Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Outpost

I finally finished Outpost, book 2 of Ann Aguirre's Razorland series. (It's taking me forever to finish books these days. *sigh*) As you probably remember that was very underwhelmed with book 1, Enclave. (My full review HERE.) I will admit to liking book 2 more than book 1. While I'm still not in love with the writing style, this story and these characters are growing on me.

Plot: The plot picks up where book 1 left off, with our characters in Salvation, trying to figure out themselves, each other, and where they fit in this new community. This is definitely a YA novel. There's a lot about Deuce trying to fit in with other girls her age and how different she is than them. There's also a lot of her trying to figure out what the dynamic will be, both between her and Fade and her and Stalker. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it felt very teenager/high school, which most of you know isn't my favorite thing.

I will say that the plot was more engaging in this book than in the previous one. The muties/freaks seem to be gaining intelligence, which is downright terrifying at times. The Salvation community, it seems, may be living on borrowed time, but Deuce and a handful of others are the only ones who realize it and actually want to do something about it. I did get very engrossed in the plot as this book went along.

Characters: As I said above, there was a lot of teenager drama, but there was other good stuff too. Deuce has a home and family for the first time, and it was nice to see her settle into what for the first time in her life is normal, filial connection. The stuff with Fade is quite romantic as well, despite Stalker as an added point on the love triangle, and I really like how their romance is progressing.

Writing: Okay, I still have a problem staying in the story. It's not that the writing is clunky or bad. I just get bored. I think I figured out why, in this second book. Deuce, by definition, is very much in her own head. She thinks much more than she talks, which isn't a bad trait by any means. But on top of that, this is a first person narrative. 

Often in my own writing group, the other members tell me that something ought not to be told in the narrative, but shown some other way. They tell me to have someone say it in conversation or something that will make it stronger, rather than just telling it. Now, sometimes I get frustrated with them because, while they're usually right and telling in the narrative shouldn't be overused, I believe it can be used to great advantage at times. But, in Deuce's case, I'd say ninety percent of the story is told in Deuce's thoughts. If more of it were shown in dialogue and action, it would be easier to stay in the story. As I said, the writing isn't bad in the least, but for me, it's just kind of boring. Which is weird, because the story really isn't. Anyway, it's probably just me being weird, but that's still how I feel.

Ending: No spoilers, as usual, but the ending was left completely open for book 3. While I'm still not crazy about the writing, I'll admit that the ending left me wanting to know what happens next. There was enough tragedy and angst to keep me hooked and make me disappointed when I reached the final page.

Overall: I have so much to do and read that I probably won't run out and buy book 3 (I don't currently own it) but should a copy fall into my hands in the future, I might the entire thing. Just sayin'. :D

Has anyone else read Outpost? Or Horde for that matter? What did you think of them? Would you recommend book 3?


  1. Thanks for the review. I've seen this series around but don't think I'll be picking it up anytime soon since I have tons of books I actually own but haven't read it haha :)

    1. Yeah, don't we all? I'm the same way. Thanks so much for stopping by, Eileen! :D