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VINE VOICEon 25 February 2012
For the first 50 pages of this book I was fully prepared to give up on it. I was beyond confused at the new world we are dropped into with very little explanation and didn't have a clue what was going on. But then it all clicked into place and from then on I was hooked.

The book begins with Aria. Her world in the pod is alien and complex and at first I really struggled to get to grips with it. Veronica Rossi doesn't ease the reader in slowly, more plonks them right in and I truley felt I was in another world. Once I got my head round the ideas though I absolutely loved it. It doesn't take too much to imagine a world where people live in a virtual reality. Where Aria's world is futuristic, on the outside Perry's is primeval. The people on the outside live in clans and at the mercy of the elements. I loved the contrast between the two, though immediatly preffered Perry's. Despite the dangers the outsiders faced I'd take that over a life stuck in a pod where you have everything you wanted or could imagine, though none of it is real. The aether itself is a constant, threatening presence and is described so vividly I could see it in my mind, despite the fact I had no idea what it was to begin with.

Told in a switching third person narrative by both Aria and Perry, Veronica Rossie ensures we really get to know both of these characters very well. I didn't like Aria to begin with, but throughout the book she developes into a strong heroine. There isn't a pivitol moment where this happens, she doesn't suddenly turn from protected weakling to kick-ass. It's a quiet and believable progression. Perry on the otherhand was fascinating from the start (and also particularly swoon worthy!). If I'm ever stuck in a post apocalyptic world, he's the guy I want with me. As with Aria's developement, Rossi takes a slow approach to the romance in this book. And wow, did I get fully caught up with it. There's no instant attraction here, the pair connect through need rather than want and the chemistry between the pair is as electrifying as the aether that constantly threatens them.

Despite the slow start, Under The Never Sky turned into a fast paced, thrilling ride which had me hooked. It's tough, bloody and action packed at times with some heart stopping moments that kept me turning pages as fast as I could. Although I was baffled with the world to begin with, Rossi captures it so well that once you get it, it becomes believable, detailed and developed, so much so that while reading it I felt I was actually there. I would like to know what happened to make the world how it is in Under the Never Sky, as this isn't covered. Maybe that will come in following books in this series, which judging by the ending of this one promise to be every bit as good. If you like your dystopia worlds bleak and ruthless with an action packed and fast paced plot, then I recommend Under The Never Sky.
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I have been waiting for this book for what seems like an age. The ideas behind it sounded awesome and I literally couldn't wait to get stuck in.

I must admit up until about 100 pages in I was fully prepared to give up on this book. I was bored and I was struggling to keep on top of what was happening because I found the story telling clunky, the ideas hard to get my head around and the voices between the split narrative not distinct enough. That said once I got a bit further I started to get into it a bit more and by the end I had enjoyed what I had read so while I'm not convinced this was a great standalone novel I have high hopes the series as a whole could be good.

In the end the thing that kept me reading was the relationship between the two main characters Aria and Perry. After a while of being together they both soften towards one another and start working as a team. It is then through this working together you start to see their different worlds through the other one's eyes and it starts to make sense. You also start to root for them as a couple and that makes the story much more interesting to follow. Once you get into that you start to understand a bit more of the whole world set up and start to unravel all the little details that build up the world they are in and understand why things as they are.

All in all not my favourite book of the year but a series I hope will be awesome.
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I had very high hopes for Under the Never Sky and sadly I was very disappointed. It started out great with an amazing action packed first couple of chapters but then I have no idea what happen it just slowed right down and left me really bored until about page 200 and the story picks up again.

Under the Never Sky is told from two POV, Aria and Perry and I think this is a big part of the disappointment for me. The two characters just didn't click so the POV change didn't flow well. Aria, Im not going to lie I didn't like her one bit. To me she comes across as selfish and whiny and I just wanted to slap her! And her relationship with Perry I just didn't get at all. Perry is actually very likable and I really enjoyed reading his chapters. He has a very interesting background that I would have liked to have learn more about. The relationship between him and Aria just felt forced. Would have been alot better if it was left out.

The world which this is set confused me alot. There wasn't enough world building for me to follow the story and how it was created. Even by the end of the book nothing was really explained and that really annoys me. There is so much going on the book that half of the time I didn't know what was going on and why certain aspects were even in because the seemed pointless to me like the Blood Lord thing with Perry I thought that was so boring and useless to storyline. What would have been fantastic was learning about how the Outsiders came about but that was another thing that was skimmed over.

