5 out of 5 stars
Agghhhhhh! I've finished it! There's no more book to read!
*pauses for breath, is startled by a new thought*
Agghhhhhh! I'm going to have to wait a year or more until the next book comes out! NOOOOOOOO!
I will try to keep my gushing and fawning to a minimum, focusing
instead on a review of the story. Though I can't promise some fan-girl
enthusiasm won't slip through.
This, the second entry in Ann Aguirre's Razorland series, picks up where Enclave
left off. Deuce, Fade, Tegan, and Stalker have found sanctuary in the
topside settlement of Salvation. Each has found a place with a foster
family and a place in the settlement, with varying degrees of success.
Though it makes Deuce wary, she finds herself growing comfortable with
the care she's given by her foster family, the Oakes, and while she
isn't exactly happy spending her days in school when she considers
herself full of all the knowledge she'll ever need, she complies as she
doesn't want to make trouble. After all, she's already turned a few
heads with her Huntress behavior, behavior seen as unwomanly and not in
keeping with the strict religious tenets upon which Salvation was
founded. But things in Salvation aren't quite as idyllic as they seem.
The Freaks, or Muties as they're known by Salvationers, are behaving in
ways never seen before. They're becoming smarter... and that is not a
good sign for the people behind the flimsy wooden walls of Salvation.
Yeah, I don't think those are gonna hold.
is a more thoughtful entry in the series than the first book. Don't
get me wrong, there's still lots of ass-kicking, especially by Deuce
(who finds she has to prove herself all over again to the
community--mainly the men-folk, that is), but even with the growing
crisis outside Salvation's walls, there's time for Deuce, Fade, Tegan,
and Stalker to grow in ways in which they never had the opportunity to
grow during their adventures on the way to Salvation. There's more time
for drama, confusion, mixed signals, romance, and character expansion.
As we watch these kids (for that's what they are, no matter what
they've been through or how they see themselves) mature, we delve deeper
into their personalities, their pasts, how they think, and their hopes
for a future. And though Deuce is at the center of the novel, this book
is really where Tegan comes into her own. In Enclave,
Tegan was a shell-shocked survivor, barely able to pull her own weight
in the group dynamic, needing to be cared for by the others. When we
saw her at the end of the book, she was half dead due to the massive
injury she'd received to her leg. In Outpost, she's
not only survived her injury, she's spreading her wings. She grows in
confidence and discovers she has a lot more to offer others than she
ever thought. She even finds it within herself to forgive Stalker for
how he treated her when she was held captive by his gang, something she
swore she would never do.
As with Enclave, the
story is a page-turner, and the writing keeps you involved as you await
each new development with breathless anticipation. Aguirre has a knack
for writing heart-pounding action, yet she's also able imbue her
characters with real emotions and depth. Once again, they grow and
change, behaving just as real people behave. It's hard for me to
express just how much I adore reading Aguirre's novels. My eyes fly
across the page, and the pages flip by fast enough to raise a breeze,
even though I try to slow myself down in order to savor the story rising
up from those pages. All I can say is that if you'd like to get in on
this new trend of post-apocalyptic YA novels, but don't know where to
start, start with Aguirre's. Pick up Enclave and I guarantee, as soon as you finish it or perhaps even before then, you'll be rushing out to the store to grab Outpost.
I'd say Hollywood needs to pick up these books and make it into the
next series of blockbuster movies, a la "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games," but I'm afraid Hollywood would screw up the magic that is
Read August 30-September 3, 2012
Reviewed for the Amazon Vine Program September 8, 2012