Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky - See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!Despite it being advertised as a dystopian novel, this comes off more as a sci-fi post-apocalyptic novel. Friends warned me of this and I went into the novel a little better prepared for that, but Under the Never Sky still managed to disappoint me. Though atmospheric and absorbing for its first ten chapters or so, it quickly lost steam and I lost all interest in finishing it. That I did is pure bullheadedness on my part.At first, Aria's world, what she went through in Ag 6, and her and Perry's initial journeys in the world outside the Pods had me hooked. The worldbuilding was incredibly sketchy, but that was okay; if a book is written enticingly enough, flawed worldbuilding is forgivable. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang is a good example of me forgiving inadequate worldbuilding because I cared so much about Eva and Addie's stories. The writing is serviceable--not bad, but not remarkable either. Roar, however, is a lot of fun. He doesn't have much in the way of a three-dimensional personality, but he's fun.Those opening chapters may be all that earns the novel its rating because there aren't any other good elements that come to mind. If these people spend most of their time in the virtual Realms and only the minority of people get up and work, why is there not a problem with obesity, staying in shape in general, and how everyone's muscular systems work? If they're in the Realms most of the time, they likely aren't getting up and doing much. This takes place in our future, not an alternate universe where our societies never existed, so what happened to cause the Unity? What exactly is the Unity? Just a random time when the sky became infected with Aether and the storms started happening?These and many more questions plague the novel, and the characters aren't interesting enough to draw my mind away from all that. Aria starts out well as she adjusts to the world outside the Pods and tries to discover her mother's message to her, but Perry never really has a chance. The whole situation with one parent blaming a child for the other parent's death is something that really happens in life. I realize this. UtNS is one of the novels that makes this feel like a tired old trope. Perry's shortcut to angst, even. All the pain with none of the work.Maybe I feel that way about Perry's backstory because so much of the story lacks tension and the ability to impact me. The unpredictable twists were well-written, but they didn't make me feel anything more than indifference. Why Perry's dad hated him? M'kay. The secret Aria's mom kept from her? Whatever. The short action scenes and all the running they did from the angry Croven people lacked tension, and finishing off the novel even when I only had fifty pages left was a struggle. Quite simply, it failed to reel me in and get me invested.I don't think I'll be sticking around for Through the Ever Night, which comes out a little over two weeks after this review is posted. So many of my friends adore this novel, but I always seem to be the odd one out. Oh well. What happens happens.