03 December 2012

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.
I really loved Enclave. This book, though, not so much.  Where Enclave was really a plot-driven adventure story Outpost turned into a more character-driven emotional roller coaster.  That's not necessarily bad, however it was really slow and much harder to get invested in things.  Deuce is still set on surviving, and that's really the arc of her character through the book: getting more stubborn and making the world around her something that protects her.  She has a few issues with growing up and trying to reconcile romance with her hunter nature, but that is not a very pressing issue.  Fade and stalker, on the other hand, really shine in this book.  Where they were both characters of little growth in Enclave they really made up time in this book.  I like how they both seem so similar and yet make such divergent choices.  The plot is incredibly predictable in the beginning, which isn't helped by the snail's pacing.  It gets better towards the end, and the plot twists near the climax worked well for me.  I wasn't as pleased with the big twist concerning the zombies or the cliffhanger ending, but it was not a total turn off.  In all I'd say that I'm not a fan of this book but the ending makes me hopeful that the next book in the series will be more like Enclave.

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