This edition published: 8th January 2013
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Under the Never Sky is an enticing dystopian written from the dual POV of Aria and Peregrine, more commonly known as Perry.
Aria is a dweller (or mole), who lives in a pod underground, and has a life that is basically, fake, experiencing life through computer generated realms with the use of a smart eye. They have to live this way, as with a population of 6,000 people in Aria's pod, known as Reverie, there's just no room for them to experience anything real.
Perry is an outsider. The dwellers call them savages. They are tanned and wrinkled in comparison to the dwellers pale, smooth skin. They're the ancestors of the people who were left on the outside to suffer and try to live through the aether storms that were ravaging the earth, while the wealthy and influential were able to move into these protected pods.
While I enjoyed Aria's story straight away, it did take me a little longer to get into Perry's, which I found a little boring to begin with. But once Perry and Aria were together, things took off with a bang and I didn't look back. Aria believes she's only days from dying because dwellers aren't supposed to be able to survive on the outside. Perry blames Aria for the sorry situation that he has found himself in and likewise, she blames him for hers. If he hadn't entered the pod, none of them would be here right now. So when Perry tells her he knows someone who might be able to fix her smarteye, allowing her to contact her mother, and Perry to rescue his nephew, she takes off on a two week trek with him, hoping to still be alive at the end of it. Perry allows Aria to make this journey with him, knowing she'll probably slow him down, because he thinks only she can use the smart eye. They're from different world's, and that's the way they both want it to stay. But for now, they're allies, and Perry must do his best to keep her alive for the journey.
I loved Perry and Aria's characters. There's a lot of tension and action over the course of their travels, only adding to the excitement of this book. By the time they reach their destination, there are four of them. Having been met by Perry's childhood friend Roar, and also picking up an odd child of about twelve years of age, along the way. We meet more interesting secondary characters when they enter Delphi, and get to work on the smart eye.
The romance in this book worked perfectly for me, it's my favourite kind, when pure loathing turns to love. Over the course of the book, Aria's character has a complete overhaul and by the end, she's a much tougher, stronger character, who will do anything to survive. We also learn a lot more about Perry as he warms to Aria and opens up to her, only adding to his character.
I was left a bit cut up about the ending of this book, but thanks to the fantastic Eleanor, I had Through the Ever Night on hand to continue on straight away.
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