Let me start by saying something a little odd. It even struck me as odd when I first thought it. Under the Never Sky is what Graceling should have been for me.
I'm not really sure why I thought it but there's just something about Under the Never Sky that reminds me of Graceling. Perhaps it is the similarities between the Senses and the Graces. I'm not sure but as I got sucked into this one I thought of all of the wonderful things that people said about Graceling and suddenly I that thought. The big difference for me being that I got sucked into Under the Never Sky in a way that I never did with Graceling. Though, I did tell Sam that I would give Graceling another shot.
I had kind of a cool experience with Under the Never Sky. It was the last book I snagged while I was borrowing the Nook. Well, I didn't get the chance to finish the book before I had to return the Nook. Of course, I couldn't handle that. I had started Under the Never Sky that afternoon and had been 135 Nook pages in (I don't know how impressive that is. Maybe it's really low?) by the time I went to work. I jumped right in. So I bought the book while I was on break so I could keep reading. It was sort of a cool parallel to Aria's experience to go from the e-book to the real book. I know it sounds silly but I thought it was sort of cool.
Anyway, I like Aria. She's not this amazon and I think she reacts just right for a girl raised how she was. I've read comments where people said she needed to be rescued too many times. She did need to be rescued and that was how it should be. I don't think I would have been impressed if she'd been self-reliant immediately. It was a skill she needed to learn. As she learned to feed and defend herself we got to see more of her personality reveal itself. She really grew as a character and it was directly proportioned to what she went through. Rossi did a fabulous job keeping Aria a character that was true to herself.
I liked Perry too. He took a little longer for me to get into. I think it might have been that his world was one that was a little more foreign to me that Aria's. But even when I wasn't sure I understood exactly how his world worked I got a feel for the character and he grew on me majorly. He cares so much about everyone but is never really sure how to show it. I love that struggle. Aria brings the best out in him. They can both survive on their own but they're better together.
I think much of this book was spent highlighting how different the outside is from the pods and the growth of the characters. We were new to the land just like Aria is. I really would have liked a little more on the outside world in general and the Senses. I'm really hoping that as Aria gets more involved we will learn more. I'm holding out for the second book.
The end struck me as an awesome choice. I'm sure some people didn't like the way they were reunited but I think there are so many books that separate the main characters at the end of the first book and then spend the whole second book trying to reunite them. I think that that hasn't happened here. They have to much else standing between them and their ending that I think it's best spent together, at least for now.
I also really liked the shift in the relationship between Perry and Aria. It had this not so subtle subtlety. It was just this shift, and we saw it mostly through Perry, I think, were she stopped just being a ways to a mean and became a person. Then again from a person into a girl. He saw her ferocity and determination in something other than her stubbornness. She never wanted to rely on him she wanted to help herself. I think Aria falls for him more and more as he cracks a little more in front of her. He's not a beast, he's a hunter. He's not just a hunter, he's a boy. They slowly work toward each other and they way they interact makes it worth it.
The idea of rendering is really cool. It's kind of a less creepy version of imprinting. If it were explained a little more I could understand the relationship between Perry and Talon and bit better, which I would love. I also want to see Aria find out that Perry is rendered to her. I'm not entirely sure how she'll take it. I really want it to be explained more fully in a coming book as well.
Something about this book caught me immediately. It's three quarters dystopian and one quarter fantasy. I was way more impressed than I thought I would be and read the book faster than I thought I would.
Overall I give Under the Never Sky a: Massively Epic.
I can't wait for Through the Ever Night. Did any of you read it? What did you think?
Let's see how long I can keep up this blogging pace. It's been wild. Four posts in two days. A record for me.