Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Under the Never Sky spell

I'm not quite a 5 star, 4 moves-like-Jagger or 3 tingly shivers book reviewer.  I love visiting blogs that do, however, I hope you'll be okay with my plain old Angela-style of sharing my thoughts.  And here is one:
WOW!
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 a barbarian, 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

Veronica Rossi, YA debut novelist, created a dystopian where the main characters, Aria and Perry, were dealt some hard knock cards.  Skillfully, Veronica played them to the brink.

Here's a completely unnecessary and terribly limited Shakespearean comparison.  Consider Aria as 'Juliet' and Perry as 'Romeo'.  Except it's more like Mole and Savage, respectively.  Yeah, no instant match made in heaven for these two, not when a small gathering goes horribly awry kicking 'Juliet' out of the safety and security of the Capulet underground into the top soil Montague world, better known as the Death Shop.

The Death Shop, people.  Need I say more?  I should?  Okay, try violent energy storms that could roast you to ashes or packs of wolves (and some humans) that savored ANY flesh they could get.  Yeah, Death Shop sounds just right.

Okay, so nixing the Romeo and Juliet references here because Aria and Perry are both certified FIGHTERS.  Veronica pulled no punches.  Tension dripped from this story and it persisted like a physical presence between Aria and Perry.  About the only thing I'll give away is that both are alive at the end.  I know, not much of a spoiler :-)

The disasters start with a flame, where Aria and Perry collide.  The unluck only grows from there with Aria as fresh meat in the Death Shop and Perry the only person she can trust to survive.  Imagine having to depend upon someone you hate and despise.  *shivers*  But by the end, all I could think was, "When is the sequel coming out!!!??!!!"

Since I will have to wait, I'd like to encourage others to check this story out.  Maybe we can form a Waiting for the UtNS sequel group when you're done :-)

For anyone who has had a chance to read this story, what are your thoughts?  Differing views are welcome.  I have to say, shallow as it may be, I LOVE this cover and would have read it just for that.  Glad the content rocked as well :-)

56 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I LOVED this and plan to shout out about it in the next couple weeks soon. I loved the contrast between Aria's virtual computer world and then having to survive in Perry's dangerous completely non tech world.

Angela Brown said...

The stark differences of their world were drawn out very well by Veronica.

Maria Zannini said...

It's a great cover.

Except for the love story it sounds an awful lot like Aldous Huxley's, Brave New World.

Many generations have passed since Brave New World and this is YA so I don't think anyone will see the parallels.

Brave New World is one of my all time favorite books. It sounds like Veronica Rossi did it homage with a twist for YA fans.

Excellent review, by the way. I prefer reviews without the stars.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Thanks for the review, Angela. I've read a few lackluster dystopians recently that had me shying away from the genre. But this one might tempt me back!

Angela Brown said...

Thank you very much, Maria. I've added Brave New World to my TBR list. Definitely sounds like a novel I'd want to read given I enjoyed this one so much.

Angela Brown said...

You are welcome, Dianne. As much as I enjoyed it, I wish could guarantee it would be loved by every single person. I hope that if you give it a try, you aren't disappointed. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this novel with me if you get to check it out.

Creepy Query Girl said...

wow, this book sounds like a rush! Thanks for the review!

Angelina Rain said...

I'm not a YA fan, but this book sounds very interesting. I will have to check this one out! Thanks for sharing your review.

Jordan said...

Sounds quite interesting, my friend! The cover is quite epic as well. Thanks for sharing!!!

<3 jordan
JordanDibb.com

Angela Brown said...

You know, I think that's a pretty accurate description. I got to reading and found myself going from page to page killing two chapters before I knew it.

Angela Brown said...

Sounds great, Angelina. As a YA reader and writer, I know I have a bias for YA novels. However, I would love to get your feedback, positive or negative, to get a view point from a different perspective.

Angela Brown said...

You are welcome, Jordan. My pleasure, to read it and to share it. This one may get a repeat read before the end of the year because I'm sure I missed something as I cruised through reading it.

J. A. Bennett said...

Wow, this sounds like something I could really lose myself in. Thanks for the recommendation :)

Angela Brown said...

You are very welcome. I really enjoyed this novel.

Emily R. King said...

I want to read this one! It's on my TBR list, and I hope to get to it next month after I finish revising.

Angela Brown said...

I enjoyed it so much, Emily. And I've heard so many other good reviews about this novel.

Matthew MacNish said...

I haven't read it, but you make it sound very good. Thanks, Angela!

Sangu Mandanna said...

