January 10, 2012

When shelter is more dangerous than freedom

By Veronica Rossi
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Seventeen-year-old Aria is a Dweller, a girl of privilege who lives in a sheltered city with no disease, conflict or threat of starvation. She spends most of her time in Realms, multidimensional virtual environments that surpass the imagination, whose motto is “Better than real.” Aria explains, “If you go to a party, you feel the people dancing around you, and you can smell them and hear the music. And you can change things, like choose more comfortable shoes to dance in. You can do anything you want.” Thus, Aria has never needed to rely on (or even develop) survival skills until she’s banished and thrown out into the wild.

Eighteen-year-old Perry is an Outsider. He is a hunter and second in line to lead his tribe, but he too is unwanted by his people. When Perry’s young nephew is kidnapped by the same people who betray Aria, the two become allies and embark on a treacherous journey in search of answers. As they fight off cannibals and dodge deadly electrical storms, they begin a desperate romance. But the answers they seek lead to larger questions, particularly involving Aria’s mother, that thrust them apart.

The first in a trilogy, Under the Never Sky is a captivating and atmospheric read. Debut author Veronica Rossi has created compelling, multifaceted characters—from Aria’s ambitious mother to Perry’s audacious best friend to the heart-wrenching Cinder, an orphan who holds more power in his body than the swirling skies above them—whose relationships to each other are complex and dynamic. Comparisons to The Hunger Games are inevitable; like Suzanne Collins’ groundbreaking novel, this well-written and well-plotted story is intense, dark and hopeful. Set to be published in more than 20 countries, Under the Never Sky will capture fans and hold them until the next installment is released.

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Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky

By Veronica Rossi
HarperCollins Children's Books
ISBN 9780062072030

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