Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: young adult, futuristic, science fiction
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.
This has got to be one of the better books I’m read recently.
I hesitate to call it “dystopian,” because it really isn’t a true dystopian at all. Unlike most Outsider/Insider futuristic books I’ve read, this one doesn’t seem to have a rebellion at its core. It doesn’t feel like a corrupt government out to keep people docile, with a handful of rebels living on the outskirts trying to stay under the radar until they can pull the system down. It feels like groups of people trying to make the best out of a bad situation. This doesn’t make it better than those other books, but for me it made it stand out.
The premise is pretty cool. Something messed up the sky, and now there are Aether storms and no one can see beyond the Aether clouds. Main society lives in Pods and interact with each other primarily through their advanced version of the internet, while tribes of “Outsiders” make due as best they can outside the Pods. Neither lives in an ideal world, and neither necessarily seems to think they do.
Since this book is the first in a series, it leaves a lot of things unanswered. But I’m really attached to the characters. Aria starts out appropriately annoying, but I really enjoyed watching her character grow, and her relationship with Peregrine develop. Of course, I’m also really attached to Perry, and his abilities (and the abilities of the other Outsiders) are really fascinating. I want the sequel, now!