Alyssa's Reviews > Inside Out

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
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May 04, 12

bookshelves: dystopia, scifi, young-adult
Recommended for: Dystopian fans, people who like strong female characters
Read from May 01 to 03, 2012

In Inside Out, a dystopian young-adult novel set somewhere in an unknown future in a place called 'Inside', there is a caste system. The upper-class is referred to as the 'uppers' and the lower-class is referred to as the 'scrubs.' Ruling both is the special police force known as the Population Control Cops, aka the Pop Cops. The Pop Cops are largely comprised of members of the Trava family. They dictate life through use of propaganda and fear, and run the Inside like a military state.

Trella, the main character of the novel, is a cleaning-scrub. All scrubs are assigned a job -- some become care mothers, others work in the power plant, kitchens, etc. They do the 'menial' labor while the uppers are believed to have more luxurious lives.

Trella is known as the Queen of the Pipes for her desire to be alone and her ability to navigate through the inner-workings (the pipes) of the Inside. Her only friend is Cogon aka Cog, a charismatic scrub who is friends with everyone.

Cog, along with most other scrubs, believe in a place called 'Gateway', which supposedly leads outside of the Inside. Nobody knows what exists outside of Inside, but it keeps the people hoping that there is something else beyond their tiresome existence -- an existence that ends in being recycled through the Chomper, a machine that turns humans into fertilizer. Even after death, a person is made to be useful.

Trella does not believe in Gateway and thinks all the scrubs who do are mindless sheep. However, it is her friend Cog who eventually introduces her to the prophet Broken Man. Broken Man believes in the existence of Gateway and also believes that he is close to discovering its location. However, in order to find Gateway, he needs the Queen of the Pipes to fetch a device of his. Making this task all the more difficult is Pop Cop Lt. Commander Karla Trava, who wants to put an end to Broken Man and anyone else involved in trying to upset the balance of Inside by finding Gateway.

Wanting to prove Cog's prophet wrong and secretly having a bit of hope in Gateway, Trella decides to help Broken Man in his quest to discover Gateway.

Trella's journey introduces her to a unique cast of characters, such as the Tech Nos Logan and Anne-Jade, 'upper' Riley, and Doctor Lamont. She learns the extent of the Pop Cop's control over Inside, discovers her secret heritage, and eventually learns of the mystery behind Gateway.

This is a superb sci-fi dystopian novel focusing on a society on the verge of rebellion. Similar to the Hunger Games, Trella is much like Katniss in the fact that she is the spark that ignites a revolution. The desire to rebel is there, but it requires a larger event to give the people the extra push to act out.

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Reading Progress

05/02/2012
74.0% "I already have book two lined up :)! This is good."

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