Publisher: HarperCollins January 3, 2012
Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, especially those geared towards young adults. I chose this book on my Kindle because it kept popping up as a recommendation, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I was not disappointed.
Under the Never Sky takes place in a futuristic world much different than any others I've ever read about. Mankind's existence is under constant threat from electrical storms. To stand a fighting chance, a group of people have built a city called Reverie made up of tunnels that protect them from the elements. To cope with never seeing the light of day, the tunnels have virtual realms in which people can live out their fantasies. They can also explore different time periods and places, virtually speaking. Due to their limited exposure to the elements (and life in general), their life expectancies have greatly expanded.
Our main character, Aria, comes from this technologically advanced world. She has the voice of and angel, genetically engineered by her mother of course. Nothing is left to chance She wears a Smarteye which allows her to take part in virtual existence, as well as communicate with others and organize herself. Think of having your computer or laptop screen appear on your eye and all you would have to do is simply think of something, and it would obey your command! How cool would that be? The Science Fiction nerd in me really appreciated Rossi's invented world.
I also enjoyed reading about the world outside of Aria's: a world full of primitive and savage people, where nature and mankind were in constant battle. If the lightening doesn't kill you, the cannibals or bloodthirsty wolves likely will. This is the only world that Perry, the male protagonist, has ever known. Perry is in fact dreamy. He's gifted and strong, sexy and irresistible.
I loved the dynamic between Aria and Perry when their journey begins. Perry is annoyed by Aria's haughtiness and sense of superiority. Having lived in "the real world" his whole life, he cannot relate to Aria on any level. As their stories begin to unfold, the pair find out they have more in common than they realized. The plot became more and more interesting as Rossi introduced new revelations and mysteries to the story.
After reading this book, I immediately pre-ordered Through the Ever Night, which comes out January 8th. I can hardly wait to find out what happens next! I give this book 8 out of 10 on the page-turner scale. It started a little slow (it takes time to set up imaginary worlds!) but picked up and was an absolutely delicious read.