Review: Under the Never Sky

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love – one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure

Like the synopsis, the book holds this strange, choppy writing style. It’s a little hard to get through in the beginning, but about a third of the way through the action picks up, the characters start to develop, and the writing style starts to gel. There is a lack of world building in this first installment, but the bond that starts to form between Aria and Perry, as well as the mysteries of the Aether, the senses some inherit, and the strange lives led within the Pods keep this an entertaining and enjoyable read.

The character development is really the star of this book. It’s so well done and believable. There is no intsa-love, or 180 flips of characters beliefs, but a gradual shedding of ignorance and mutual shows of empathy and understanding. Our characters are faced with the one thing they are raised to mistrust – each other – and it’s really interesting watching them move past preconceived notions to see each other as people and learn to respect and care for one another.

Overall, this first book has poor world building, but the depth of the characters made up for it, or at least distracted from it. This is all about the characters growing, forging bonds, and setting us up for the real drama that will follow in the other two books. And while this sometimes doesn’t work, the characters are fantastic enough to pull it off in this kickoff to a fun and swoony series.

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