I'm absolutely thrilled today to be a part of HarperTeen's Dark Days of Supernatural Tour which kicked off earlier in the week and will be continuing through April. There are some AMAZING authors touring with this event and I've got all the details for you at the bottom of this post. I'm on leg one of this tour along with Melina of Reading Vacation and Jen of I Read Banned Books and today I'm bringing you my review of Under The Never Sky!
UNDER THE NEVER SKY
Paranormal Young Adult/Dystopian
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
MY THOUGHTSA beautiful debut, Under the Never Sky is one of those stories that sneaks up on us and takes us a bit by surprise in terms of our reaction to it, the strength of our attachment to the world and characters something that is built slowly and carefully with the resulting bond all the stronger for it. Our emotions are never pushed or tested in an obvious way where a visceral reaction is demanded from us immediately, instead everything starts out tenuous and fragile before being reinforced page after page with strands of corded rope built of the quietly evolving relationship between Aria and Perry until finally it turns into an unbreakable connection. The beginning of Aria and Perry’s journey is a bit tedious though as the world and its problems are so new to us, and so we start out fumbling through the dark with a plug in our hands trying to find an outlet in the blackness, but once Aria and Perry find their way to one another for the second time it’s as though we’ve finally found what we’re looking for and everything is awash in a light we simply cannot tear our eyes from.
Aria is a truly stunning heroine, a girl who is not overly strong or self-sufficient but neither is she completely vulnerable and in need of protection, rather she is an intriguing combination of the gray areas existing between those two extremes. She starts out a bit left of center, hovering closer to the weaker end of the emotional and physical scale when she’s cast out of Reverie and left in a world that can kill her in more ways than she can fathom, but even with her lack of knowledge when it comes to survival tactics she refuses to fall apart and rely solely on Perry for assistance. She is a master at adapting; at first learning the physical ins and outs of a world she’s only encountered previously in virtual form in the Realms, and then finding herself navigating the far more difficult and rewarding experience of true human interaction as her feelings for Perry become more complex.
Her relationship with Perry is exquisitely executed, antagonistic and reluctant allies growing into something rich and sumptuous before our eyes as angry tension eases into a weighted hesitancy and then into fervent desire. At no point do either of these two resort to angst, petty jealousies, or ridiculous mooning over the other, instead their time together is defined by a quiet effervescent joy that seems waft from the pages to settle on our skin, leaving behind a tingling sensation wherever it lands. Joy is so very often accompanied by pain though, and as much as we revel in their happiness it's clear to us once we learn some of the specifics about Perry that their attraction to one another, no matter how deep it grows and could continue to grow, may not be enough to bridge the gap between Marked Outsider and outcast Dweller. It is then with heavy hearts we continue reading, hoping for a revelation that will magically solve their problems but knowing Ms. Rossi would never rob us of the blissful agony of Perry and Aria’s full story of love and loss by granting us all such an easy way out.
One small but particularly interesting aspect of this story is the characters’ names, each one clearly thought out in detail when assigned to each individual; a little added touch that makes the reading of this tale all the more special. Aria, named for her mother’s love of opera and for the radiance of her own striking voice; Peregrine, named for the falcon he seems to emulate with his unmatched hunting skills; Roar with his exceptional hearing who never needs anyone to raise their voices above a mere whisper, and then young Cinder, who wields the fiery destructive power of the aether and leaves nothing but ash in his wake. Their names all seem to suit them so perfectly but not in an overt way, augmenting our ability to understand them on a more profound level without physically spelling out all their defining personality traits. This way we are able to fill in the blanks about them ourselves, thereby creating our own unique relationship to each of them that has us realizing book two will never release fast enough to suit our desire for more.
THE DARK DAY OF SUPERNATURAL
This tour is going to be an absolute blast, so in addition to following the blog tour (see below schedule), you'll also want to stay connected to all things Dark Days on the Pitch Dark Facebook page, including exclusive content features every Wednesday! You can also get tons of information, including a schedule, excerpts and fun quizzes and polls, on the Dark Days Central page.
DARK DAYS LEG ONE BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
January 4th and 9th - Melina of Reading Vacation will be posting on Tahereh Mafi
January 5th and 10th - Jen of I Read Banned Books will be posting on Ellen Schreiber
January 6th and 11th - I will be posting on Veronica Rossi
DARK DAYS FACEBOOK SCHEDULE
Jan 4th - Veronica Rossi, Under the Never Sky
Jan 17th - Ellen Schreiber, Magic of the Moonlight
Jan 25th - Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Feb 1st - Cynitha Hand, Hallowed
Feb 8th - Jodi Meadows, Incarnate
Feb 22nd - Courtney Allison Moulton, Wings of the Wicked
Feb 29th - Brodi Ashton, Everneath
March14th - Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium
March 21st - Claudia Gray, Balthazar
March 28th - Alex Flinn, Bewitching
April 4th - Jill Hathaway, Slide
April 11th - Kimberly Derting, The Last Echo