UNDER THE NEVER SKY
A debut author to watch. Under the Never Sky has a Star Wars feel, complete with a charming enemies-turned-friends-turned-lovers romance and the juxtaposition of futuristic technology amongst a barren landscape. The story is told in alternating narratives by the two main characters, which Rossi pulls off nicely. The voices are distinct, and Rossi thankfully avoids the redundancy of covering the same scene twice from different perspectives. There are a couple of stumbles in character development, but overall this is a standout novel for the new year.
Aria has spent her entire life in a protected, comfortable dome. It’s the only way for the human race to survive since disease and electrical storms ravaged Earth, and to leave the dome means almost certain death. So when Aria crosses some powerful people and gets herself exiled, she fears she has little time to live — until she meets an outsider named Perry who holds the key to Aria’s salvation. Perry’s a little prickly, but he needs Aria’s help as much as she needs his, so the two form an uneasy alliance and start a journey whose end they could never have predicted. (HARPERCOLLINS, Feb., 384 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9780062072030, HC, 14 & Up)