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Is the NEVER SKY really so much science-fiction?

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TITLE: Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night

AUTHOR: Veronica Rossi

PUBLISHER: HarperCollins

LENGTH: 384 pages

SUMMARY: Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

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.

In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.

BRIDGE: It is interesting to ponder how close we are to having to live in a world similar to Aria and Perry’s. We have certainly made leaps & bounds in technology development and our environmental situation continues to become more complex. Investigating the outcomes of these issues present quite a few applications across curricular disciplines that teachers could pull in when reading Rossi’s series. The dual points of view make it an interesting title to dissect in an English class and this would be an excellent book to use in literature circles with other science fiction or post apocalyptic titles to delve into the potential fates of the world’s economy and ecosystems. SCIENCE: While reading the book, students could explore what materials and supplies would be needed to sustain pods like Reverie and Bliss. Students could also hypothesize about what the “aether” actually is and if any type of global disaster might cause the types of storms described in the book. It would also be interesting to research how far away we are from the SmartEye technology used in the books. MATH: They could calculate the size of the structure needed to house original inhabitants and successive. Other calculations could be done to determine the rate at which the population could reproduce in order to not outgrow the pod. HISTORY: There is a strange dichotomy of governing structures in these books. While the Dwellers seem to work on a Grecian or Roman system of democratic council representation, the feudal system is omni-present in The Real. Students could research these two structures and compare them to the different power structures represented in the book. Students could also do a mini-investigation into the history of tribal markings and tattoos. The markings seem to play an important role in The Outsiders’ world and the paleontological implications of this type of body decoration.

READERS: Science fiction fans will enjoy this book and it is balanced with both action and romance so will appeal to multiple types of readers. The story itself is more plot based than introspective so less accomplished readers won’t miss much. There is some subtle layering within the emotional conflicts both Aria and Perry face but nothing that would keep one from enjoying the story if it is missed.

OTHER TITLES: Readers who enjoy Rossi’s series might also like Bumped & Thumped by Megan McCafferty, The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie, or The Enclave books by Ann Aguirre.

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