Friday, June 7, 2013

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky
 By Veronica Rossi

In Under the Never Sky, Rossi introduces a post-apocalypse type world in which there are pod Dwellers and Outsiders. The Dwellers have the benefits of medicine, food, and shelter from the harsh elements. The Outsiders benefit from genetic mutations of such things as enhanced smell and hearing. The story focuses on the characters of Aria - a Dweller who is cast out of the pod -- and Perry -- an Outsider who struggles to hold his village and his family together. As their relationship develops, they both grow in maturity and wisdom.

I liked the characters that Rossi has created. They are vulnerable, smart, capable and real. Their relationship develops slowly over time and experience. Other characters are present but there is not the typical "who should I date" syndrome I have found in many teen novels. Yes, this is a teen novel but I would say it is for more mature teens.

I was also intrigued by the juxtaposition of the two worlds Rossi sets up. The Dwellers' pods are much like our own world -- very clean and antiseptic, with the majority of the people's lives spent in the Realm entered through each person's Smarteye. This Eye is a type of computer link which attaches to a person's left eye. Through this virtual reality, you can exist in a perfect place while still walking around in the real world of the Pod. Check out the title link above to get a feel for what that is like (actually one of the best book trailers I have seen).

What did this book have to do with my faith? I thought about how often we Christians are like pod dwellers. We come to church, live in our protected homes, go to protected schools (homeschooling or private), have particular friends and spend time in virtual realities of television and computers. We only associate, for the most part, with people just like us. But, like the pods, our world is not the real one and we are only kidding ourselves when we refuse to go "outside." In fact, Jesus wants us to go outside. He told the disciples to wait for him in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. Then he commanded them to go and spread the good news in all the world. Many Christians are still in Jerusalem. How much like a pod dweller is your own Christian life?

I highly recommend Under the Never Sky.

Happy reading!


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