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Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky - Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/WriterRating:5 out of 5 ControllersReview Source:Purchase/Audio BookReviewer:MeBrilliant…Okay this review is not done, however that is the one word I would use to synopsize this exquisite story. What a dazzling world debut YA author Veronica Rossi has created in Under the Never Sky. With its dystopian theme and science fiction edge, chapter after chapter I fell more enthralled with this story. Being that this was my first audio book, I really didn’t know what to expect, heck I didn’t even think the story would capture and hold my attention long enough for me to listen to 9+ hours of audio. But through the enigmatic voice of the narrator, I was able to become trapped inside Rossi’s world, by living, breathing, and walking there. It became an addictive adventure, one I could relive time and time again. The world as we know it has become dangerous from an anomaly knows as the Aether. The Aether, from my best assumption (because this was the only part that wasn’t properly explained), is a type of electrical storm that destroys everything in its path when it strikes, leaving much of the world an uninhabitable place. Because of this, people are forced to live in Pods never experiencing the wonders of life outside. Basic things we take for granted such as the beautiful sunshine and warm waters of the oceans are foreign ideas to those who reside inside the pods. In order to recreate what missing in their lives, scientist have created an intricate virtual reality system know as the Realms, which can be visited via a Smarteye. In the Realms any dream, fantasy, or wish can come true. It serves as a form of escapism for pod residents so they won’t go crazy or feel trapped by their extreme living conditions. By description this may all seem a bit farfetched and over the top, but trust me it works. Opposite the Dwellers, or those who live in pods, are the “savages” known as Outsiders. Unlike the presumed beautiful lives of the Dwellers, Outsiders have in a way become one with nature and their environment making them skilled hunters, archers, and mainly killers. They also have heightened senses, which at some points seem more magical than science fictionesque, however overall it worked well in the plot and gave the story yet another unique quality. Aria our main character is on a mission to uncover what happened to a pod that fell silent, the same pod where her mother is working. Because of some poor choices and the means she uses to uncover the truth, she is nearly killed and rescued by an Outsider, Peregrine. After the rescue neither of them thinks they will see the other again, until Aria is banished from her home and Perry once again comes to her aid. The narration alternates between Aria and Perry. I think I enjoyed learning more about Perry than I did Aria, yes I loved all the technology that the pod’s had at their disposal, yet it was the unique abilities of the Outsiders and the tragic story of Perry and his nephew that sucked me in completely. Don’t get me wrong, Aria is a strong female protagonist and she transitioned well between naïve Dweller to strong willed fighter. Nevertheless, Perry is where the story takes flight. His way of life is both sad and fascinating. I loved every minute of being inside of his head to see what he was thinking, feeling, and observing. Both of our MC’s are on a mission, Perry to find his beloved nephew and Aria to find her mother. With nothing in common but trying to reach the end destination, this unlikely pair becomes a great duo. Overall, Under the Never Sky is different. My only complaint is I would have liked more explanation of the Aether, and the world itself, along with some of the science fiction type terms used. Aside from that, if you crave a dystopian novel with one-of-a-kind world building, a matchless premise, wonderfully written characters, an unexpected villain and a great underlying mystery, then this is your novel. However, for those of you craving heavy romance, you might be a little disappointed because this is one of those books that will fade…to…black.