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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Review-Audible- Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Who do you trust inside while fearing what is Outside?
Outside In (Harlequin Teen) by Maria V. Snyder

    Outside In (Harlequin Teen)
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210114
Genre: Sci Fi Fantasy, Dystopian
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Product Description:
      "Me? A leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than 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."

    Review: A good wrap up for Inside Out (see my review here.)  This could be read alone as the author recaps the events of first book but you would miss a lot of character detail and background so I do recommend  reading Inside Out first.

    Young Trella was the catalyst for a rebellion of the Lowers in the first book, Inside Out.
    Now that the Lowers have freed themselves from the control of the Uppers the society has a bit of a breakdown. A committee of Uppers and Lowers is formed to direct the new order but there is no clear leader, no clear direction and lots of distrust.  Since the Uppers haven’t started doing their share of the work, the workers (Lowers) are starting to strike and work isn’t getting done at all.  Some of the leaders, and especially the Lowers,  feel betrayed by Riley because she won’t continue her leadership role. She doesn’t see herself as having the skills to lead and she just wants to move in the shadows and let others make decisions.

    Add to these problems there are acts of sabotage against vital areas of the ship that may be intended to allow one power group to gain control. The Committee doesn’t know who is responsible and slowly they are slipping back into old patterns of control with a new police force taking the place of the old Pop Cops but acting much the same.

    Trella is helping out in the infirmary and trying to resolve her feelings about the Doctor who claims to be her mother. Riley pulls away from Trella as he too feels betrayed by her isolating herself from the ongoing problems. Trella finds it hard to stay aloof when attacks start hitting herself and injuring her friends including Logan who is needed for his computer skills if they are going to figure out who is behind the saboteurs.

    The problems heat up even more when The Controllers take control of the systems and lock out the committee, and other human, input. Slowly they realize that there is an “outside” entity trying to gain control of the “inside”.  It is hard to tell who Trella can trust as two distinct groups are trying to use her and telling her different versions of the truth.

    This second book had some additional influences that were a bit “out there” but on the whole it does a good job of expanding on the first book and wrapping up open issues. This one wasn’t quite as fully engaging as the first book and that may have been partially created by Trella’s character being wimpy about taking on responsibilities to help leadership.  (I had this similar reaction with The Hunger Games series as the heroine's character seemed to be weaker in the final book.) The author has again included good twists to keep you guessing and the conflict continues and keeps you alert to the very end.

    The narrator does a good job with the emotions and characters although I felt the outside forces were not as distinctly portrayed through the narration as they might have been. A fine line complaint, I know, and it did not diminish the enjoyment of the good story.

    Maria V. Snyder books are on my must get and read list! If you have not yet discovered this author you are missing some fine reading entertainment.

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