Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Book 2- sequel to Inside Out
In the first book Inside Out we were introduced to a society living in a metal cube, divided into sectors and quadrants, and split into uppers (who ran the computing and engineering side of things), and the scrubs (who lived in cramped conditions and did all the manual labour). Trella led a revolution and overthrew the corrupt Trava family who had put themselves in charge, and started trying to free the workers and create a fairer, happier society. After searching for a legendary gateway to "outside", it was revealed that the metal world they lived in was all that there was and nobody was going anywhere. The teaser line for this book on the front of the book reads "A million miles from home there's something outside and it wants in". This instantly grabs your attention and makes you wonder how that is possible and what is going to happen. So starts the revelations, surprises, betrayals, and plot-twists.
Wow, there is a lot going on in this book! This is definitely for people who like their books fast paced and full of danger. Trella whips here, there and everywhere diffusing bombs, plotting rebellions, being patched up after a fight and straight back into the fray again- meetings, spying, sneaking supplies- I was exhausted just reading this book! And I had trouble keeping track of who she is speaking to and where she was at any given time- this book is very... busy. I also thought a map or diagram of the world would have been very helpful as the description of all the different areas of the ship were very confusing. Despite my confusion though, the world- building was very believable and very claustrophobic. You can really imagine the sense being closed in, and almost taste the metal of the walls in the air.
Trella is the same girl that we meet in book 1- very tough and determined, and someone who wouldn't hesitate to put herself in harms way to protect others, but who lacks confidence in herself as a leader. Aside from everything that is happening politically, Trella also has to cope with her mixed feelings about her burgeoning relationship with Riley, help her best friends Logan and Anne-Jade restore order in the new society, and try to understand how she feels about her once- traitorous found-again mother. Phew! The best thing about this book is Riley, Trella's on-again-off-again boyfriend, who is so sweet, and really passionate. The pages with both of them together sparkle with their banter, Riley is just very funny and adorable. All the characters in this story are fantastic with lots of humour, sadness, and mixed loyalties.
Outside In has a mystery, plenty of action, romance, heartbreak and sabotage. It is a story about another world with technology we can only imagine, but characters that you can definitely relate to and love. It is a beliveable sci-fi story with a heart.
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