However, as I said above I did start to like it around page 200. The story picks up and is quite fast paced that I did find myself wanted to know what will happen next and I really enjoyed it when Aria was learning to fight that was pretty interesting. I will no doubt read book 2 because the ending was good and finishes on a cliffhanger.

There is no doubt that Veroncia Rossi has quite an imagination and for a debut the book isn't that bad. There is a few aspect that I liked, like Perry and the end but it wasn't enough safe this book for me. However this is just my opinion I know alot of readers who adored this book so please give it ago and see for yourself. I hope you all enjoy it better than I did it.
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on 13 August 2012
One of the great things about dystopian novels is that they can take place in any setting in the future. I think that's what I love so much about them - which each one takes on its own identity about what our future could be like.

Veronica Rossi's debut novel, Under the Never Sky, takes all of my perceptions of the future in a blender and pulverises them. In a good way, no less. Under the Never Sky was a complete mind bender, but in a good sense. Rossi has turned something that's more science fiction/fantasy than anything else into a genre that's not only marketable, but readable too.

This is the story of Aria, a girl who has always grown up in the Pods, an underground cave like city, who gets exiled to the outside world. Yet it's not just her story, it is Perry's also, the Outsider who has only known the world that he lives in, the world that Aria thinks is full of death. It's about how two young people, who are more alike than they think they are, come together.

What appeals to me most about Under the Never Sky is how much detail is in this book. It's hard to create something from scratch and keep it up the whole way through - only a few select YA authors like JK Rowling and Cassandra Clare can create complex worlds that actually stay steadfast through a series, and Under the Never Sky did this in one book. The senses play an important role in this novel, meaning that the flow of Rossi's writing is emotional and fast-paced. The action is spread out through the entire book, but in such a way that doesn't leave you bored reading it.

I'll have to admit at first I wasn't quite so taken. In fact, it took me a while to get used to the concepts of the world that Rossi has created; as the reader, you dive straight in to the action, which while a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. While most of the back story is pretty self explanatory - like what the Unity was, what the Outsiders consider to be the better Senses etc, there are many questions left unanswered. For example, the Aether, a series of storms that have a deadly affect on the population (is what my interpretation of them were). We don't actually find out how the Outsiders managed to survive through this apocalypse, let alone function in the outside world. Then again, I guess that's half the fun of waiting on a sequel, isn't it?

Before I go any further, I must say how much I loved how music plays a big part of the novel. It's very subtle, but you'll notice it as the book progresses. Especially considering that Aria is a musical term for an expressive melody - think in terms of O Mio Babbino Caro from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Habanera from Bizet's Carmen and yes, that aria from Tosca. At least, I imagine that this is the aria Aria sings!

Then we have our two main characters - Aria and Perry. Two completely different people who have more in common than they realise. Though we know that they are going to, as nicely as you can say `get together', Rossi manages to do it in a subtle way, so that it's not so in your face. While you have the standard two people who hate each other but eventually fall in love syndrome, what I loved most about this relationship is that the feelings and emotion is mainly seen through Perry's eyes rather than Aria's.

Overall, Under the Never Sky was a fascinating, scintillating read that will have many on the edges of their seats and wishing the next book will hurry up and come out soon. After my initial read, I've found that I enjoyed the book a lot more than I originally thought I did.

On a side note, I'm extremely divided by the covers for this book. The picture I have put up reflects the cover that I have, after purchasing the book in Australia. Although I do quite like the other cover as well...opinions?
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on 31 December 2011
If you've read some of my reviews before then you'll have noticed that I struggle when writing reviews on books that I love. So please don't expect this review to be a work of art, because it won't be. It's recommended that you expect tonnes of gushing and squee-ing, just to be prepared!

Under the Never Sky is told in third person, from alternating points of view, which I wasn't expecting! It was a great wait to get inside the characters' heads whilst still being able to differentiate between them easily, rather than having to go back to the first page of each chapter just to check. NOT that you would have to do that anyway, because Aria and Perry are totally different!

The world that Veronica Rossi has created is unlike anything I have ever read before. I love dystopian novels but I have to say that sometimes they can become very repetitive as a lot are very similar. This world, however, is outstanding! I can't describe my love for everything in this world, from the Pods which the people who rely on technology live in to the tribes that live on the complete other side of the spectrum.

