Monday, June 4, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

After being exiled from her underground commune of Reverie, Aria believes that she has a matter of days before she dies outside in the desert wasteland. But she feels that she must attempt by any means necessary to get back in, and find out what has happened to her mother. In the end, she must rely on the savage Outsider Perry for help. They make a deal in order for Aria to survive and Perry to find his kidnapped nephew. Each has their own agenda, negative stressors from home, and growing emotions. They must soon decide whether they can keep their goals separate from their emotions.

I really enjoyed this, but not how I expected to. The first thing that drew me in was the plot. It was really quite wonderful, full of twists that I never really expected and jumps that made me want to read more instead of annoying me. I loved the secondary characters. They were all super well-developed, with back-stories that I totally want to find out about. I found the world that Veronica Rossi to be pretty well-developed, she had some nicely put together cultural elements. I wouldn't say it's as fully developed like Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games, but it has a lot of potential.

Here was my niggle: I thought that Aria was going to be this deep, complex, smart character, instead I found her to be kind of whiny and oblivious. Thankfully she develops to be mostly likable by the end, but the person that really made the book for me was Perry. He was so in tune with himself, what he was, and his self-awareness really lends itself to the development of the story. Just so we're clear, the narration of the story switches between Aria and Perry every other chapter. I just really really enjoyed Perry's narrations. And I thought it was interesting to find that Veronica Rossi had an easier time writing Perry's part:

I just totally channeled Perry right from the beginning. At one point had the story all in his POV. I'm really glad I picked up Aria's voice, and she's as fun/difficult for me to write as Perry now. It just took me a little longer to find her.

But I did think it was interesting that she had more fun writing Aria's part. Which I guess I could see, considering that Aria probably has a greater emotional and personal journey to go on and she grows more. Anyways, I can't wait for the next book to come out. Supposedly it's coming out sometime in the new year... maybe there'll be an ARC at ALA! Fingers crossed!

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