“Worlds Kept Them Apart. Destiny Brought Them Together.”
Hey, book lovers.
This post is going to be a review of a book called Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, a dystopian fiction novel set in Reverie, a protected dome where Aria has lived her entire life, feeling no real pain, sadness or anger.
I absolutely adored this book. From the beginning, I found myself hooked. You’re drawn immediately into the world of Aria, who lives in Reverie, where every pleasure, adventure, tragedy, pain, is experienced only in the ‘Realms’, where citizens can choose to live out their deepest fears and ambitions. They can become whoever they want to be, from the space of the community centres, using their Smarteye, a device that allows them to see more clearly into their world, and to communicate more effectively.
But their world is charged with regular electrically charged storms that make the air dangerous, and the citizens of Reverie have never known any different than the air they breathe inside it. The dome is their protection, and their life-force. They can feel no real pain, and anything they do experience is lived through in the Realms. Imagine a world where everything you know comes from daily simulations, like in a video game, where you can also feel what is happening as if it is completely real. It’s an interesting concept, because there is so much you can do with it, and I liked reading into this.
Aria wants to find her mother. She had once had regular contact with her through her Smarteye, but when her mother disappears one day on a trip out to Bliss, one of the other Pods, for a work mission, she senses that something bad has happened and is determined to find out what it is. So she persuades Soren, Consul Hess’s son to take them outside of Reverie, to push the systems down. She tries to get closer to him, knowing that he will have information on her mother’s whereabouts, but he catches on to her intentions and pulls away from her. But when they reach the outside, unknowing of the power of fire, Soren and his friends take interest in creating it, and as they run through the forest they become almost possessed by the thought of toying with something that belongs to the Outsiders, or the Savages, as the people outside the Pods are known. They create a fire that becomes so out of their control that the Guardians are forced to come back and save them, and more tragedies unfold. (I won’t spoil it for you.)
While the system is down, Peregrine, from the Tides tribe, is able to break through. An Outsider and a Savage, he’s also looking for someone, his small nephew, Talon, who was taken by some of the Guardians of Reverie while they were out hunting. Perry is the younger brother of Vale, the Blood Lord of his tribe, and has always had the intentions of challenging his older brother for his position. But the rules are that the loser of a duel would fall to death or leave the tribe forever, and he knows he cannot leave his nephew without a father, though the need is still strong. And when Talon is taken, he has a reason to leave, and to find his nephew, who has been taken to Bliss, where Aria’s mother had disappeared.
So when Aria is forced out of Reverie by Consul Hess for what she has done, and Perry is close enough to help her, the two of them come together. Though Perry is not kind at first, and Aria herself is doubtful, they soon come to realise that together they might just be able to find what, and who, they are looking for.
But, of course, when they travel together to Bliss, undergoing struggles along the way, including many storms, a little boy with unforeseeable abilities and a masked cannibal tribe, when Perry kills their Blood Lord during a confrontation. And, in all of this, they fall in love.
It’s an awesome book. It’s pretty fast paced, which I loved about it, Aria and Perry are both likeable characters, and the story is narrated by both of them in alternating chapters. It’s different, and the concept of Aria’s world is clever, and that’s what makes it interesting. I hope you go out and read it, it’s well worth the read.