Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Date: January 3, 2012
Genre: YA- Dystopia, Fantasy
I know this is one of those 2012 YA debuts that we're suppose to blindly and unconditionally love but I have to be honest- my heart isn't going pitty-pat in response to this story. Its rhythm is a bit more bradycardic.
In a world (sounds like a movie trailer doesn't it) devastated by storms that scorch and destroy everything they touch, civilizations have sprung up inside well enforced and protected underground settlements. Denied access to the outer world, the Dwellers have created a life based on continuous virtual reality, living through fantasy, inside their own heads. But beneath the storm ravaged sky, people are still struggling to exist. The Outsiders, a primitive people with heightened senses that allow them to be specially attuned to the land, seek to hold on to a rapidly fading way of life. When an accident forces Aria, a Dweller, out into the world of the Outsiders, a flimsy alliance with one of the rumored savages may be her only means of survival.
There are several things I liked about the story. The romance was really quite touching and the chemistry between our lurvers was nearly tangible. The Outsiders extra senses were kind of cool and the run-in with the cannibals was a stellar touch of awesome (those guys were scary). I always appreciate a good bad guy and Consul Hess was a well played evil. But while Peregrine was extremely crush worthy and competent, I couldn't find much to recommend Aria.
From the word go the storyline was choppy and I could have really used a roadmap to help me navigate Rossi's extremely messy world building. Messy, was in fact my initial and over all reaction. Nothing flowed. One scene wouldn't even be completed before an entirely new and sometimes unnecessary concept was introduced (we can't all be super human- it's tedious and boring). I couldn't get a firm handle, feel or picture of this world Rossi wanted me to envision- it was all skinny, gangling limbs, jutting out every which way when what it really needed was some meat on its bones. Less constant, directionless plot twists and more focus on the world and the way your people exist in it- else they're just actors in front of a green screen.
I don't know how I feel about a sequel for I fear it would just be more running around in the same place. In a genre already flooded with trilogies, there are stronger contenders.
Review copy from Amazon Vine