Aria is one of the Dwellers that live in the Pods, and Perry is an Outsider whose brother is a Blood Lord for the Tides tribe. They lived completely different lives until Aria was forced away from her home, and they already had opinions on each other due to how they lived. Both of them are likable - or loveable, depending - and I loved reading from each of their points of views to read about the way they felt about things and each other. Both characters were wonderfully developed, and went through lots of character growth throughout the novel. I particularly liked Perry, but I think he's my favourite of the pair because I am in love with him. That's fair, though, right?

There was no insta-love between Perry and Aria, which was most excellent. You know how I hate it when characters experience love at first sight. Perry and Aria pretty much despised each other to begin with, and I loved reading about their growing relationship throughout the course of the story.
The plot is fast paced and gripping, and I could not put this book down once I started reading. I read it through the night, and when it ended I was left wanting more, but that's not a fault. It's because I'm in love with these characters and this world! I hope to see a lot more of Perry and Aria in the sequel, as well as Roar because I loved him too. He is awesome. *hugs*

I would have liked a bit more fighting at the end, but that's just because I am strange and like lots of blood and killing. I'm perfectly happy with what I got, so there's no way I'm rating the book down because of that.

I told you there would be some rambling, sorry! Regardless of how bad my review is, Under the Never Sky is a beautifully written debut that I could not put down, even for a second. I highly recommend this to people who enjoy dystopias, and to those who like a smidge of science fiction.
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on 6 April 2012
Caroline: [...]

300 years after the unity and the remains of humanity is divided into two distinct groups. Sealed in self-sufficient pods and cut off from the outside world, the "Dwellers" are dependent on technology, relying on genetically modified food stuff, reproductive technologies and alternative realities. They tolerate the claustrophobic and monotonous conditions by retreating in to the Realms, a "better than real" alternative reality, where they conduct the majority of their social interactions.

While the "Outsiders" live undoubtedly harder lives, struggling to survive with limited natural resources. They make the most of their shortened life spans, celebrating life's milestones, living in family groups and have physical closeness that the dwellers lack. While the dwellers have become physically weakened by their "cushy" lifestyles, the tribe's people of the outside world have become stronger, with some Outsiders evolving extraordinarily powerful senses to survive the harsh environment.

Under The Never Sky is told from the alternating third person perspectives of Aria, a pod dwelling songbird and Perry, a battle scared survivor of the outside world. The scapegoat for a teenage prank that went awry, Aria is cast out of Reverie, and un-ceremonially dumped in to The Death Shop (the outside world). With little chance of survival Aria know that her only hope is to find her scientist mother.

The technology loving Dwellers are almost easier to visualise and relate to, with their environment and technologies more familiar to us than the tribal existence of the Outsiders. You can almost understand Aria's superior attitude toward the primitive "savages" and like Aria you experience the culture shock of leaving the comfortable, controlled technology dominant dome in to the dirty, uncomfortable and harsh outside world.

Perry is undoubtedly a swoon worthy protagonist, my favourite kind of hero, a rugged, self-sufficient exterior hiding inner turmoil and a big heart. Despite being naturally suspicious of Dwellers and initially repulsed by Aria, Perry risks his life to save her. Perry is not just Aria's protector but he is also a facilitator in Aria's development in to a confident and strong survivor. Rather than provide Aria with food he teaches her how to find safe berries to eat, rather than stand guard he teaches her how to protect herself.

The Aether, the sky poised to attack, is a constant, omnipresent threat, that you cannot hide from and you cannot fight. A character in its own right, the Aether felt more like a conscious creature than a weather system. While reading I imagined it as a cross between a lightning storm, and a tornado with the intelligence of "the Smoke" from the Lost series. On one hand I am very curious about the origins of the Aether and I hope that Veronica reveals more about this fantastical element in further instalments of the series. But I am also nervous that too much explanation will diminish the tension it creates, like with horror movies, where the sinister threat is somewhat reduced when the monster is revealed.

While I loved Veronica Rossi's world building, the real joy of Under The Never Sky for me was the development of Aria and Perry's relationship. Brought up to fear and despise each other Aria and Perry are forced to rely on each other and work together. This coming together through necessity eventually develops in to friendship and later love.

