Thursday, November 17, 2011

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Reverie is the enclosed pod city that is home to Aria and her geneticist mother, Lumina. Like most Dwellers, Aria enjoys spending all of her time with friends in the Realms, virtual environments that are accessed through devices that fit over the left eye known as Smarteyes. When Aria’s mother takes a work assignment at another pod called Bliss, they are separated and keep in touch by meeting in the Realms. When one week goes by without any word from Bliss, Aria becomes desperate. She and her friend Paisley agree to meet up with the ever popular Soren and two of his friends for a night of fun. Soren’s father, Counsel Hess, is a ruling member of Reverie and Aria hopes to get Soren alone to pump him for information about Bliss. Unfortunately, Soren’s night of fun involves breaking numerous laws. They turn off their Smarteyes and go into the Unknown. When Soren decides to create fire, Aria knows she is in over her head. She and Paisley fail to escape and the fire is soon out of control, just like the boys. When all hope is lost, a stranger from the Outside comes to Aria’s aid.

Perry left his encampment due to a fight with his older brother Vale, the tribe’s Blood Lord. He disagrees with his brother’s leadership and thinks the tribe should move elsewhere to escape the increasing and destructive Aether storms that threaten their existence. An outsider amongst his tribe, Perry possesses uncanny abilities to sense food, danger and even human emotions. He only stays and doesn’t challenge his brother because of his nephew. Left motherless after her death, Perry is able to sense that his nephew’s time is also limited. Perry returns to his tribe after venturing to where the Dwellers live. While there, he has a fight with a boy and rescues a girl from a fire. He places her in an airlock where she will be found safe. Perry leaves with an apple and the girl’s Smarteye.

Aria awakes in a medical unit where she learns Paisley has died. Soon she is brought before Counsel Hess to testify about the fire. He thanks her for her testimony and is promised to be reunited with her mother in Bliss. She quickly boards a hover but soon finds that she is dumped in the outside world, known as The Death Shop. She is being punished for a crime she did not commit. Alone, Aria knows her death is imminent. She begins to walk across the desert.

Perry takes his nephew Talon hunting and to give him the apple. While out, two hovers approach. Perry easily takes out one but men from the second soon overpower him. They demand he give them the Smarteye. He resists but only until they threaten Talon. While attacking one man, another grabs Talon, takes him to the hover and leaves. Perry is devastated. After a confrontation with Vale and the tribe, Perry leaves. He is crossing the desert when he senses a Dweller in danger and realizes it is the same girl from the pod, Aria. Neither trusts the other but an unlikely alliance is waged when each realizes they need the other. Aria needs Percy’s help if she is going to survive and Percy needs Aria’s assistance if he hopes to rescue Talon.

Can Aria and Perry bridge their uneasy alliance in order to work together? What has really happened to Aria’s mother? Will Aria find her way back to reverie and regain acceptance? Can Perry rescue Talon from the Dwellers and why did they want him in the first place? And what happens when opposites attract?

Told in alteranting points of view between Aria and Perry, readers gain insight into each main character. The book does start off slow at first but the reader will be quickly sucked in.

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