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.
The concept and setting of Under the Never Sky is great. With the way global warming is going, it's not out of the question that we would some time in the future be living in enclosed environments to protect us from the dangers of outside. And would it not be likely for some people to refuse living in these cities, and prefer facing the danger instead of letting themselves be controlled?
I have to be honest, after the first fifty pages I was asking myself if every review I'd seen so far could be wrong. Even with as much action as those first chapters held, they still felt slow to me. I think part of the problem is that both Aria and Perry were telling so much about themselves, their lives, friends and personalities, but didn't support any of it with their actions.
Luckily it gets a lot better after that. As soon as Aria is thrown out of the pod and meets Perry we start seeing some actual character building. On his own, Perry is arrogant, makes rash decisions, and doesn't seem to care about anyone except for his abducted nephew. On her own, Aria is curious, inexperienced, and has lived a life protected from not just danger, but from life itself. Together, they have to learn how to trust each other with their lives, and slowly they form a bond that's so much stronger than anyone would have expected from a mole and a savage.
I really, really liked Aria and Perry's relationship. It was so slow and reluctant at first, yet growing with every situation they handled together. I also loved two of the characters introduced in the second half, and especially one of them gave some much needed lightness to an otherwise dark story. The ending was a little WTF in a good "oh my good, I want the sequel now" kind of way, but it also answered some important questions as to not leave us completely hanging.
All in all I thought Under the Never Sky was a great beginning of a new series, with enough action, intrigue, friendship and romance to make me interested in reading the rest.
Very pretty, and I like how it stands out from all these girl-in-pretty-dress covers we've been seeing lately.
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ARC received from NetGalley
ARC received from NetGalley