Release Date: 3 January 2012
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
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.I didn't think I would like this book once I started it. I thought I had opened the pages to another helpless girl that didn't know what to do with her life now that bad things were happening to her. In my mind, I was going to follow her around while some guy continuously came to her rescue, and kept her from having to actually deal with anything herself. I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised.
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.
Aria starts off scared and alone, which is understandable given her previous life and the crapfest that was just thrown her way. However, Aria doesn't wallow in self-pity, or rely on other people to take care of her. She's constantly on guard, and wary of almost everyone and everything that she comes into contact with. She doesn't take things at face value, people have to earn her trust, and she also has to learn how to trust herself.
Her mind and body have started to change since she found herself on the outside of her pod. She has had to adjust to a lot of changes all at once, and she never complains about being uncomfortable. Once she mentions being hungry, but that was after days of barely having enough food to eat. It was understandable.
Perry I loved from the beginning. He is who he is, and he isn't going to change for anyone. He will fight for his people, his loved ones, and the things he believes in. He has shown a great amount of self control throughout his life, and he hasn't had the easiest life. Crappy dad, thinks he's cursed... but he deals. He also saves Aria countless times without even blinking. His instincts tell him to protect the innocent and kill the evil. He's really good at doing both.
I like the world the author has created. A world that steadily gets more complicated, because things in the pods aren't as carefree and under control as others would like us to believe. Life on the outside isn't peachy, but it's a lot better than being cooped up and living in some alternate reality. I would choose a shorter life on the outside over a prolonged one locked in a fancy cage. The freedom Aria discovers, the feelings, the life... it's all worth so much more than what she had before. Yes, now she has had to deal with intense feelings like fear and loss, but also love and happiness.
Under the Never Sky might start off like other YA books that I've read, but the story is unique and entirely its own. The characters are vastly different in every way, and they grow on you throughout the book. It's a learning process for both sides. I can't wait to see where the story picks up, and how Perry and Aria solve their current problems.