Tuesday, January 29, 2013

REVIEW: Outpost by Ann Aguirre

My Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Outpost is the second book in the Razorland series and the follow-up to 2011's Enclave. I enjoyed Enclave tremendously and immediately predicted it'll be one of my best reads of 2013. Fortunately the sequel—while quite different—was just as riveting. I'd give it a 9.5 if I could—if only because I liked Enclave just a wee bit better, mostly because of it's slightly faster pace throughout—but definitely not enough to deduct a whole point for it. :)

The story begins two months after Deuce and Fade emerged Topside from the dank, dark underground tunnels of the Enclave, into a part of the city now ruled by rival gangs who fight to the death for their lives and territory. Along with unlikely allies Stalker and Tegan, whom they picked up in the city, the four teens arrive at the walled, protected community of Salvation—built on the now trice settled site of an old war fort near what was once the Canadian border—and attempt to carve out a life Topside.

But adjusting to life in Salvation is anything but easy, especially for Deuce who doesn't particularly care for this new, simpler way of life where physical strength, aptitude, and training count for nothing if you're a woman. Instead, Deuce is expected to learn to do womanly work in the home, cook, wear dresses and look pretty. Things that are definitely not in a Huntress's repertoire. Several of the more god-fearing, bible-thumping citizens of Salvation shun Deuce, claiming she's an abomination whose presence will displease the gods and bring the plague back down upon them! But who needs plague when the Freaks—now called Muties by the citizens of Salvation—have been getting smarter and are now able to think and plan—even if they still smell of rotting flesh. Little do they realize that for Salvation to survive, they are going to need a girl like Deuce to save their ass!

Though this story takes place in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world like its predecessor, Outpost takes place completely topside, so there's a whole new world to be discovered, both by the reader as well as by Deuce and her friends, and Aguirre does a spectacular job creating this scary new world. Character development is amazing as Deuce and Fade continue to learn, grow, and adapt, and as a reader, you come to understand many of the complexities that make up their personalities—these are no one-dimensional characters! The plot is quick and snappy and I hated when I had to put this book down to actually get other things done! LOL But what I hated even more was when I finished and realized that the final book in the trilogy, tentatively named Horde, is not due out until the end of October. :o So now I have 9 more months to wait before finding out how this amazing story ends!

If you're a fan of dystopian fiction, you must read this series. Though classified as young adult, it is definitely a book for all ages (okay maybe not pre-teens LOL), but everyone else for sure!

BookCrossing journal page for this book