Review: Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

10756656Since 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.   (From: Goodreads)

Actual rating: 4.5/5 Peregrine stars

Under the Never Sky is the book one in this series and before you start it, I strongly suggest you read its novella, Roar and Liv first so that you can have better understanding about what happened to Liv in this book.

Unlike the novella, this time the story was told in the third-person POV, and alternated between Perry and Aria’s viewpoints. There were two kinds of people living on Earth, the Dwellers and the Outsiders. The former were called “Moles” by the Outsiders and the latter “Savages.” In fact, the Dwellers were sophisticatedly created by some scientists and thus, they were perfect in everything; on the contrary, the Outsiders were made naturally but some of them possessed specific abilities like clairvoyance or audile.

**Characters**(I’ll make this as short as possible because it’s not my point here.)
As I mentioned above, there were two main characters in this book, Perry and Aria. Perry was a tall, muscular, and also has rare abilities among the Outsiders. And there was Aria, a Dweller whose life went totally wrong from an accident. What’s special about her was her unbelievably amazing voice, the angelic, falcon soprano. Besides them, there were Vale(Perry’s older brother, the Blood Lord), Talon(Vale’s son), Cinder(an amazing boy with supernaturally awesome skill), Roar, and some others.

The story started with the end of the novella and it was primarily about Perry and his girl, Aria’s adventure when they met in the woods. In the beginning, because of their different races, they sort of despised each other a lot. Not knowing what Perry was capable of, Aria didn’t think twice before showing her emotions or thoughts when she was around him, and that was how he realized that a part of him was really curious about this “Mole.”

“Perry stepped out as soon as the elevator doors parted. “Are you coming?”
“Fall off your own roof, Perry,” he said as the door slid closed.

Go get her, Perry! When would you stop denying your feeling, buddy?
Before he got interested in her, we all know that she was a Dweller, someone who was carefully created(like a test tube baby, imo), so basically everything about her was perfect and flawless compared to the Outsiders. Unfortunately, she wasn’t made for living in the wild. With the time flowed, she started to feel unease; her body could barely tolerate the stimulus in the outside world, and she was dying. However, she was so much stronger(and awesome) than she thought, as an unexpected truth revealed by her mother, Lumina, a scientist from her hometown, how miraculously her body worked made sense, umm…though the transformation seemed weird.

“Aria, what’s wrong?”
She stood, moving slow and defeated. “I’m dying. I’m bleeding.”
Perry’s gaze traveled down her body.
“It’s not my feet.”
Perry closed his eyes and inhaled. Her scent had changed. The rancy Dweller musk was almost gone. Her skin breathed a new scent into the air, faint but unmistakable. For the first time since he’d known her, her flesh smelled like something he recognized, feminine and sweet.
He smelled violets.
He took a step back, swearing silently as it hit him. “You’re not dying. . . . You really don’t know?”
“I don’t know anything anymore.”
Perry looked down at the ground and drew another breath, no doubt in his mind.
“Aria . . . it’s your first blood.”

Huh, I don’t know which one is more shocking, the fact that Aria knew nothing about her own physiological function, or that Perry could actually smell something so private like that. Or both.

Speaking of weirdness, there were other departments that happened magically in the Realms. Just imagine living in your imagination all the time and all you have to do is daydreaming and then everything you wish will come true. How great the life will be! For example, here was a heated discussion that I enjoyed a lot. *winks winks*

“Roar leaned across the table and smiled at her seductively, his dark hair falling into his eyes. “When you say everything happens in the Realms, do you mean everything?”
Aria laughed nervously. “Yes. Especially that. There are no risks in the Realms.”
Roar’s smile widened. “You simply think it and it happens? And it actually feels real?”
“Why are we talking about this?”
“I need a Smarteye,” he said.
Perry rolled his eyes. “There’s no way it’s the same.”

Aw, Perry, don’t tell me you aren’t curious about it. I won’t believe you, Scire or not.

The bond between them grew stronger and so did their inner connection. With Perry trying to rescue Talon, and Aria’s attempt to reach to her mom, both of them had someone to miss, and something to mourn over, there was no doubt the sparks shone brighter and brighter day after day. Their moments became sweeter and more romantic, making me swoon and blush the entire time.

They reached for each other then like some force had pulled their hands together. Aria looked at their fingers as they laced together, bringing her the sensation of his touch. Of warmth and calluses. Soft and hard together. 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.

The pure love between them seemed extremely beautiful and peaceful. This is what love should be like all the time, isn’t it?

Wait a sec, this is just the beginning!

“Aria rolled up onto her toes. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. The soft warmth of his mouth sent a wave of fire through her. Perry froze, then his arms tightened around her ribs as he deepened their kiss. They molded together, fitted against each other with stunning perfection.”

