Here's the thing, I didn't like UNDER THE NEVER SKY at first. I'm not going to lie. I had to force myself to get through the first 90 or so pages. In fact, I was pretty close to giving up altogether, but all of the positive reviews made me push forward. And I'm glad that I did, because honestly? It would have been a terrible mistake to miss out on this book!
I didn't care for the beginning. In fact, I felt as though it moved too fast - I never really connected with the characters. But when Perry finds Aria after she's been left to die with the outsiders? All of that changes. I fell in love with both characters shortly after.
Their relationship isn't smooth sailing. Perry blames Aria for Talon's capture, and Aria is appalled by Perry. But in order to locate those that they love, they'll need to work together and find a way to overcome their differences.
Rossi's world building is fantastic. Aria's world is built around technology. There is actually a piece at the end of the Enhanced E-Book in which Rossi describes how she developed the smarteye. Taking our obsession, and dependency, upon technology, Rossi manages to create a believable world. The stark contrast between Aria's world and Perry's world is amazing. While Aria is used to a life spent in the realms, Perry has lived his life in the real world: where the food supply is low and death lingers constantly.
And then there's the romance! Aria and Perry's relationship moves slowly, which I was beyond thrilled about. I'm not a big fan of insta-love, and I was worried that's what we'd be getting in UNDER THE NEVER SKY. But it doesn't work that way. It takes nearly 300 pages in order for Aria and Perry to express their feelings towards one another. And during that time, both Aria and Perry grow into strong characters you grow to love on their own. I think Aria may actually be one of my favorite characters created. The changes that she goes through, the courage that she manages to muster up, it's honestly refreshing. She's tough, caring, and relatable.
My final thoughts: There were so many plot twists throughout UNDER THE NEVER SKY, most of which I definitely did not see coming. Especially the one's near the end of the story. I spent the last fifty or so pages on the edge of my seat, anxious to see what would happen next. If you're looking for a thrilling dystopian read, I'd definitely suggest picking this one up.