Publication: January 3rd 2012 by HarperCollins
Read: January 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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.
A world of nevers under a never sky.
When I first read Under the Never Sky back in 2013, I was immediately sucked into this beautiful yet terrifying universe. And after rereading it, I can still say the same.
In this alternate universe, the sky is charged with Aether — a volatile and dangerous element. Think of it as lightning, but with more science and chemicals to it. Society has been divided into two: the Dwellers — those who live in the safety of the Pods, and the Outsiders — territorial and primitive beings that live outside the Pods, and are more prone to Aether storms.
I didn’t immediately digest this information all at once. I was initially confused because I’m not really familiar with this type of world. It’s something different from your typical dystopian. But at the same time I was fascinated with it. The many descriptions of the Aether make you wonder: how can something so beautiful turn out to be something so deadly?
Our main character, Aria, has been exiled from her home after getting involved in an incident in one of the Pods that lead to three casualties — including her best friend, Paisley. She is thrown into the Death Shop; a barren wasteland filled with terrors and of course, the Aether. Here she encounters Peregrine or Perry, an Outsider or Savage as she likes to call it. Perry, on the other hand, left his tribe to search for his nephew, Talon, who was kidnapped by the Dwellers. Even though they pretty much repulse each other, they form an unlikely alliance to save Talon and Aria’s mother.
What can I say about Aria? She’s the typical YA heroine, really. I’ve noticed that she’s very composed and gentle which is not a great asset in the dangerous terrain she’s in right now. But I do love her character development. She’s becoming more of a warrior towards the end of the book. I also love her determination to save her mother, Lumina, from Bliss. She has a keen sense of purpose and drive.
Same goes for Perry. There’s nothing really distinct about his character other than his Bear Grylls-survival skills. I’m really fascinated by his Senses and the idea of it in general. How are you born with heightened sense anyway? I also really think that his ability to sense tempers or feelings are soooooo cool. I wish I could do that. I really liked his relationship with Talon. It really seemed like a father/son relationship to me.
Some other things, I thought Roar was funny as ever. He really brought up the spirits of Aria and Perry during the most anguished times in the novel. I thought the Smarteye devices and how it can transport you to every Realm imaginable was so fascinating. Just the idea of it fascinates me. Can you count how many times I said the word fascinating? Aha 😄
As for the romance, I thought it was sweet. I’m a sucker for these types of relationships where the two love interests can’t tolerate each other’s presence but they soon grow towards each other. But there was definitely one cheese moment in the novel. *eye roll*
Overall, I enjoyed rereading Under the Never Sky. It reminded me how much I am so smitten with this series. I’m looking forward to rereading the sequel next.