Saturday, January 28, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

From Goodreads:  Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

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.

In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.

I began reading the story, not quite grasping everything that was happening, or being sure I was liking it... but that changed in a matter of a few pages. Someone loses his marbles (I love me some crazy), and then the incredibly delectable Perry shows up.  I.Was.Hooked.  Hooked as in you would have had to pry this book from my cold, dead hands before I stopped reading it... which means I stayed up until 5 AM devouring it. I believe the “not quite grasping everything that was happening” in the beginning was due to the story being so wonderfully unique. I love dystopians - they are my genre of choice - but this one had an amazing twist to it.

“‘Do the clouds ever clear?’ she asked.
‘Completely? No. Never.’
‘What about the Aether? Does that ever go away?’
‘Never, Mole. The Aether never leaves.’
She looked up. ‘A world of nevers under a never sky.’”

The characters are so fascinating, and the story is exceptionally thought-provoking! I enjoyed the familial aspect in the story and the friendships, but I have to mention the romance as well: major swoon. It was unexpected and written so beautifully! It wasn’t an instantaneous passion, either:

“She found it curious and frightening that she could deeply dislike someone she didn’t even know. It wasn’t her. At least, it wasn’t how she used to be.”
“She looked up. ‘A world of nevers under a never sky.’
She fit in well then, he thought. A girl who never shut up.”


More like a slow recognition of mutual appeal:

“She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she'd ever taken. And never had she loved life more.”
“She’d fallen into a deep silence once, when the sun appeared, and it was then he’d wondered most what she was thinking.”

Veronica Rossi’s writing is fabulous. Color me a fan-girl, ‘cause this lady can tell a tale! I want more of this story, more of these characters, and more books by Ms. Rossi.