Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Outside In

Outside In
Maria V. Snyder
Young Adult/Science Fiction
Insider/Book 2
Harlequin Teen/March 1, 2011
Spoilers for Inside Out

From Goodreads ~

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.

If Trella thought the rebellion was hard, she had no idea that what came after would be just as difficult. The aftermath of a rebellion, the overthrowing of the current leadership, may get rid of problems but it also creates new ones. Leadership is still needed and determining that leadership can be tricky with different fractions having different beliefs and needs. Not everyone thinks things are better and getting the uppers and the scrubs to work together is going to take a lot more than simply changing who's in charge.

Trella didn't want to be a leader but she found herself thrust into the role when friends old and new, needed help against the rulers of Inside. Now that the rebellion is over she's ready to go back to keeping to the shadows, or the ducts while continuing her relationship with Riley. Instead, she is still looked to for advice and assistance. Part of Trella's reluctance to get more involved and take a role as a leader in the new society is her lack of confidence in her decisions and her fear that she might cause injury or death to someone she cares about. She still feels guilt for the arrest and death of her good friend Cog. Trella's reluctance is accurate since prior to the rebellion, she kept to herself, having few friends and fewer allies.

It doesn't matter what Trella wants, she finds herself right in the middle of what looks to be sabotage and is caught up in finding who is behind the destruction. This is when things begin to pick up. Prior to that, it was more of a recap of what happened in the first book, which is helpful if a bit slow. As Trella hits the ducts again discovering conspiracies and threats to her world, she begins to question who she can trust. Here's where we see again Trella's lack of confidence in her judgement. She's only 17 1/2 years old and was trained to clean the ducts not deal with political intrigue. I can see how she would begin to question everyone's motives but she stops trusting her instincts and trusting her instincts is one thing that the Trella from the first book did.

The relationship between Trella and Riley goes through some rough times. I was surprised that we didn't see more of them working together since they meshed so well in the first book. Their romance is definitely a sub-plot so don't expect there to be much from that front. Trella is pulled in so many directions from her conflicts with Jacy and his gang, to Doctor Lamont, who may or may not be Trella's mother, to Bubba Boom and his crush on her, to Anne-Jade and Logan. There are a lot of distinct relationships that Trella finds herself in. None really had much depth and I didn't feel like I got to know any of the characters very well except for Trella.

The pacing through most of the book is fairly quick with little down time. Trella jumps from one crisis to the next with a few stops for imprisonment and torture. There are some questions left from the first book that are answered here but there are also more questions brought to light with the threats that Trella and the other Insiders must face down. I look forward to seeing what comes next in this YA sci-fi series.

Rating: B

Books in this series ~

Inside Out
Outside In


  1. Meh, I wasn't too much into OUtside In because I felt it was the same thing again ^_^; Different groups, but still same motives. Although I can see how it can make sense. Too often, we don't see what happens after the upraising.

    I really like Riley, but Trella just got on my nerves.

  2. Nath ~ I liked what we saw of Riley but there didn't seem to be much there. I would have liked more of him.