Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY
The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure
The chapters are told from alternating perspectives between Aria and Perry. Aria comes from a very protected dome-like dwelling in which she knows very little of the outside world. The outside world is under a sky of Aether. It's described as the Van Gough painting Starry Night with electric and wind storms that cause a lot of damage and only the savages live outside the Pod's.
The alternating chapters get us to see each character from a different perspective. Seeing Aria through Perry's eyes or vice versa. It took me awhile to warm up to these characters and appreciate them for who they are to become. I really enjoyed later on in the story when Atria begins to train and we get to see a fighter in her. Perry, I am still trying to warm up to.
When Aria is banished from the Pod she has no choice but to keep moving and to focus on finding her mother who was away on business when Aria was banished. She finds Perry in her travels and he becomes not only a companion but a teacher, and eventually a love interest. They learn to get to know each other mainly through bickering, arguing during their travels.
My favorite part of the story was the world building and descriptions of the land scape and the places they traveled. I only wished to get to be apart of the Pod a little bit more before Atria was kicked out, I found the life inside the pod was just as interesting to get to know as the life outside it. But the majority of the book is told from the outside and we hear very little about life on the inside except through their dialogue exchanges. My favorite part and what was most noticeable to me was when Atria gets her first period (because it's not apart of the Pod life to get one) her reaction to it and Perry's was priceless. I have never seen this subject matter come up before in a non-contemporary book.
The story was very fast paced, flowed well, it was unique and interesting.
It took until the book was almost over for me to really like the characters but about 20% to the end I started to appreciate them more and became invested in their story.
It's been stuck in my mind since I finished reading it and thing it would make a fantastic movie. Especially the visuals you get with the Aether sky and the storms.