Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky, #1
Aria knows only the world inside the Realms, a virtual reality where life is lived without risk or consequence. When communication with her mother goes dark, Aria is determined to discover why. She manipulates a powerful man’s son in an effort to learn what he knows about her mother. Her plan goes awry when a fire is started and Aria is rescued by a savage from the outside. Despite her innocence Aria finds herself the scapegoat. Now banished from the only world she’s known, Aria must find a way to survive and her only hope may be the savage who saved her.
Perry has been in a power-struggle with his brother for years, but his love for his nephew Talon has kept him from doing anything about it. Frustrated, Perry breaks into the Dwellers’ compound, witnesses a horrific fire and despite his better judgment, rescues a girl from death. When his nephew is taken, Perry must decide if trusting her is worth the risk in order to save someone he loves.
“She’d heard all the stories about the Death Shop, like everyone else. A million ways to die. She knew of the packs of wolves as smart as men. She’d heard of the flocks of crows that picked living people to pieces, and the Aether storms that behaved like predators. But the worst death in the Death Shop, she decided, was rotting alone.”
So it only took me a few years to read this book, despite it being on my shelf since its release. Honesty, I have no excuse and after reading it, I really shouldn’t have waited so long. Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky was so captivating, I think I read the majority of it in one sitting. I thought the two lead characters, Aria and Perry, were both compelling characters. Each had their own motivations for their behavior, their own biases that had to be overcome, and a strong resolve to protect the people they cared about. I loved the progression of Aria and Perry’s relationship, which felt natural in its pacing.
My favorite character was Perry. Despite how angry he felt toward Aria, his own nature made it impossible for him not to sympathize with her situation. His relationship with his brother, Vale, and nephew Talon were so telling; on one hand Perry felt that he had a better understanding of how to lead his people compared to his brother, but his relationship with the latter stifled his anger. Because the book took place in Perry’s world, I found his character more developed than Aria’s. And oh my goodness, what a way to end the book! I’m going to have to hunt down the second book very soon.