Speculating on SpecFic

Fantastic Literature: From epic fantasy to fairytales to myth-making

Under the Never Sky B

Under The Never Sky  - Veronica Rossi Isn't that cover gorgeous? I'm very grateful that Hachette gave me this copy, and the matching edition of the sequel, Through the Ever Night. I hope the Australian edition of Into the Still Blue matches these :DOnto what's inside the cover! Under the Never Sky is a fascinating mix of post-apocalyptic, science fiction and fantasy. Post-apocalyptic: Some mysterious event has driven a people inside habitats called Pods. Those inside the Pods live sheltered 'perfect' lives inside pseudo reality environments called Realms. They hang out, eat, sleep, and even have relationships inside the Realms, where you get any experience you want, without pesky negatives like fear and pain. Science Fiction: Access to the Realms is given through Smart-Eyes, cool bio-technology based coverings that go over one eye and allow users to access the Realms and be in the real world at the same time. Fantasy: The Outsiders have evolved and gained super-senses - some can hear really well, while others can see or scent better than every one else. These powers seem to have something to do with the mysterious Aether exists in the sky, and the destructive Aether storms that plague everyone.Although the world building is awesome, I would have preferred to find out a little more about how it all came to be. It's unclear what kind of event made people retreat into the Pods, why some people got access to them and others didn't, why the Outsiders don't just break into the Pods and take the resources. The last is especially perplexing because it's well established that the Pods are neither as safe nor secure as those living inside them would like to think. I would also like to know what those Aether storms are.Rossi has crafted intelligent, believable characters in Perry and Aria. I really liked both of them and wouldn't dare to pick a favourite. I love how nice Perry is - I love a YA hero who isn't a jerk to everyone he meets because he has a 'tough exterior'. He has issues with Aria, and understandably dislikes her in the beginning, but he's always helping and taking of her because he's basically an awesome guy! Aria is spunky and determined, and I really like how she grew into herself over the novel. She didn't complain (too much) about how different life is on the Outside, and I understood all of her fears and misgivings.My favourite part is that the pair didn't instantly fall in love and spend the whole book playing cat and mouse. Their feelings grow slowly, naturally, and when they both finally admitted them, they didn't dance around the physical aspect either. Refreshing! I think their relationship is strong, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops in future books.I really enjoyed Under the Never Sky, I think it's a clever book that will be enjoyed by readers who appreciate intelligent, witty characters and a captivating plot line. It's even more impressive considering this is Veronica Rossi's début novel, and I am excited to start the sequel soon.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.