Saturday, April 16, 2011

CBR III Review #54-55: Inside out & Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

CBR III Review #54: Inside out by Maria V. Snyder

Once you get use the world that Maria V. Snyder has created Inside out pulls you in quickly into a dystopian future full of mystery.  Trella lives in a community where no outside exist.  They live in a metal structure broken up into a series of floors.  Their community is broken into two communities: uppers and lowers.  The lowers are essentially slaves. Those who live on the lower levels work 10 hours then gets 10 hours off every single day.  Those who live on the lower levels have very little knowledge of the upper level existence except that the brutal Pop Cops live on the upper levels.  The Pop Cops are a security force that rules the lower levels with an extreme cruelty and viciousness. Trella lives on the lower level and is constantly seeking solace from her existence, but the lower levels are so crowded that even during your time off you are constantly surrounded by thousands of people. Trella to get away from everyone escapes into the pipes earning her the nickname "Queen of the Pipes" because of her extensive knowledge of the pipes and their structure.  One day a prophet who claims there is a door to the outside ask for Trella's help and she unwittingly starts to unravel some very dangerous secrets.

Inside out has several themes throughout the novel.  The novel takes place in a dictatorial society encumbered with class issues in a dystopian future.  It took me about 60 pages or so before I actually got involved in the storyline.  During those 60 pages I kept picking it up and putting back down again and switching to other books but finally the novel picked up and I become invested in Trella's story. This novel has some of the commonplace themes found in every other young adult novel like a forbidden romance and rebellion but I was impressed with the over all execution of the story.

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CBR III Review #55: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

I wish I had just read Inside Out and left it at that.  Even though I enjoyed once again being in Trella's world this novel just wasn't as exciting to read and for some reason fell a bit flat.  It felt more like the second book was forced because the first one made enough money to warrant it other than this had always been a planned sequel.

The story picks up after the events of Inside Out and now that the dictatorial leaders have been overruled peace should have been an easy thing to achieve between the upper and lowers.  But both groups are having a hard time trusting each other and their society is finding that change is not an easy goal.  To make matters worse there appears to be someone from outside making contact with a select few that are inside and those that are on the outside do not have peace as a goal.

Outside In just feels like a rehashed Inside Out instead of a sequel.  It wasn't a horrible read, but I started it immediately after finishing Inside Out so it felt like reading a very very long epilogue instead of a unique story.

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