Ahhh, I love this sweet moment of theirs so, so, so much! Sometimes I was pretty amazed by how Perry struggled to conceal his true feeling for Aria and vice versa. There were always some subtle changes between them, tiny enough to be unnoticed. And later, they would suddenly get emotional when it came to each other under different circumstances. That’s kind of pure perfection for me, too.
Although she’d been searching for her mom since the beginning when she said she had to go to the Bliss to do some research, I knew what’d happen in the end. But knowing it beforehand was a lot different from seeing it for myself.

Eventually, she found what she was looking for and he did have a clue about that person’s whereabouts, but it hadn’t finished yet. Throughout the whole story, I’ve been wondered about the meaning behind the characters’ names. Like Peregrine for Perry, Roar for roar, Cinder for cinder, or Aria for aria. Every single name had its own origin and I think the author did a good job in naming them. I could find the relation among them and mostly they were perfectly matched. I’ll take Aria for instance,

“She bent close to her mother’s face. Quietly she sang the Tosca aria, her voice warbling and breaking, but she knew it didn’t matter. She’d promised Lumina this aria—their aria—so she sang.”

I personally think her name told us pretty much about herself, who she really was, or what she was able to do. Aside from this aria(the way she sang and the song belonged only to her dearest mother and her), another possible reason for her name was the astounding fact that she was probably an Audile. The Outsider side of her showed something more than the surface in the story. And that just left the readers to explore or reveal something they’ve never thought about.

As for the ending, that was exactly the reason I decided to give this book a half more star in my rating! Just when I thought it would end like that and planned on closing the book, the very last paragraph in the last chapter almost moved me to tears! That scene was seriously beautiful, and touching. It was an implicit paragraph but we all know what it meant obviously. That’s the power of words, and it’s also the first time I’m deeply touched by them.

**What I loved**
Another particular reason I like this book is because there was a quote from Perry that reminded me of Raffe from Susan Ee’s Penryn & the End of Days series. It’s one of my all-time favorite series as well so the feeling of deja vu definitely gave this book some bonus points!

“Rose.” Aria smiled. “She told me lots of things.”
He cringed. “She did? What did she say? No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”

Similar one for Raffe and Penryn: That part when Raffe asked Penryn what Pooky Bear had told her about him and then he said “No, I don’t want to know that she showed you me dancing to my favorite song on the rock.” Or something like that. LOL!
See what I mean?! It just made me love this book even more!

Most important of all, what I enjoy most about Veronica Rossi’s writing style is that she did a fantastic job in depicting everything in details. For example, I really appreciated the way Perry made many delicate observations throughout the story, from the moment he met Aria to how he scented every little trail on either an object or even abstract emotion. In the beginning, I didn’t pay lots of attention to these subtle descriptions, but the deeper I got into the story, the more obvious I realized. It was like the first time I noticed how a seemingly ordinary feeling could turn out to be a natural beauty, the kind that I didn’t even know existed. The realization made me speechless and I think it’s one of the best reasons why you should read this book.

**Everything is fine except a small defect**
The minus of 0.5 star for this book is that I think the story lacked some necessary emotions. Just because the littlest things were described colorfully doesn’t mean the emotional expressions were the same. What I’m saying is that I could picture those details about either the atmosphere around the main characters or the surrounding environment precisely, but I kept feeling incomplete. For me, the exaggerating emotions are the most indispensable essences in a story, but sadly, I couldn’t relate to their intensity when they experienced an emotional wreck here. If there were more descriptions on how the characters truly felt, it would absolutely get a solid 5 stars from me, or even more!

**Critical thinking**
The last and most special aspect I want to share with you is the true meaning of this book from my point of view. This book is not just a story; it’s more like the reality in life. For example, because the Dwellers lived in their own world, completely isolated from the outside one and they could simply do anything, or go anywhere by thinking and picturing it, and then the next second they were right there. The place they belonged to was just a virtual Realm and thus in my opinion, the concept is very similar to our so-called “ivory tower”. People staying in their own little world and knowing nothing about what happen around them in reality are exactly the Dwellers here so that’s why they can’t survive by themselves once they are out of their box. Also, since they don’t have to learn anything “real”, they have no idea about what it’s like being in the woods, fighting for their life, experiencing intimacy, or putting themselves into others’ shoes. Hence, the fact that Aria was forced to live with the “savages” is what I appreciate most in this story. It seems to teach us a lesson about how to gain courage, strength, and never be afraid of the inevitable through her experiences and perhaps, you’ll be lucky enough to find your Prince Charming during the process. Anyway, all I’m saying is that it’s really rare to realize something more than a story in this type of books and I hope you can read it whole-heartedly to capture the profounder meaning on your own.

**In conclusion**
I highly recommend this series to all of you because of the above reasons and I can’t wait to see what you guys think about it soon!


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