Similar to Inside Out I thought this book had a slow start; however the pacing picked up faster for me than in the first book. I loved the ending of tSimilar to Inside Out I thought this book had a slow start; however the pacing picked up faster for me than in the first book. I loved the ending of the first book and was really hoping Outside In would just take off. Once the pacing picked up the story became a little too hectic and I felt like many of the details got left out while characters were running amuck.
The concept continued to intrigue me and the book took a much more science fiction turn this time around, which I really enjoyed. The world building was decent, but could have been way expanded and the more scientific aspects brought many of the scenes to life for me.
The action sequences were well written and suspenseful and probably the better part of the book. I found the relationship and community aspect missing even more this time around. All the relationships between characters just didn't grab me, whether between Trella and Riley, Trella and her mother, the committee members, etc. In general we heard more about people and events than actually read scenes with them involved, which gave many scenes a more passerby feel. I would have liked more community development as well, either continuing with the uppers and scrubs, something with the family lines, or more (view spoiler)[ history and interaction between the Insiders and Outsiders (hide spoiler)].
While Trella felt a little young to me in the first book, this came through even more for me in Outside In. I almost felt like her character should have just been created a few years younger. Her lack of maturity consistently bothered me. She didn't seem to develop or grow much between the books and with everything that happened I felt like she would have gone through more substantial changes and wanted to see that in the story.
While I was fascinated by the big threat I wanted to know more about (view spoiler)[ the Outsiders (hide spoiler)] and I feel this never really gets resolved even by the end. A few big questions for me are left hanging like (view spoiler)[ what happened in the Outsider's past, the exile, and even things like why the Insider's left and what the writing on the wall was all about. (hide spoiler)] I guess since for me this was the point of Outside In I would have like it developed further. The hinting was there, but it never came full circle.
There are so many great issues that could have been a driving point in the story and while many of these are in the book, they sort of float around. Human nature, classism, outcasts, being different, betrayal, acceptance, fear, etc. While I was not looking for a story saturated in heavy topics I think a deeper approach of at least 1 would have been nice.
Overall, I did enjoy the story. It has a great concept, the writing style is enjoyable, and the world building creates nice visuals. I think this had so much potential that I just wanted more from the characters and the plot. I will probably try reading something else by Maria Snyder to see what she brings to the table in another series. Glad I read Outside In, but I wish she had brought more for the reader.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more