Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by Harper Collins on 2012-01-03
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
I inhaled this book.
I immediately fell in love with the characters. Perry (short for Peregrine) is a fantastic hero, who is motivated by survival and protecting his nephew. He’s on the outside, in a world that is swiftly becoming uninhabitable. He wants to lead the tribe he’s a part of to a safer, better place, while his brother, who is actually the leader of the tribe (called a Blood Lord), wants them to stay put, saying that moving is more dangerous than staying. Perry had his faults, but his motivation is based on saving someone he cares about. He has noble intentions, even though his methods may be unconventional. He’s wild and clever and altogether foreign for Aria.
Aria was a little annoying in the beginning, but I think she was supposed to be. Living in Reverie, a safe dome-like dwelling that separates its inhabitants from the dangers outside, Aria knows little about, well anything. Everything in Reverie is done in the Realms, virtual realities where you can do literally anything with zero risk. She when she gets left in the Death Shop, she assumes she’s going to die. Running into Perry saves her life. And the best part about it is that they hate each other for a while. I mean, you sort of assume they will get together, but a relationship actually grows and develops between the two of them rather than just suddenly appearing. You see Perry teaching Aria how to survive, and when she can finally stand talking to him, a friendship blossoms, which later turns to romance.
The two of them getting to know each other and learning about the two different cultures is really adorable. Especially since you see it grow out of true mistrust and quite frankly, hatred. It’s such a dynamic relationship and I can’t wait to see what comes next for them.
There’s some really interesting Sci-Fi stuff here, what with the “savages” (people outside Reverie) having almost supernaturally strong senses, and then the genetic science happening inside Reverie. I liked having quite a bit of sci-fi influence, even though most of the time, Perry and Aria are wandering around in the wilderness, killing things with knives and arrows. And then there’s this drama with a group of cannibals and fortunately that doesn’t get to graphic because that just freaks me out, and even though they just barely touched on it I was like, NO THANK YOU.
There were some interesting secondary characters who I’m hoping we’ll see more of (namely Roar and Liv). Cause they sound adorable, but since Liv was only named in this book and not actually seen, we didn’t get much of them. Roar was pretty cool though and I liked that he was more of what Aria expected from a Dweller (someone who lived in Reverie) but she still fell in love with Perry, even though he’s wild and unexpected.
The ending was exciting and illuminating, although now there are more questions to be answered (of course there are, this is a SERIES). Highly recommended for fans of Moira Young’s Blood Red Road and Beth Revis’ Across the Universe.