I honestly don’t know why I continue to read dystopians as if my opinion will change on them. I don’t know why I do these things to myself. Why do I insist on reading books of a genre I don’t like? I blame it on the fact that I read one good dystopian last month so I guess I was on a roll. I probably should have hopped off that train to spare the two weeks I wasted trying to read a three hundred page book. Finally finished it-thank god-but damn did it take me forever.
First things first, I went into this book blind which is a good and bad thing. Good thing because If I would have known what the book was about, I would have most likely never read it. Bad thing because I went in thinking it was one thing and it turned out to be another. I was under the impression the book was about aliens, which technically it’s dystopian scyfy ish book so I wasn’t really wrong. Even though I’m not the hugest fan of aliens either. I blame The Fifth Wave because man I did not like that book. It kind of deterred me from reading other alien books.
I was in a bad reading slump when I started this book so that also affected how I felt about this book. Which really sucked because I heard so many great things about this book and this serious. Really. Everyone raves about it and I’m just like “eh”. I always end up disliking books that are so well received and liked.
Under the Never Sky starts off with Aria, her best friend Paisley, and three boys: Soren, Bane, and Echo, breaking into AG6 which is a service dome (for food and the like) that was damaged in an Aether storm. (I was literally so confused for a good hundred or so pages.) I got the gist that the Aether was something that basically destroyed earth and the book takes place 300 years into the future with people living in pods as they’re called, and people living on the outside who are called Savages.
Aria’s mother, Lumina, was a doctor who had to travel to another pod, Bliss, and the connection to that pod went down and Aria didn’t get any answers. Soren’s father is a Consul and holds a great majority of power in their government so she knows that whatever happened in Bliss, Soren would know. The only way to ask him if he knew was to go along with his plans and do what he wants to not seem suspicious. That damn knucklehead thought it would be a good idea to start a fire in the damn forest. Soren, Bane, and Echo end up going mental (which the reason for is explained later on) because they’ve never seen a real forest nor a real fire so they decided to start one. Aria notices the change in them so she tries to escape with Paisley but is ultimately taken down by Soren and can’t escape him nor the fire.
Here enters the second protagonist/duel perspective third person narrator. Peregrine a.k.a Perry is an outsider. He comes from the land of the Tides who are suffering from the lack of food as well as the destruction of the Aether storms which have been getting worse. Some outsiders are affected by the Aether, leaving them Marked. People who are marked have one heightened sense (smell, sight, hearing) and Perry has two. He’s s scire (heightened sense of smell) as well as a seer (heightened eye sight). He can scent tempers from people, which took me a minute to understand. Tempers are basically pheromones given off by people when they’re feeling a certain way (e.g: anger, fear, when they’re lying) and Perry’s scire ability is powerful that he always knows.
His brother Vale (who I legit hate and was okay with what happened to him) is the Blood Lord of their tribe. Mila, his wife, had died from a disease, leaving him with their Talon who happens to be dying of the same disease. Vale and Perry butt heads all the time because they have different ideas on how to take care of the tribe but Perry can’t do anything about it. The only way to become a blood lord is to either kill the current one In a duel or make them surrender and pledge their loyalty. Perry knows he can never fight and kill his brother because of his nephew, who happens to be the reason why he’s in the same pod as Aria the night of the fire.
He knows the pod is damaged so he breaks in, sees that Aria is in danger, and basically rescues her from the fire and Soren, but he steals her smarteye (a device that goes over the left eye) because Soren decided he was going to rip it off her face. Aria is affected by the fire and wakes up out of a coma to find out everyone died but Soren in the fire and that she is being exiled to the outside world.
While this is all going down, the guardians who escorted her find Perry and Talon. They fight Perry and kidnap Talon which angers Vale and Perry leaves to go rescue him.
Perry eventually finds Aria and helps her survive only after they make a deal that he would help her find Lumina and she would help get Talon back.
Things take off from there.
The entire time I was reading all of this (which is the first 100 or so pages) I was so bored. I really was. I felt no connection with these characters nor the plot, but I powered through it. So many people liked it so I figured there would be a part in the book that really enticed me. That didn’t happen but the book got better once things were kind of explained two hundred pages later. That annoyed me though. The world building wasn’t that great and I felt as the reader, that I was thrown into the book with very little understanding of everything that didn’t get resolved until way later.
I just really wasn’t feeling this book. I was honestly just so bored and so confused half the time reading this that I contemplated putting it down on more than one occasion. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the way the book was written. I felt like the author tried too hard to write in the style the world is. I even had a hard time visualizing the setting. And on top of that, when shit would hit the fan, those scenes were anticlimactic. Things would happen and they would be important but I was just so bored that nothing seemed significant with me.
As of late, I’ve also been having issues with the romantics in books. I wasn’t a fan of their relationship either, but I’m blaming that on me instead of the actual book. (I will be making a separate post about that soon!) It wasn’t so much as their relationship building that bothered me as opposed to what happened after. Their sex/implied making love scene is what did it. The background setting for it just didn’t seem right and it was in the most awkward place. I don’t know man, maybe it’s just me.
I only enjoyed three things of this book: Roar, Aria’s growth as a character, and Perry’s ending.
Roar is Perry’s best and in love with Liv, Perry and Vale’s runaway sister. He was such a likeable character that he instantly became my favorite. He helped alleviate some of the tension between Aria and Perry. Aria took to him because of his easy going nature (despite being a very powerful audile-sense of hearing) as she was uncomfortable with the idea when he first explained what Senses were. He was the only character I felt bad for because of the whole Liv thing.
Aria wasn’t one of those annoying characters that complains to everything and would have a problem being out in the open as she was. She did have the issue yes, but she had a goal in mind and set achieve it. She had to reach her mother and that was that. Despite not being used to it, she held on during her travels with Perry despite her blistering feet and aching body. She grew so much as a character. Going from being a
spoiled dweller to someone in tune with the outside. I might have not connected with her but I enjoyed her.
Perry’s ending was actually perfect if we just ignore that he doesn’t get Aria nor Talon back. He gets what he wanted when he returned back to the tribe even though Vale was being a prick about it.
I hated Aria’s ending though. Like how are you going to disappear for months and then randomly decide to go back just because of Roar.
I’m actually going to be continuing this series because I did buy the second one. Hopefully it was better than the first.
If you happen to be reading this, let me know if you want to read this book or if you have and what you thought of it! J