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GingerRead Reviews

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky - Under the Never Sky is one of those books that I kept seeing pop up and always debated on reading. I love dystopian novels and have read a fair number of them these past few years. For whatever reason, I kept skipping by this one. At the urging of a few blogger buddies, I finally picked it up and I will admit ~ I'm glad I did.One of the things I love about a good dystopia book is seeing the author's view on how our world ends and why it becomes what it does. I found Under the Never Sky a bit lacking in that department. The world as we know it ends because of the massive aether storms. I don't even know what aether is. It reads like some sort of super lightening, scorching everything it comes in contact with to mere ash. Nothing will ever grow where the aether hits. I googled the word and on Wikipedia it is described as this: the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere or the personification of the "upper sky", space and heaven, in Greek mythology. Perhaps I am a little slow on the uptake but I need further explanation on how this brakes through our atmosphere and basically decimates our world. I do like the idea, I just want it explained more.Another element of the book that bothered me were the names. Aria is a good name in itself. But she sings, so it annoyed me. When it explained that future parents are able to order up their children's abilities like a value meal menu at a fast food joint...I thought ~ oh, Mom wanted a singer, of course she would give her a singers name. Without giving away too much, later in the book this idea no longer worked for me and the name annoyed me again. That wasn't the only annoying name. There were also names like Paisley, Lumina, Bane, Echo and Roar to name just some. Most I was able to get over, some not so much.I've now told you about some of the items that caused me to deduct points. Now, let me tell you what I liked.The concept of Reverie, the bubble that Aria lives in, is quite unique. I can't say I totally understand how it all works and there were moments were I was really confused. Again, perhaps I am just slow. But overall, I liked the idea of living in what is essentially virtual reality. Seeing and experiencing life through 'smarteye' technology that can transport you into any type of world you want to be in. Genetic modification to keep you disease free, to mold you into whatever you want to be, all within the safe confines of a protected pod is a very interesting take. The story really picks up when Aria is kicked out of her pod and she starts a long journey with a reluctant stranger and outlander, Peregrine. They are both in search of what they hold most dear in life and each blame the other for their great loss. She looked up. "A world of nevers under a never sky." She fit in well then, he thought. A girl who never shut up.Working together is difficult at the start. Aria is so far removed from the outside world and reality that she questions everything, needs to learn everything. She is more like a toddler than a young woman when knowing how to survive outside of the pod. She is an interesting character but lacks her own true persona until much later on in the book. I enjoyed reading her coming-of-age type journey.Perry on the other hand is a strong character from the start. You immediately get a feel for who he is, what he stands for and what he is willing to fight and kill for. I really like Perry, I think he is a great blend of modern day tough-guy with some almost neanderthal elements. Perry nodded absently, imaging a world without fear. Was that possible? If there was no fear, how could there be comfort? Or courage?At first I thought this was just a story of a girl trying to survive the wilds and falling in love with a mysterious hero. It's not, there is so much more to it. There are a few twists and turns, some ideas that show how the world has evolved (though still lack some of that much needed explanation), and some really horrific ideas of how society has turned. Add in some very interesting supporting characters and you have the makings of a great read.The book ends without a lot of resolution, leaving you questioning many things and wanting more. I really can't wait to see where the second book, Through the Ever Night, takes me. It's not due to publish until January 2013, it's going to be a long wait!