SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
# of Books: 3 (Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, Into the Still Blue)
There are two novellas: #0.5 Roar and Liv and #2.5 Brooke
No, Into the Still Blue will be released January 2014 Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance
Heat Rating: lukewarm
This series was one that seemed to be everywhere I looked and has been on my “to-read” list for ages so I was super stoked when my local library added digital copies. After putting my name on the hold list, the prequel novella, Roar and Liv, and the first full novel, Under the Never Sky, were in my grasp.
I decided to read Roar and Liv first because it is listed as a prequel novella. In hindsight, I probably should have read it AFTER Under the Never Sky. Roar and Liv doesn’t really explain the world the story is set in as well as Under the Never Sky does; though it does make the necessary distinctions I was still a little confused about what was going on. It did help set some context for Perry and other characters but I think I would have survived not knowing that background information (because it is mentioned in Under the Never Sky) until after I finished book 1. I also finished the book with a touch of dislike towards Perry–though to be honest I’m not sure why. All I know is that it took me a while to warm up to him in Under the Never Sky when I probably would have liked him right from the get-go. So my recommendation is read Roar and Liv AFTER Under the Never Sky.
Under the Never Sky (UNS) starts off really slow–and given what happens event wise at the start, it really shouldn’t. I didn’t get into the story until Chapter 12 or so. That’s when we get more twists and plot development happening and the story itself just picks up in pace. We also see the relationship develop between Aria and Perry a bit more around this time. Do NOT read this book if you are looking for a romance-focused story. The romance in this is very subplot and not the main focus of this story at all.
I enjoyed Through the Ever Night (TEN) much more than UNS. It was much faster paced–and never seem to stop its pace–and easy to get wrapped up in it. I discovered how attached I was to certain characters even though I didn’t think too much of them after UNS. The romances become a bit more of the focus and we get to see Aria and Perry develop into stronger characters. There were some great plot twists where I was gasped out loud and smiled to myself because of its brilliance. This book made reading UNS worth it! Just a fabulous sequel that has me counting down the days until January for the final book.
However, even after I have read two books in the series, I still don’t have the greatest concept of what is happening in this world physically. It might just be a me thing–though to be fair to myself, I don’t think it is ever really explained–but I still really don’t know what Aether is or what the domes really are or why people have the abilities that they do. I’m hoping that this is all explained more in the last book–especially the question of why people are living as they are because I am really curious and also slightly confused. I guess this uncertainty is what is propelling me to keep reading these books–among other plot points–but I like having a fuller understanding of the world. Don’t let this deter you from reading though! I have the feeling that this “mystery” is all done intentionally, which adds to the brilliance of these books.
Also, I’m still not really sure what the purpose of the dystopian setting is. Most dystopian stories take an aspect of our culture and magnify it to an extreme to prove a point. However, with this one, I didn’t know what message Rossi was trying to send us after reading UNS. My best guess would be our dependence upon technology to do every day things and the disconnect that happens when we let technology do everything for us. That message, if that is what it is, gets expanded upon in Through the Ever Night a bit more which helped ease some of my curiosity. Again, I am hoping this becomes clearer in Into the Still Blue.
FUN FACT: These books have been optioned for a film!
UPDATED (Feb 24/14): After Through the Ever Night, I’ve been counting the days until Into the Still Blue. I read Brooke to pass the time and while I still can’t stand her as a character, I can say that I understand her thought process a lot more after reading the novella. It helps bridge the slight gap between books 2 and 3 so I would give it a read if you can but it doesn’t take away from your reading experience if you don’t.
Into the Still Blue was a great way to end the series. It had twists, good plot progression and enough character moments to satisfy the readers who have read the series from the beginning. While I didn’t find it as jaw dropping as Through the Ever Night, this book was never dull. I also have to give props to Ms. Rossi for not being afraid to push her characters in order to benefit the story in this book and throughout the series. It’s really refreshing to read a book by a true storyteller. I can’t even be mad at the lack of a finite epilogue because I can truly appreciate how the series ended at the end of the day.
After reading Under the Never Sky, I was curious to see what was happening next. I didn’t understand all the hype about this series until after I read Through the Ever Night. This story seems to combine the various elements of dystopian fiction in the Young Adult world into one trilogy that just builds up as you go. It isn’t just a romance story, or an action story, or a journey story–it’s all of these and it is written in a great way. Definitely one of the best written series I have read in a long time! Pick these up!
Similar Reads: Matched by Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy, #1) and Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Breathe Series, #1)
Synopsis for Under the Never Sky (from Goodreads):
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.