“Under the Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi – ★★★★★

Oh yeah, oh yeah. This was awesome! I have had this on my TBR shelf since 2014 and it ended up being one of those where you ask yourself, “Why did you wait so long?!” Let me tell you, THIS book is a perfect example of why I will never stop reading Young Adult fantasy. There may be some stinkers out there or some big old Mehs, but then you get one like this and are like:

Okay, maybe I exaggerate. A little. But there was SO MUCH win here! It’s set in a dystopian-like world where a catastrophe has rendered the sky into an “Aether,” where storms and lightening kill everything from the soil and trees to people. The luckiest people (that is arguable) went into domes for protection. There, they have developed technology to live in Realms, through an eye piece (like a virtual reality). They have changed their biology and physiology so much that the females don’t even menstruate anymore!

So, our main character, Aria, gets exiled into the wastelands and meets Peregrine (Perry) an Outsider. A savage. They form an unlikely and unwilling alliance – Aria wants to find her mom and Perry his nephew.

Stuff happens. There are cannibals! Perry and Aria go a place that is protected where a man named Marron is in charge and they live like relatively “normal” people. Perry’s kind live in tribes.

Those born in the wastelands can have abilities. There are Seers, Auds (people who have superpower hearing), Scires (people who can smell so well, they can scent emotions and moods).

A romance blossoms, but there is definitely NO instalove. Aria is not a special snowflake or Mary Sue.

Some of it was just survival, but I loved the progression of Aria and Perry’s relationship. It just slowly sneaks up on you. Perry is BAE. I lurve him soooo much. Aria bugged me at first, but she really grows!

This was just A++++ writing and story-telling, in my view.

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Young Adult April New Releases!

Kira recently posted a blog (April New Releases!) and I thought about the many Young Adult releases coming up and figured I would do a separate blog for those.

April 3:

 

April 17:

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April 24:

 

I have read Sky in the Deep. See my review here. It’s a Viking alternate history story that I think will be very popular when it is released!

I also read Traitorborn. See my review here. I am LOVING this series by Amy Bartol. It’s a dystopian and I highly recommend!

I’m really looking forward to reading Defy the Worlds and Dread Nation too. Defy the Worlds is the sequel to Defy the Stars, which I also highly recommend if you are into the AI/robot and human girl fall in love trope. 🙂

Are there any other April releases we missed that you are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments! Have a great weekend!

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Secondborn (Secondborn #1) by Amy A. Bartol – Five Stars!

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Nine Fates of the Republic rule: The Fate of Virtues, Fate of Swords, Fate of Stars, Fate of Atoms, Fate of Suns, Fate of Diamonds, Fate of Moons, Fate of Seas, and Fate of Stones.

The Virtues rule over all. Swords = military and might. Stars = technology. Atoms = medical. Diamonds = entertainment and journalism. Stones = service-oriented. (I’m not sure that the book goes into what the others specialize in.) This book focuses mainly on the Swords.

The Fates are ruled by firstborns. Procreation is only allowed among firstborns and they can only have two children. The secondborn goes through a Transition, where he or she leaves his family and life to go into a type of job, like being a soldier, nurse, scientist, or if they are lucky, an assistant to a firstborn.

Once the secondborn transitions, they are treated as basically servants or slaves, make very little money (most goes to their firstborn sibling or parents), are not allowed to have relationships or children, and in the case of Swords, live communally in barracks.

This is about a secondborn named Roselle St. Sismode. Her mother is the Clarity of the Fate of Swords, a very powerful leader and politician. When she Transitions, she goes to a military base, where she is not expected to live long. The public has watched her grow up, but the foot soldiers think she is spoiled and not one of them.

The good thing is, she was trained her whole life to prepare for war by a kick-ass warrior named Dune, and isn’t so easy to kill. She finds new friends and of course gets wrapped up in a rebellion.

I LOVED this! I love dystopians, so may be a bit biased, but this is a perfect offering for the genre. Yes, it does possibly have similarities to other famous dystopians, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. It’s a little bit Mockingjay (this is more sci-fi with flying ships and technology).

The Census is another part of this twisted world. Those who work in it search for thirdborns and kill them (and the mother)! They also work to uncover traitors and anyone breaking laws. The are basically unpoliced. Crow is one of them who has his twisted eyes on Roselle.

I think this would make a great movie too!

Other reasons I liked this:

1. Roselle is a good female lead!
2. I liked the romantic interest.
3. I loved Crow, the villain. Love to hate, I should say.
4. I loved Clifton, the wealthy firstborn playboy, who is probably evil, but acts good – for now.
5. I LOVED Flannigan, the best minor character ever.
6. I devoured this in one day.
7. Roselle’s mother, Othala needs to be taken down! I hope she gets what is coming to her!
8. I loved the ragtag crew Roselle befriends – Edgerton and Hammon (Gilad, not sure about him).
9. The cyborg wolfhounds were cool!
10. No annoying angst or drama!

The follow up comes out in April 2018 and is on Netgalley!

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