Verdict: For me this was a perfectly paced romance with a perfect ending. The 2013 release of Through The Ever Night cannot come soon enough.
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on 20 August 2012
Under the Never Sky has a pretty slow start. Luckily, I had been forewarned about this otherwise I think I may have given up on this book quite quickly. During the first 50-60 pages or so, the book launches us into a completely new world that isn't explained too well. Confusing is an understatement. I had no idea what was going on at all. Luckily, once this part is over, everything clicks into place quite nicely and it all made a lot more sense.

Aria, the female protagonist of the story, narrates part of this book. Chapters are alternated between her and Perry, the male protagonist. I really like this way of telling a story as it makes it possible to really get to know both characters. Once Aria leaves her safe home of the Pod and is forced into the wasteland, she has no idea what is going on or how she will survive. Her home is one that is very futuristic where she is able to go wherever she wants in a virtual reality system. The outside is extremely different and so are the people. Where Aria is used to her way of life, Perry is used to something else completely.

I really enjoyed the contrast between Aria's home and Perry's. Aria's home is reliant on technology whereas Perry only relies on his senses, hunting and basic ways of survival. The alternating narratives help to show how each character copes in their newfound situations and I could easily see the differences due to their upbringings. The way in which Perry lives has quite a complex background to it and this was one of the most interesting parts of the book. I loved learning more about the ways of his tribe and how everything worked.

A lot happens in Under the Never Sky but the pace seemed pretty slow for the most part. I think this was mainly to do with the fact that Aria and Perry travel around quite a lot so some time is spent walking or hunting etc. However, during these times character development is strong as there is a fair amount of dialogue and getting to know each other. The pair, with an obvious romance about to happen, take things extremely slow and they don't even like each other to begin with. Veronica Rossi builds up the tension between the two characters and lets things progress at an even pace.

Even though this book had a really slow start and was so confusing, I really enjoyed it in the end. The world created is an extremely interesting one and the characters are amazing. Under the Never Sky reignited my interest in dystopian novels!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 June 2012
I have to admit that I was a bit worried at first that this book would be a bit of a flop - we've all been exposed to so many dystopians recently that only the best really stand out. But fear not because "Under the never sky" is by far one of the best I've read!

The story starts in Reverie, a protective dome housing a population of people. But this is no ordinary residence. In Reverie, what is seen to be useless parts of our genes has been eradicated leaving only the necessary features of our lives. No longer will our hair or nails grow, no longer do we dream, no longer do we feel pain, no longer do females have their "first blood" (now children are genetically engineered to be perfect) and no longer do we understand the true meaning of "real". Aria, our leading lady, knows nothing of the outside world. Within Reverie, using her smart-eye (almost like a computerised contact lense) she can go wherever she likes without even having to move by simply telling her smart-eye to take her to a different "Realm". A Realm is simply another area of the computerised world in which Aria and her friends can travel to and experience.

But on the outside there are savages. Savages like Peregrine, "Perry". The outside world is subjected to Aether storms - powerful and destructive storms which have the potential to kill a person if they're in the "eye" of the Aether. But these storms have changed the savages. They have developed genetic mutations - now these are really interesting. Some characters, like "Auds",vhave especially good hearing. Others have the ability to smell for miles away; characters like Perry. These abilities would be pretty ordinary if not for the additional qualities they bring. Auds, just by touching a person, are able to hear what the person they touch is thinking whilst Perry, who has increased Scent, is able to smell a person's aura - enabling him to tell when someone is happy, sad, embarrassed and telling a lie. The question is - what happens when Aria is forced into the world of the savages?

I absolutely loved that this is written in a split narrative - particularly with Perry's abilities as we get to see what he sees. The relationship between two VERY different people and VERY different worlds is really exciting and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out about their worlds. Aria and Perry are fantastic characters who really stayed with me even after the last page. They each have very clear personalities, which is particularly useful in a split narrative because you need to be able to differentiate between the two voices. I actually liked the "additional" characters, like Perry's nephew Talon and friend Roar just as much as the main characters. The relationship that develops between Aria and Perry, thankfully is not one which occurs quickly. It develops really beautifully over the course of the book and finally takes off towards the final quarter. I loved that it was gradual and I also liked the fact that Veronica Rossi shows that this kind of love is forbidden - you'll have to read it to find out why though!

