Thursday, 30 June 2011

Outside In by Maria V Snyder

April 2011, Mira Ink 
346 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Young Adult, 

Science Fiction, life in space, teen romance (intense in places), funky gadgets, heaps of drama and suspense, huge plot twists, life under seige, living with the enemy, instruments of torture, high risks, betrayal, confusion, lots of humour, tissues are needed, rebellion, some violence/gore/blood (moderate), evil people

Summary from Mira Ink 
There’s something Outside It wants In. And I’m supposed to stop it? I’m Trella. I used to be a scrub, cleaning the pipes and corridors of Inside. Then I found a whole world beyond the cube we live in and accidentally led a revolution against the Uppers. Now everyone is trying to figure out what happens next. Except me. The fight’s over and I want my life back. I need to explore the new world I’ve found and work out exactly what’s going on with Riley, the Upper who helped me win the war. But there’s something Outside. And I need to step up. Because once a leader, always a leader. It’s coming. Am I strong enough to stop it?

Nayuleska's thoughts
Yay - it's here! I happily re-read Inside Out first. I recalled a lot of what happens, but it's the little parts and really I just needed an excuse to read one of my favourite books! I was intrigued about Trella's future, and I can say that the twists in this book are fantastic. I honestly hadn't thought much about how the Uppers and Scrubs would coexist together. What happens wasn't a total surprise, since it made complete sense, but there's just so much drama I was glued to my seat. It's amazing what trouble disgruntled people can cause. The worst part was when I discovered the internal conflict wasn't the main problem - it was the Outsiders. They really creeped me out, especially at the end when all the ins and outs were revealed. There is a lot of tension/dissent/betrayal between the Scrubs and Uppers. No one is safe from punishment. Least of all Trella. 

The way that Trella was punished was inventive.I try not to refer to other books in a review, but after all the torture in the Study & Glass series, I was wondering just how Maria could keep ticking the boxes for 'inventive pain/punishment'. The devices used on Trella are seriously cool (and deadly). Every time Trella was hurt I got shivers thinking about it. I think I like how her body gets damaged - I'm not a psycho or anything, but when characters are hurt more than a little scratch it affects their performance. Yet Trella didn't let those weaknesses break her. She constantly sought ways around the devices, which shows just how strong a character she was. 

I really liked how at critical points in the book Trella loses the support she had gained. In this book more than the previous one I felt that Trella was a bit selfish, and had a high self-confidence. These not so good qualities contributed to the issues she had to deal with in the book. Her expectations don't necessarily coincide with everyone else's expectations of herself, something she doesn't understand for a while She is victorious in the end, & I'm ever hopeful there will be another book about her. The themes explore in both her character and her situation are interesting ones that had my brain working hard (in a good way). 

Final conclusion 
Maria keeps on raising the satisfaction bar on her books, and the conclusion for Trella's tail is more explosive and engaging than Inside Out. I give this 10/10 (with a sparkly, shiny star). It's that awesome! 

Check out more about Maria and her work on her website, where you can read excerpts of the books too. 

Click here to be taken to the second interview with Maria (the first is here).

Suggested reads
Be sure to read book one in Trella's life: Inside Out which has links to info on nearly all of Maria's other fabulous books (Yes, in case you hadn't noticed, she is one of my top favourite authors. If I had the resources, I'd probably be out sending hot air balloons in the sky to get people to read her books. I mention them to anyone who likes similar genres. Go read them!)  

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