If you read my Steelheart review, you’ll remember that one thing I loved about it was that the dystopian government took on such a different look that it was refreshing.
Under the Never Sky does not do that. It’s still a crazy government that does not want its secrets to get out to the public and the super technological control (I mean, the domes of Logan’s Run are back) is justified to keep the order. Okay, I get it. I loved it when The Giver did that (or, more accurately, Fahrenheit 451.) The villain is the same, just with a different name.
That being said, I like the world that Rossi has created. People out in the wild have developed enhanced powers revolving around one sense. Some people can see like falcons, others can smell like wolves (you know, they have a sensitive nose – they don’t actually give off canine odors). Trying to figure out which character had which enhanced sense was part of the fun.
The narrative alternates between two protagonists that have distinct voices, so Rossi did well with that. The male protagonist was a bit too angsty for me, a tortured anti-hero rebel with a hidden heart of gold (translate: dangerous yet safe, like the “bad boy” from a boy band) but I’m guessing that I’m not the target demographic.
When it comes down to it, though, it was an enjoyable read, albeit formulaic, and I’m interested in reading the sequel.