-fi tends to confuse you then I might pass this one up.

Julia :)

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