Sunday, December 25, 2011

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Release date:  January 3rd, 2012
Reviewed by: AmyG (Big Sis)
Sister's Say:  Unique, Unworldly, and Unbelievable Amazing

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction. 
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions. 
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY 

First off, I would like to say thank you, thank you, thank you to HarperCollins for sending me Under the Never Sky!  This is one of those books that leaves pieces of itself with you to be recalled at random times sometimes purposefully and other times subconsciously.  For the past few days, phrases and scenes keep sneaking into my brain leaving me with a goofy grin on my face and oh so desparate for the next installment.  At first glance, I was a little leery of reading this as I'm not a huge sci-fi fan.  Across the Universe and I am Number Four were both great reads, but almost a little to sci-fi for my taste.  From the description of this book, I thought this book might be the same, but I loved the cover so much, I decided to take the plunge.  And, praise the Lord that I took that plunge!  Holy bananas batman, was this book knock my socks off, blow me away, rock my face off, out of this world (or at least pod) amazing!

The entire idea of living in a world completely destroyed is not far off from everyone's imagination as 2012 looms in our ever present future.   With the destruction of the world, the government in Under the Never Sky has created pods for people to live in order for them to survive.  Within the pods people are genetically engineered, and basically live most of their lives separate from reality.  They have created these other, virtual worlds called Realms in which people can completely exists in their imagination.  Anything they want or can think of simply appears before them.  Want to be 10 lbs skinnier, have pink hair, and be covered in tattoes, then you simply think it and behold you are.  Want to go back to the times of ancient Greece and study about mythology at its birth, then that's just a thought away also.  How brilliant yet scary is the idea of being able to escape at any moment to anywhere in anytime.

On the other hand, it wouldn't be a dystopian if everyone was lucky enough or maybe unlucky enough to live in the pods.  Outsiders (or savages as they are also called) exist in the world outside the pods.  Because of the utter desolution of the world, the Outsiders have naturally evolved to be able to survive.   Some of them have enhanced senses from an accute (times a billion) sense of smell or sight or being able to here from miles away.  These unbelivable enhancements have made it possible for people to survive outside the pods.  Also, I loved the irony of the names that Veronica chose!

Now for the Hook, Line, and Sinker: imagine a girl from a pod meeting a boy from the outside.  They have been taught to hate each other from the beginning of their lives.  This ultimate of all boy meets girl scenarios.  The fireworks between them are bright, beautiful and earth shattering.  It's an amazing love story that has refused to leave me.  For those of you that can't resist the "epic" love story (that once in a 20 lifetimes love) in the midst of absolute turbulance then you are going to fall hard for this book.  I could go on all day about how incredible the love story is in this book, but what makes this book even more unbelievable is the plot and writing are just as good as the love story.

This book is absolutely missing nothing!  The plot is twisting and heartbreaking while the imagery is as vivid as HDTV.   Between packs of cannibals and wolves, I was on the edge through the entire book.  So much so that this was a one sitting read.  The best way I can describe the imagery in this book is the word "alive."  Everything came to life right in front of me.  The way Veroinica describes the atmosphere, the land, and the aether is tangible.  I've never felt more thrown into a story in my life.  I can still close my eyes and picture the aether swirling around me.  It absolutely beautiful and terrifying.

As I said above, this book is lacking nothing!  There are no words to explain how much I loved this book.  In fact, as soon as I finished it, I texted all the girls in my book club to tell them to pre-order this book because we were kicking our January book out and Under the Never Sky was taking its place.  I implore you with everything inside me to pre-order this book and read it immediately!  I'm off to read it again!!!  Please tweet me or let me know in the comments section how you liked this book!  I'm dying to talk to everyone about it!