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6 Aug 2011

Book Review: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

"There wouldn't have been a rebellion or the Force of Sheep without you. You started everything and you need to finish it." Pg 55.

Me? A leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside that we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants in.

(Read my review of Book 1: Inside Out here)

Okay, so the big rebellion is over and everyone in Inside knows that they are in a ship flying through space. A BIG freaking ship. The uppers and scrubs are attempting to get along, Trella and Riley are happy and more levels are being built in the expanse. But how long does harmony last on a ship like this? Not very long at all.
So I'm going to split this review up into two parts - The Good and The Not-As-Good. I'll do my very very best not to include spoilers, and if you've not read Inside Out yet... well this review has probably spoiled enough for you already!

The Good:
In true Maria style she starts things off with a bang. Literally. Things pick up right where Inside Out left us - Trella is complacent in the fact that she's fulfilled her part in the rebellion and now she just wants to return to her old life of being alone and exploring new places. But naturally things don't work out that way; we get to see Trella really struggling with this new threat and who she can trust. The suspense is tight throughout the entire story.
I liked the new characters introduced in this episode - Bubba Boom plays a very interesting roll, you never really know whether he is really dangerous or not, and that kept me on the edge of my seat.
I also loved how Trella's relationship with the scrubs changed - from being almost a spectre and talked about in excited whispers to being openly scorned and treated so distrustfully. It added a new dynamic to the already complex society structure.

Generally if I do not like a book, I will put it down and go on to something else. And you might notice that I don't review those books on here either. Who needs that? I enjoy talking about books I love!
So know that this bit isn't me not enjoying the book - just some niggling bits that I don't think should be ignored!
The pacing was really strange. The first half of the novel is Trella's journey, you could say, in trying to deal with all the new issues in her life - knowledge of her family, having a boyfriend and being involved in the chaos of possible terrorist attacks. It's very intense and she doesn't know whom to trust and loyalties keep changing and changing back. It almost felt like the story had gone slightly juvenile - where Inside Out wasn't at all.
So in the second half we are hit with the bombshell of these 'other beings' wanting to come inside. Suddenly the whole pace changes and it's so fast that one doesn't really have a chance to catch up. I wanted to know so much more about these beings and their story and I felt a bit cheated - so much of the book had been taken up by all that politics! Boo.
Oh and Sheepy.... If I never hear about Sheepy again it'll be too soon.... Just saying.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this. I do hate having such mixed feelings about a book, but I think it was still for the better. I like that it was just two books and the story was so enclosed and tight.
Oh and the UK covers are so gorgeous as this blog post shows - the cover on my review of Inside Out is of the Australian cover and it really doesn't do it justice at all! *laughs*
Wow, this was a bit of a rant, hey?

Published: March 2011 by Mira Books


Anonymous said...

I also wanted more information re the outsiders story, where did they come from. More information on how the insiders got there in the first place,how they built the ship and got if off the ground, I would like a prequel.

Anonymous said...

The inside out books look very interesting the cover makes me think really hard about it