Under the Never Sky
by Rossi, Veronica

"Aria and Perry, two teens from radically different societies-one highly advanced, the other primitive-hate being dependent on one another until they overcome their prejudices and fall in love, knowing they can't stay together"-

The wasteland known as the Death Stop is a world away from the safe, sheltered community from which Aria was expelled, but to Peregrine, it's a brutal but familiar home. In this dystopian future, a stark division has grown between the Outsiders, whose senses have sharpened and who have descended into quasi-primitive tribal life, and those living in now-crumbling Pods in an almost exclusively virtual experience. Perry is one of the reasons Aria was expelled, and Aria may be the reason Perry's beloved nephew, Talon, was kidnapped. Needing one another to complete their tasks, though, they forge a cold partnership as they trek across a wilderness stricken with Aether strikes, cannibal attacks, and even more terrifying dangers. Fans of The Hunger Games (2008) will cheer Aria's gradual, warrior-like transformation over the course of the novel. Perry is an enigmatic figure whose past emerges slowly and whose strength of character is only amplified by his flaws. The ending leaves Perry and Aria, who have become passionately drawn together, with significant challenges, teasing readers with the potential of a sequel. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Debut author Rossi creates a dystopian world in which a teenage girl loses her home but finds truth, love and identity. Aria has grown up in a Pod, where life is highly regulated and technology has eliminated many of life's pains and inconveniences. Dwellers lead sheltered, insulated lives in the Pod, enjoying protection from the often treacherous and always unpredictable Aether forces in the sky. They also revel in endless virtual joy rides accessible through devices all Dwellers have. Rossi seamlessly intertwines Aria's journey with that of Peregrine, a teenage boy who has grown up outside of a Pod, an Outsider, in what the Dwellers consider perilous wastelands where humans live without the gadgets Dwellers depend upon. Ruling authorities banish Aria from the Pod, and Rossi nails the feat of offering dual perspectives from Aria and Perry as they help one another on separate quests that turn out to have unexpected connections. Though an Outsider and what Dwellers consider a savage, Peregrine, who possesses preternatural gifts and comes from a ruling family in his tribe, earns not only Aria's respect and admiration, but also her heart. Rossi grounds her worldbuilding in language, creating idioms for the Dwellers and Outsiders that add texture to their respective myths; her characters are brave and complex and her prose smooth and evocative. Inspired, offbeat and mesmerizing. (Science fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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