Under the Never Sky

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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Set in a futuristic dystopian era, the skeleton of the story, mirroring the Divergent and Hunger Games like life struggle still manages to produces a very different effect by the trail of consequences that aren’t cited explicitly in the book itself.

The characters are strong enough to capture attention, and although the beginning itself is a bit mediocre in the overall sense, the idea of a virtual universe, with vivid imagery will keep your eyes glued to those words. Pushing the boundaries of science fiction, life in Reverie (a pod where Aria, the protagonist, lives), runs as smoothly and effortlessly as the new and interesting element of Aether does in the skies above. Post a massive nuclear blast that has forced all earthlings to regroup into encased high-tech driven glass pods, or perish in unfavorable conditions of Aether storms, which are at once beautiful and deadly, this thriller takes the reader into another dimension. Looking closely, however, the story has been kept rather superficial, simmering down to not much more than an adventure-thriller love story. The gallant efforts and noble missions to save the good and do the right thing with all the clichéd obstacles thrown in do exist, but the fact that the Aria falls for Perry, Blood Lord (basically, leader) of the Tides clan is the main focus. As always, race comes into question, him being an Outsider, having adapted to Aether and the harsh atmosphere by developing night vision and a keen sense of smell, and her being a Dweller, having grown up in the virtual reality and thrown out by a high official due to a misunderstood crime. She does become a survivor later on due to her resilience, which is admirable.

The most alluring aspect of the situations however, are how familiar they are to readers, yet how striking they are. Unfortunately, such unique abilities have not been explored which may leave you disappointed. Another explanation that should have been provided was the intricate system that brought into existence these clans or the pods in the first place. The past is integral to understanding the present of such out-of-the-box stories and here it has been more or less omitted. Another thing most likely to shake your nerves is the manner in which the story has been presented, which at times becomes self-contradictory.

The faults aren’t apparent in most cases but to avid readers, they’ll remain highlighted, making it harder to look at the positive perspectives in the novel. The typical teen love story might be boring to some, but as mentioned before, the characters themselves provide twists to the circumstances. An entire part is of course dedicated to this fledging couple and is swoon worthy for those who believe in that kind of love. Cynics will have a hard time pinning down this give-all-in love but at the same time it isn’t stereotypical prince charming, kisses and roses stuff, so it would be best to rest easy and let the story flow.

Frankly, it is not a story I would recommend to those of intellectual likes. There is not much to ponder which other sci-fi resources or books haven’t stressed upon already, except an occasional word of advice from Marron, the wise man. For those looking for a light, stress-free read, however, I certainly do urge you read this book. It would definitely serve as a great medium for those wanting to escape into such other-worldly realms of imagination, as also for those that love young adult books generally, for this one fits right in.

Learn more: Goodreads

Buy it here: Amazon

Read the book: 2novels

Black Ice

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The prologue itself anchors you to this book, bone-chilling retelling of a murder that it is. Furthermore, it makes you question how the events will turn as a murder so early in a book clearly indicates a link to be found somewhere later.

The first chapter beginning a year later surprises the reader with its first line: “If I died, it wouldn’t be from hypothermia.” And then a very normal situation of a teenage girl and her best friend who have decided to hiking presents itself, bewildering you as you wait for the shoe to drop. The protagonist happens to meet the love of her life and ex-boyfriend, Calvin, at a gas station and to save face with an absurd claim, devises a situation with a random guy, who quite happily plays the role of her current boyfriend. Britt grows a bit suspicious of this new guy, Mason but her anger and frustration towards Calvin eclipses all as she ransacks his precious Ford, stealing a valuable map and a few other trinkets.

The story starts rolling downhill, as while trudging uphill in a snow storm, away from the car abandoned in a dubious condition, these two girls, Britt and Korbie, end up knocking the door of trouble. Trouble, for who else but Mason, and his seemingly close buddy Shaun would receive them warmly only to deceive them. Survival being an urgent criterion here, the story quickly evolves from being a mountainside adventure into a dangerous game of criminals leaving trails, and trying to evade being caught. Fugitives on the move, a damsel in distress holed up in an almost unreachable cabin and a determined teenager who refuses to give up pretty much sums up this part of the story, except one of those fugitives happens to get lost with that determined young girl out in the forest. The reader gets absorbed in an epiphany. Those notions are written in a way that the reader too is confused about who Mason could be.

The big reveal is saved for the end, and a series of shocking incidences trigger emotion within the reader as they’re all seen through Britt’s eyes, who is obviously not just integral to the occurrences that imbibe themselves in the reader’s mind, but also caught in the chaos of emotions. This is not quite the end as the cadence of these disheveled notes is a beautiful sunny afternoon, a year later where Britt finally meets the love of her life and as usual, life goes on.

Know more about the book: Goodreads

Buy it here: Amazon

Read the book: 8novels

 

About the blog

This blog’s main focus is book reviews. Any book that strikes a chord in the reader’s heart stays in the reader’s mind for long. Such books are rare and hence precious. My aim is to bring forth the concepts in a story that aren’t evident, or those that seem to be confusing. I will also be writing about all genres so as to give a wide range of options to readers.

Since characters are what drive the plot of the story, I may also venture to draw a character sketch as per my perception. If any of it seems to be  the character at all or if you have any additions or suggestions to make, please feel free leave your opinion in comments and I shall verify and rectify any errors I may have made.

I hope that it will help you understand a story better or simply promote you to buy a book you weren’t sure about.

The Man in the Trench coat

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A gripping thriller, The Man in the Trench Coat is an intricately designed web of mystery that keeps you reading well into the night. The characters are well portrayed, making one wonder what made them who they are.

ACP Shekhar and ACP Raut although polar opposites in some situations, are equally appealing to the reader due to their radically different perspective of looking at circumstances. Their role in the investigations astounds you as far as striking personalities are concerned. The suspects in the story, The Man in the Trench Coat and Control, are by far, the most bewildering villains you can except to encounter. While the vigilante stunts or rather, expert assassinations carried out by The Man in the Trench Coat are clearly against the law, you start questioning the integrity of law itself. And while Control is obviously an accomplice in this agenda, why so? What connection is it between the four of them that turns this book into a page turner?

While the thoughts embedded in the minds of characters are not transparent, the plot bends your loyalties to a particular character and then twists the paths to the final showdown, where all the thoughts residing in your subconscious start making sense. The plot has a lot of underlying disparities yet by the time they are resolved, one is so deeply engrossed that the depth of each character is evident. The flow of the story line is centered around various things that are equally integral to the unfolding events. In addition to that, the terms and endearments used in the book are explained in layman terms in a glossary at the end as well. All in all, The Man in the Trench Coat is a must read for all.

Buy it here: Goodreads

Buy it here: Amazon