Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Release date: January 3, 2012
Borrowed from local library
Are we there?” she asked. She hadn’t felt them land. The Hover still hummed with noise. The Guardian’s voice projected through a speaker in his helmet. “You are.” The door opened with a blast of light. Hot air gusted into the cabin. Aria blinked furiously, willing her eyes to adjust. She didn’t see a hangar. She didn’t see anything that looked like Bliss. Empty land ran clear to the horizon. Desert, reaching as far as she could see. Nothing more. She didn’t understand. Couldn’t accept what she saw.
A hand clamped onto her wrist. She screamed and reeled back. “Let go of me!” She grabbed the seat restraints, clutching them with all her strength. Hard hands fell on her shoulders, crushing her muscles, tearing her from the straps. They pulled her toward the edge in an instant. She looked down at her cloth-covered feet. They were inches from the metal lip. Much farther below, she saw cracked red earth. “Please! I didn’t do anything!” A Guardian came up behind her. She caught a glimpse of him as his foot crashed into the small of her back, and then she was falling through the air.
Aria’s mother goes missing, and she takes it upon herself to try to find out how and why. Suddenly, Aria finds herself in the desert with no one to help her and no way of finding her mother. Having been raised in a world where most of her life was lived through virtual realities, Aria has no idea what she needs to do to survive. In comes Perry, an “outsider” whom Aria realizes she needs the help of if she wants to survive. Together, they work to uncover secrets about both of their pasts.
There are many aspects of this book that I personally really liked. One of them was the interesting contrast between the two settings, and the way the story is told. The book is told from third person omniscient point of view, which means it’s third person but it still gives out a large amount of insight on the characters thoughts and emotions. While it is third person, the chapters alternate so that one chapter will be focused around Aria and the next one will be focused around Perry. I liked this form of story telling because it served to create a cool contrast between the settings for the two characters in the beginning of the book: Aria lives in a futuristic setting with interesting technology that includes virtual realities; Perry, on the other hand, lives like the “old times”- he still hunts and fishes and relies on whatever nature provides for him and his people.
I also really enjoyed the characters’ personalities. Aria initially came across to me as someone who may be weak simply because of the lifestyle that she was used to. She pleasantly surprised me, however, when she refused to back down and fought her way through even the most difficult situations. Perry, on the other hand, is very quiet and thoughtful. He isn’t very talkative, and yet he finds ways to convey how he feels to the people that matter. Both of them are restless and very loyal to the people they love, and would do anything to protect them, which is admirable.
In terms of the relationship between the two characters, it was interesting to see their relationship transform from hatred to dislike to grudging respect to something more. Their relationship was realistic, and didn’t feel rushed to me, which was good. Also, I liked how they were both willing to “do their own thing” and not feel like they couldn’t survive without one another; they’re both dedicated and headstrong people who know their goals and keep them in mind.
I’m honestly not sure about why I didn’t give this book a higher rating. I can’t even pick out anything in specific that I didn’t like about it! It’s good and there are quite a few aspects of it that I enjoyed, but it just wasn’t very exciting for me. I’m still planning on reading the next book in the series in hopes that I like the next one just a little bit more than the first. Overall, however, it’s worth trying for yourself to see whether or not you like it. 🙂