Monday, 1 October 2012
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #2
Type: Young Adult Dystopian
Deuce and her friends have found shelter in a remote Outpost called Salvation. But suddenly Deuce is expected to act as a child, doing chores and attending school. After existing as an adult Deuce struggles to adapt while her partner Fade becomes increasingly distant. So when the opportunity to guard the growers while they plant the fields comes up, Deuce leaps at the chance only to find that the threat of Freaks is just as prominent as ever...and that these Freaks are even smarter and deadlier than those she's faced before.
This is the second book in the Razorland trilogy (after Enclave) and a book I was really looking forward to given how much I enjoyed the first. I have to say I wasn't let down. While Deuce's life has changed a lot since the end of the first book, the two months in Salvation haven't changed her. Interestingly the author includes key moments from the last book as dream sequences near the start which may be helpful to new readers, although I would recommend reading the series in order.
The world building continues on the foundations laid before, introducing some different perspectives on the collapse of society and the Freaks (or Muties as they're now also called). There are suggestions about how society fell, and the religious focus of the Salvation residents adds a new dimension to the storytelling.
The pacing is a little different in this book as Salvation is a safer place than the Enclave was and so the book has a slow but steady pace to begin. However around a quarter of the way in this picks up and the pace steadily increases to the end of the book. There are twists and turns galore, and not only is the Freak threat just as prominent Deuce stands out in a town where conformity is encouraged.
Deuce is the same kick-butt heroine as always but she is gradually becoming a girl as well as a warrior. She has been taken in by Momma Oaks and Edmund and is learning how to be treated as younger and worthy of protection. Fade and Tegan have adjusted the best to life in Salvation (with school and chores), relying on their pasts to see them through whilst Stalker and Deuce who grew up fighting for survival struggle to adapt or even see the point. I loved that the main characters got more development, and the Salvation residents who feature in the book are incredibly well developed.
The romance aspect of the book is different to a lot of YA books. Deuce is only interested in one guy romantically, and while two guys are interested in her one is seen only as a friend despite their best efforts to change her perspective. Deuce is very clear that it won't happen though which is a refreshing change. The romance that is featured is sweet and at times tortured, but always fun to read given that Deuce grew up without affection and doesn't really "get" love.
All in all this was another great read and I'm looking forward to the final book Horde.