Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.
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.
Let me state for the record that my favorite subgenre of any form of media is mutant inbred hillbilly cannibals. Wrong Turn. Reavers from Firefly. Open Season by Jack Ketchum. All incredibly weird/creepy/gross. And while Under the Never Sky did not have these and I was hoping for more hillbilly with my cannibals, it did have your general cannibals. So that was already a mark in its favor. Seriously, there is nothing creepier or more terrifying than a cannibal. They eat people, people. Gross.
Anyway, I love paranormal but sci-fi has never really been my thing, so I was surprised by how fast I got engrossed in Under the Never Sky. The action starts early and keeps pace throughout the book. It’s also highly original, with so many different things going on that I have no idea how Veronica Rossi kept it all straight while she was writing. Or how she came up with some of it in the first place, for that matter. The world of the Death Shop itself was pretty amazing.
I found it interesting that I started off not particularly liking any of the characters (nor disliking them, just ambivalent) but I grew to like them as they grew to like one another. There’s no insta-love here, either between Aria and Perry or between the reader and the characters. At least, not in my case. They were nearly all an acquired taste for me (insert cannibal joke here).
I’m looking forward to the next book and I’d like to see more of more minor characters like Cinder and Roar, plus more development of the relationship between Perry and Aria.