from Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

from Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I don’t know what my deal is. I get so GUSHY about books sometimes. Like, if I read them and then feel sad when they have to go the library, then I know I need to buy them and allow them into my home which is tiny and already has too many books.

Then I sit and pine until my copy arrives. Check UPS tracking constantly. When it finally arrives, I carry it around with  me during all my various life errands. I’ve always got a book with me in any case where I might get stuck waiting, but when one of these gushy books arrives, I tote it about like a good luck charm. It feels a little crazy, to be honest. A little superstitious and fetishy.


Anyway, my current Literary Fetish is Veronica Rossi’s Under The Never Sky.

I have to admit, at first I was all weirded out by the name of the main character boy. His name is Peregrine, but he goes by Perry. Which, if you have an 8-year-old cartoon-watching child, you think of this, naturally:

So, Perry the Platypus is highly awesome, obviously. Just look at him. He’s a platypus fighting evil – it’s a no-brainer. But I don’t really want to get all easy and naked with a platypus, see.


ANYWAY. So, Perry The Character isn’t terribly attractive either, at first. He’s sort of a dick to Aria, our Main Character Girl. But then he’s such a rugged survivalist type that you forget all this cartoon nonsense and become a fangirl. Perry’s primal. He has all these powers. He doesn’t like words. Perry’s a driver, not a thinker.

This is the longest intro to an excerpt I’ve ever done. Sorry. But the writing is beautiful and I love how Rossi’s 3rd person split narrative allows for descriptive beauty that isn’t always practical when you have a teenaged protagonist narrating in first person.

Under the jump is one of my favorite passages. JUST GO READ THE WHOLE BOOK, THOUGH!

Finally she spoke. “Perry, what would I scent now if I were a Scire?”

Perry closed his eyes. Describing their differences wouldn’t bring her any closer. But neither would refusing to answer. He inhaled and then he told her what his nose told him. “There are traces of the wolves. The scents of the tree carrying a winter tone.”

“The trees have a winter smell?” she asked.

“They do. Trees know first what the weather will do.”

He already regretted speaking. Aria bit her lip. “What else?” she said, but he scented how it hit her, all the things he knew that she didn’t.

“There’s resin and rust on the iron nails. I scent the remnants of a fire, probably months old, but the ash is different from yesterday, with Cinder. This is dry and has a taste like fine salt.”

“And yesterday?” she asked softly. “What did that ash smell like?”

He peered at her. “Blue. Empty.” She nodded like she understood, but she couldn’t. “Aria, this isn’t a good idea.”

“Please, Perry. I want to know what this is like for you.”

He cleared his throat against a sudden tightness. “This shack belonged to a family. I scent traces of a man and a woman. A stripling-“

“What’s a stripling?”

“A boy on the cusp of becoming a man. Like Cinder. They have a scent that can’t be ignored, if you get what I mean.”

She smiled. “Would that be your scent?”

He put his hand to heart, pretending to be stricken. “That hurt.” Then he grinned.

from pp. 322-323 of Veronica Rossi’s Under The Never Sky, Harper, 2012.


  • Carrie on Mar 30, 2012 Reply

    It’s just delish. My love for it tells a lot about me as a reader, I know…

  • on Mar 30, 2012 Reply

    Aaak! I can’t believe I missed this post. Love this book and your excerpt and your gush. I broke down and ordered it, too. Mine should be here tomorrow. And I may just carry it around with me.

    P.S. I loved how Perry got hotter as the book progressed. So much like real life. Also loved his crooked nose.

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