February 2, 2013

Book review: Outpost by Ann Aguirre

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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.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Outpost is the sequel to Enclave, a novel I read last year. I gave Enclave 5 stars, but Outpost is even better!

Whereas the first book focused on Deuce's journey topside and was more of an awakening in terms of her experiencing new external environments, this book explores Deuce's internal awakening as a person. Once considered a grownup and a Huntress, in the beginning of Outpost, most of the other characters view Deuce as a child who doesn't fit in. As she learns to find her place in Salvation, she also learns what her relationship to Fade means.

Ann Aguirre does a wonderful job of mixing action with character development. There are happy events and tragedies, and both ends of the spectrum are written effectively. There is also the dreaded love triangle, but even that is handled better than in many other YA books I've read.

It's hard to say more about this novel without spoiling the details, but let's just say that I was sad when the book ended. I can't wait for book 3!

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