I've been meaning to read this - a lot of people are talking about it - so I'm so glad you've made me even more keen on it!

Angela Brown said...

You're welcome, Matt. If you decide to give it a read, I sure hope you enjoy it.

Angela Brown said...

This bok caught my attention some time last year. The rumblings and good stuff got louder and louder near the end of last year. I'm glad I read it.

Angela Cothran said...

I've heard fantastic things about this book. I have to get my hands on a copy.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

As soon as I saw what your post was about I barely skimmed over it because I haven't read this yet and didn't want any accidental spoilers. It's next up on my list, though, and I can't wait to read it!!

Angela Brown said...

I went with a kindle edition. So got to get a bit of instant gratification lol!!

Charlie Holmberg said...

Sounds like something my sister would like...

Angela Brown said...

LOL! Yeah, I tried to stay away from spoilers. Didn't want to ruin it for other interested readers.

Angela Brown said...

Please do share this recommendation with her :-)

David P. King said...

Now that sounds like a good read. It'll have to go on my list. Big list. Could be a while before I get to it.

I like the way you review! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think you do a fine job with reviews! Your enthusiasm shined. Not my style of read, but glad you enjoyed it.

Angela Brown said...

Why thank you, David. I can completely understand the lengthy queue for the TBR list. Mine is growing daily, like today's wonderful Tuesdays at the Castle recommendation. :-)

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Alex. Yeah, I really did enjoy it a lot.

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Great book review, Angela. I love new YA paranormal/fantasy book recommendations. I'm definitely adding this one to my TBR list.

Kelley Vitollo said...

Great review! I want to read this one. I agree with you on the cover. It's incredible.

Tara Tyler said...

i like dystopian, so many different possibilities! i'll chck it out. thanks for the riveting review!

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Angela. You know, when I got this book, I had to settle my nerves when I first started reading it. I didn't want to let all the hype sway my like or dislike of it. As I read it, I was thrilled. The novel impressed me all on it's own.

Angela Brown said...

Thank you, Kelley. I've been having book cover envy over this one for a while.

Angela Brown said...

Dystopian novels allow the mind to go into so many different directions.

Alleged Author said...

You really write excellent reviews!

Angela Brown said...

*blush*

Thanks Alleged. Just being me :-)

Deana said...

I haven't had the chance to read this yet, but I have REALLY been wanting to!

Lynda R Young said...

now this sounds great. I've seen it a few times around and I've been curious what others have thought. Thanks for the great review.

Angela Brown said...

I certainly recommend it. But if you get a chance to read it, please feel free to share your thoughts about it. They could differ or be close to the same.

Angela Brown said...

Thank you very much, Lynda. Glad to have you here to check it out.

Shelley Munro said...

It sounds like a great read. I've been reading more YA these days, but I haven't come across this one.

christyfarmer said...

I so agree with Alex. It isn't my type of book "but" your enthusiasm is contagious Angela and it is a beautiful cover.

Angela Brown said...

There are lots of great reads in the YA arena. I'm still trying to decide what my book will be for next months 2012 YA/MG debut novel book. I want a YA book but I'm considering looking for an MG novel.

Angela Brown said...

:-) Thank you, Christy. I'm glad I read this book and happy to encourage anyone to give it try. Even though it isn't for everyone, someone may discover something new.

Krispy said...

Hey, reviews wouldn't be fun if everyone did them the same way! I could tell you really enjoyed this one. I've been a little hesitant to pick this one up (and also I've already got so many books at home!), but I do want to read it! It's got some intriguing set-ups!

Angela Brown said...

You know, Krispy, I keep looking at my TBR list wondering how the halibut am I going to get all this read. But the fun is in the trying :-)

Heather said...

I have GOT to read this if it's that good. Wow indeed! Okay, you've convinced me. I'm picking up a copy.

Candy Lynn Fite said...

Ugh!!! I picked this book up yesterday at B & N, then put it back down and chose another one!! Oh well, adding to my TBR list, which keeps growing!

Great review and also loving the cover!

Angela Brown said...

I think what impressed me most is that this book came across the way life was in the Death Shop. It was hard, rough, but still managed to keep some humanity.

Angela Brown said...

We can share in the book cover envy :-)

Cherie Colyer said...

I've been wondering about this book. Great review. Wow certainly works for me. :) I'll have to check this one out. Thanks!

Angela Brown said...

Thanks so much, Cherie. It was a great book to start me off on my 2012 YA/MG Debut Authors challenge.

jonyangorg said...

I loved this book too, so good!

Angela Brown said...

Another reader! Cool beans. I totally agree :-)

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