A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Under the Never Sky is a well-realized science fiction adventure romance that has a fair amount of violence and killing depicted, incuding arson and bloodshed. The novel also has a frank approach to teen sexuality, but the one sexual encounter isn't described in any detail.
What's the story?
An attempt to reach her missing mother ends with 16-year-old Aria exiled from the safety of her enclosed city, Reverie. She doesn't expect to last long Outside, not if the stories about deadly plagues are to be believed. Luckily, she meets up with Peregrine, a hunter who's also estranged from everyone he cares about. Together, they brave deadly Aether storms, wolves, and attacks by cannibals as they search for their missing loved ones.
Is it any good?
Some elements here may seem overly familiar, but there's enough originality in the book's plot, character, and setting to raise this opening installment in a new series above the ordinary. Issues that seem underdeveloped will presumably be addressed in future volumes. Many readers will be eager for Volume 2, but the setup isn't yet a slam-dunk. Author Veronica Rossi still needs to prove that she can maintain her story over at least three installments.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether being physically connected to a virtual world like the Realm would be an advantage. What are the benefits of being continuously "plugged in"? What might the downside be?
The people who live in the Pods are genetically engineered to be healthier and more physically attractive. Do you think that would be a completely desirable environment? What could be the drawbacks of seeking genetic "perfection"?
In science fiction, the future is sometimes depicted as worse than the present day. Why do you think that is? Do you think science-fiction authors are most often predicting the future or commenting on their own times?
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