Monday, May 5, 2014

Colors of The Wind {of Change}

Under the Never Sky series - Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1-3
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 3, 2012 / January 8, 2013 / January 28, 2014
Source/Format: Gifted by Danielle || Paperback; Gifted by Margot || Hardcover

Summary for Book 1: Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive. 

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky. (from Goodreads)

Even though plenty has already been said about the Under the Never Sky series by friends & fellow bloggers, I really wanted to add my (brief) two cents. I worried going in that I would be underwhelmed by the books, because they had been hyped up so much by so many people. Thankfully, I found the series impressive. While it didn't have quite the same level of positive impact as it did on other readers, I enjoyed it.

One of the strongest aspects of the series is the world that Veronica Rossi created. She whipped up an entirely new set of places, with terminology, technology and culture to match. What I think is most impressive, however, is that even with all the newness she concocted, there are still familiar details that readers can identify with. The sense of recognition amidst the strange new setting/culture/world turned out to be very strong for me, and I really appreciated that.

The story, both the ones in each individual novel and the big story that spans the series overall, was also really good. It reminded me a little of Pocahontas crossed with Avatar (the James Cameron film). Rossi managed to chronicle the struggles that each of our main characters - Perry, an Outsider, and Aria, a Dweller - faces well. She also manages to weave in their additional conflicts involving their relationship, their people and the future that lies ahead of them all into one heck of a read. 

But the story would not have clicked so well for me if I didn't like the characters as much as I did. It is here that Rossi also shows her strength, as the way she wrote her characters made them instantly likable (or dislikable, in the case of the bad guys). Roar, a secondary character who is best friends with Perry and fast friends with Aria, is easily my favorite, even with the heavily emotional trajectory of his personal journey. But it was also pretty easy to like Perry, Aria, Liv, and many others who proved their goodness and worth as the books progressed. Because I liked them, I wound up really caring about how things would go for them - and kept me glued to the pages of the series until the very end.

My only reservations lie mostly with the beginning of this series and the end. Though I was forewarned, it was still a bit jarring to be thrown so quickly into this foreign world with new terms and everything. And the ending was a touch underwhelming considering everything that had built up and happened before it. But overall, they didn't particularly affect how much I enjoyed this story.

I know now why many people really enjoyed this series, and have to admit that the recommendations and endorsements I received to read it were spot on. It's got solid writing, lovable characters and an engaging plot that will keep readers interested. While I didn't personally fall in love with it completely, I did still really like it and I'm glad I finally gave in and read it!

Under the Never Sky novellas - Veronica Rossi
Roar and Liv / Brooke by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #0.5 + #2.5
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 30, 2012 / November 26, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

When I first talked about reading the Under the Never Sky series, many friends suggested I read the novellas as well. I normally only read novellas when I'm particularly interested in a character, or really like a series, which are basically the two reasons I decided to read the novellas this time around.

Roar and Liv was a must read for me, considering how much I love Roar. He is, as I've mentioned, my favorite character, so I considered this read as an opportunity to learn more about who he really is. It was really nice to see a side to Roar that I hadn't seen previously, plus it gave some extra insight into his character.

Brooke, on the other hand, was a novella I wasn't sure I wanted to read, since I didn't particularly like Brooke. I'm really glad I took the plunge though, because this book allowed me to see what Brooke was really like and what she was going through. While I didn't love her by the end of it, I did understand her better, which is always a nice thing.

Overall, my opinion of these two novellas is that they allow readers to get to really know some more about three of the secondary characters in the series - Roar, Liv and Brooke. Is it really necessary to read them? I'd say yes, if you really loved the series (or Roar) and wanted to get to know them a little better.

8 comments:

  1. The characters are probably the main reason why I love this series. I totally agree that Rossi's strengths lie here. I'm so glad to hear that Roar is your favourite! I loved Aria and Perry, and several of the others, but Roar definitely stood out to me the most. I heard that Rossi is working on another book featuring a Roar-ish character, so that makes me very happy. Lovely review, Alexa! :)

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    1. Roar was immediately my favorite from the moment we first meet him in Under the Never Sky! He's such a great character, and I love that he got a bit of a story of his own -- though it happens to be a sad one. And I did not know that, but I'm super excited to hear that she is!

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  2. I haven't started this series but I've been hearing a lot of great things about it recently! I haven't sat down with a good fantasy series in a while and I love the sound of this. I always love it when authors create their own worlds and take time to fill in the little details. It's so impressive and makes the story so unique! Lovely review! I'm so going to marathon the series now!

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    1. The world-building is pretty overwhelming initially, but once you get used to it, it stays fairly simple. I like that I felt truly transported while I read the series! Hope you enjoy marathoning this series, because I know I did.

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  3. I haven't read any of these books, but have heard so much from the blogging world about it. It was great to see more comprehensive thoughts on the whole series! They sound like books I'd need to pick up when I have the patience to be thrown in the deep end in a new world.

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    1. I'm glad you found my review helpful! Yes, I basically just got encouraged by EVERYONE to read this. I'm really happy I finally did! It's a series I can recommend, though with reservations, as I mentioned up there.

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  4. I haven't read the novellas yet - must get to these! - but have finished the series. I was pretty underwhelmed by the last book, but felt like it was me! Glad to see someone else who was underwhelmed as well! I do love the various aspects of this book - characters, world building - that made it so great!

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    1. Honestly, the way it actually ended kind of threw me off. There was a lot of build-up, and then some things happen, and I was kind of like - hmmmm. But overall, I enjoyed the series! And the novellas are great additions, especially if you want to learn more about the characters.

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