This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.
I finally read Under the Never Sky! And at the time that I’m writing this review, I’ve already read Through the Ever Night, and I’ve got Into the Still Blue checked out from the library. I’m making good progress with my Series Catch-Up!
Under the Never Sky is book that had some problems, yet the plot was exciting enough for me to overlook the flaws. Let’s start with Aria, the pod-dwelling Ms. Snooty-Pants who considers Perry, a “Savage,” beneath her notice. I couldn’t waste the energy to get irritated with her, because we readers have been down this path enough to know that Aria might as well have had a flashing sign over head that read, “I will transform into a likable person by the end of this novel.” And how would that transformation occur? Of course, it would involve that smelly Savage she disdains. As for Perry, his sudden attraction to Aria was…unconventional in a YA book, to say the least. But once these two get past their silly and artificial-feeling biases, it’s time to bring in a bit of a romance. Not enough to detract from the exciting adventure in the story, but enough to ensure we don’t get annoyed by their previous sniping.
So, I’m feeling good about this story now that Aria has shaped up. But I kept wondering about those pods. How could the Dwellers be content to live their lives enclosed in a pod, spending their days in artificial realms? They knew “the real world” existed just outside, and they knew that other humans lived there. Even with the dangers present in the outside world, wouldn’t that be preferable to most people?
There were also some important terms that Rossi brushed over with very little explanation. I knew that Aether was something in the sky, and it’s very, very bad. But how and when was it created? And is it any relation to this Unity thing, which sounds like a pleasant word, but in context here, we can tell it is also very, very bad. (As I mentioned above, I just finished Through the Ever Night, and both Aether and Unity were given a paragraph or two of much-needed explanation.)
After all that, this is still a 4 star book for me. The action (cannibals, fighting with Raiders outside Marron’s home), the surprising revelation about Aria, and ROAR! Roar, who is, as far as I’m concerned, the star of the series. All of the angsty, brooding male MC’s in YA need to take some lessons from Roar.