Anna's Reviews > Outside In

Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
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's review
Mar 05, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi, ya
Read in February, 2011

Before I go ahead and dig in, I'd like to note what an interesting time it is for this particular story to come out. With everything that's been going on in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, there's been a lot of governments being overthrown and being rebuilt. A big part of Outside In focuses on what happens after the revolution, when the people have won and everything needs to be restructured. Finding a system to replace the one they've torn down isn't easy, though, and having a story with that kind of focus being released right around the same time so many countries are very publically facing the same dilemma is... well, it could be either a good thing or a bad thing, and I guess which it is will depend on your point of view.

Why yes, I do realize release dates are set far, far in advance and therefore this timing is totally coincidental. You can't deny that this particular coincidence is an interesting one, though.

With that out of the way, let's dig into the book itself, shall we?

I like Trella a lot. I think she's an interesting and relatable protagonist, a strong young woman plagued with insecurities just like the rest of us. She's a reluctant hero, someone who would much rather just be free to live her life than have to deal with the big picture. She's stubborn and occasionally single-minded and just wonderfully flawed in a very real way. I think a big part of the reason I enjoy reading these books is because I enjoy spending time with Trella.

I also love that a big part of this book deals with what happens after. It's something rarely dealt with once the hero's journey is completed. We've dethroned the evil empire and now everything will just be roses and sunshine forever, right? Well, not so much, and I really love that Outside In goes there.

On the other hand, why exactly is an antisocial seventeen-year-old girl the best option they've got for world leader? Seriously, isn't there someone wiser and more experienced who could possibly take on the job? No? Really? You sure? I mean, I realize this is a YA novel and all, but you're stretching the boundaries of my suspension of disbelief here. I'm willing to go along with it as long as I'm reading the book, but as soon as I put it down, my brain starts going "wait, what?" again.

I have no hesitation in saying that I enjoyed reading this book, but I also have no hesitation in saying I enjoyed its predecessor much more. I like the ideas explored, I like the protagonist and the way she continues to grow and change from the misanthropic loner we met at the beginning of the first book, but I didn't feel this was as solid a read as I've come to expect from Ms. Snyder.

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