- Reading level: Ages 14 and up
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (January 3, 2012)
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.In one word, this book was beautiful. I loved the alternating POV, which I usually do not, but Aria and Perry were both absolutely delightful characters to read. The writing is in third person, which, yet again, I usually do not like, but this book did much more than pull it off. All of the characters are crafted wonderfully, each of them with their own opinions, feelings, and thoughts. While you don't always agree with their choices, you do understand why they did it. I have to say, though, my favorite thing about this entire book was the world.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live under the never sky.
I'm really not sure whether to call this book a post-apocalyptic or a dystopian. Really, it's both. In the pods, life seems perfect, but it becomes obvious very quickly that there are sharks in the water. But outside, the world has been reduced to villages and tribes that constantly destroy eachother. And the threat that ruined the world so long ago? It's still hanging around. Aether, swirling currents of water and lightning, still writhe in the sky. Even worse, a new madness is brewing in the pods- making "Dwellers" go completely postal. Which is, you know, kind of frightening.
However, the writing style was, to sum it up, electrifying. Throughout the whole book, there is a sense of urgency and suspense. Both Aria and Perry experience loss and pain. At first, both of them hate the other. Aria thinks Perry is like a caveman, ruthless and volatile. Perry sees Aria as a fragile, useless dweller. But after traveling with each other for a while, they realize that the other isn't half bad. And so their epic love story begins.
Another thing I always love in a book is action, and lots of it. I'm happy to say that this book was full of the stuff, plus a little Aether mojo. The action was perfectly paced, unlike my heartbeat when a Cannibal came out of nowhere and tried to EAT EVERYONE. (Yes. Cannibals. How's that for a kick ass enemy? Although, believe me, there are plenty of other enemies who are just as scary.)
I've been trying to decide who my favorite character in this book is and I just cannot do it! I'm torn between Cinder, Roar, and Liv. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about when I say Cinder is officially one of the coolest and most mysterious characters ever. Then again, Roar is handsome, brave, kind, and will go to all lengths to save the one he loves. And, well, you know, his name is Roar. Roar! Finally, Liv. You never actually meet Liv in the book, but you feel like you do. Liv is Perry's sister and Roar's girlfriend. The way everyone speaks of her, she is very courageous and kind. She seems like a very interesting character to me. Thoughts?
Overall, a wonderful and beautiful read. I totally recommend it.Be sure to pick it up the next time you can! You won't regret it.