The best thing about this book though has to be it's uniqueness. The concept in itself is interesting but little things that are dotted throughout the book were just as intriguing. For example, Talon and Perry are "Rendered" to each other. What this means is, they are especially attuned to each others feelings; this is caused by sleeping in close proximity to a "Scire" like Perry. A Scire is simply someone with unique abilities as not everyone has them. As you can see just from that example, there are tons of ideas and concepts throughout the book that are really different and I just loved how they all linked together.

I can't recommend this book enough and I'd recommend it to any age group. The only (small) negative I have is that the Aether concept wasn't particularly well explored. Although it was really well described and it was said that it was linked to the genetic mutations, I wanted to know a little about what caused it or it's effects. Despite this, I loved this book, it's characters and the world they live in. I can't wait to read the sequel "Through the Ever Night" which is released in February 2013! Also for those of you that are interested, the film rights have already been sold so hopefully it'll be on the big screen one day!

If you buy one more dystopian this year, make sure it's this one! Hope this helps.
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on 6 April 2012
Under The Never Sky was a pleasure to read. I really enjoyed the plot line and unique characters. Veronica Rossi has created a captivating world where the sky is the limit. With beautifully described scenes, this book will have you swooning.

Under The Never Sky didn't have a very interesting start. I couldn't understand what was happening and I struggled to finish the first few pages. But, it gradually got better. When everything was explained, it all made perfect sense and I really got into the story.

Even though I found the opening scene a bit confusing, I extremely enjoyed the overall book. The characters; very amusing. I think you will really like the main characters Aria and Perry. Aria is very likable girl, strong and a character who is unpredictable at times. Perry is also a strong character, he has a very warm personality when you get to know him. He might seem like a complete jerk when he first meets Aria, but I think their encounter is very funny. Anyway, you will grow to love each character very deeply.

This book did have a very interesting romance going on. It's one of those situations where the characters start off hating and not trusting each other, but you know, after the book goes on they just can't help falling for each other. It is very sweet and the way Aria and Perry's story is told will have you smiling.

The plot for this book evolves around Aria finding her mother and Perry rescuing his nephew. They go on an incredible adventure that is full of action and blossoming romance.

Overall, Under The Never Sky is a book that you should not miss. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good science-fiction/futuristic before they go to bed. Bewarned: You might not want to go to bed until your finished. The ending will leave you wanting the sequel, Through The Ever Night, very badly.
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on 4 February 2012
I loved Under The Never Sky, I really won't be able to praise it enough. It was beautifully written and read like a dream. The storyline is so intriguing, I was glued to the pages from start to finish. The main characters are very interesting and are both very different. A big thank-you to Atom Books for sending me a review copy of this fantastic book.

The story follows main character Aria, who lives with her mum in the safety of the protected domes in Reverie. The domes are very small and hold alot of people, everyone has a smarteye that allows them to enter different realms, to do whatever they like. Aria's mum is a scientist and her work is top secret, she is currently working away in another dome called Bliss. Aria starts to worry when the connection with her mother in Bliss goes down.

Aria and some friends get into some trouble messing around with fire in in one of the sectors of the dome. She is rescued by an outsider, a savage, who has somehow managed to find his way into the dome. Aria recorded everything that happened on her smarteye, which the outsider took with him when he fled.

Aria is dropped off on the outside, in the middle of the wastelands, because she knows too much. Aria knows she needs to find her mother. She meets the same outsider who rescued her, his name is Perry, he is also searching for someone, his nephew (Talon). He takes her along with him because she might have information on how he can get his nephew back. The pair are disgusted by each other at first. Aria likes to chat alot and Perry is the strong silent type. They head off together on their mission, hoping to find the two people they are desperately searching for.

They meet lots of trouble on the way and are always in dangers path. We meet lots of interesting characters throughout the book and Aria makes some shocking revelations. Can Aria find her mother? Will Perry ever get Talon back? Well you will have to read it and find out, I don't want to spoil anything.

I just loved the ending and it has set everything up brilliantly for any future books. I am dying to read more from this wonderful world Veronica Rossi has created.

The chemistry between Aria and Perry was electric. Will they won't they the whole way through. The future technology is also so interesting to read about.

My favourite character has to be:

Perry- Of course, he is strong, fearless, wild, rough and ready and mysterious, all plus factors for me. I especially loved when he started looking at Aria as a young woman instead of just a dweller.

Under The Never Sky was a fast paced, gripping, realistic, futuristic read that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more from Veronica Rossi. Put Under The Never Sky on your wishlist today, I promise you won't be disappointed.

A five star read
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