Thursday, February 21, 2013

Outpost (Razorland, #2) by Ann Aguirre

  • Title: Outpost
  • Classification: Young Adult (Ages 12 and up)
  • Genre: Dystopia
  • Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (September 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0312650094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312650094
  • Author's Website:

'I knew all the rules in the enclave. Nothing here made sense. Everything I thought was right, people told me I shouldn't even consider. Day after day, they told me I  was wrong--that I couldn't be 'me' and still be a proper girl.'

Since leaving the Enclave, Deuce and Fade have learned and seen a lot. Now safely living in the community of Salvation, Deuce feels she's lost her purpose and is having trouble adjusting to her new life. Before she'd been a respected member of the enclave and held one of the most important jobs, that of a Huntress, but those living in Salvation believe a woman's place is in more traditional roles; the most prominent being with a man raising a family. That was not how she'd been raised. Plus, things which had no worth in the Enclave, like reading and writing, are not so easily picked up by a sixteen year old who was never taught. Additionally, she doesn't have much contact with the others who she traveled with to Salvation. Fade has seemingly faded into the background barely noticing her, and Tegan hardly acknowledges her and seems to be nicely integrating into Salvation's social structure. Only Stalker regularly visits her, and he still has ideas about the two of them eventually becoming a couple. 

When Deuce finally approaches Longshot about joining the patrols, there is concern about how her appointment would be taken, and she has to earn the respect of her peers, all of whom are male. As it turns out, she is accepted in the nick of time, the Freaks or Muties, as the topsiders call them, start attacking in a much more structured manner than they ever have before. The safe and secure world of Salvation is about to be thrust into the midst of a brutal battle for survival. 

This book takes place shortly after the first book leaves off. Deuce, Fade, Tegan, and Stalker have begun to assimilate into life in Salvation. Deuce and Stalker are having the hardest time adjusting. Tegan seems to have made a smooth transition into her new life and loves helping Doc Tuttle. Fade had some education prior to ending up in the Enclave, and is adjusting quite well to school. Deuce, on the other hand, is being taught with children quite a bit younger and is mercilessly teased because of it. Stalker pretty much keeps to himself and, truth be told, I think Deuce is the only reason he is staying put. 

One of the friends Deuce has made since coming to Salvation is Longshot. He's an elder who is in charge of Salvation's security. He and his men patrol the area in and around the town. In some ways he's like a mentor to her and she tends to open up to him. Deuce has been after him to allow her on the Summer Patrols since she first found out about them, and he's finally giving her the chance, but first she has to convince his men. Women tend to have more traditional roles in Salvation, and if she makes it, she'll be the first woman ever permitted to join. 

Life in Salvation has always been thought to be a safe haven or sanctuary. Most of those who live within the city walls have never seen a Freak or witnessed one feeding on someone. They've never had to kill to survive. They've never known fear or the nightmares which developed from witnessing a horrific event. As Stalker observes, they act "Like these walls are magic, not wood, and nothing bad could ever get in." That belief is about to be shattered and those who once scoffed at or looked down upon Deuce and her foreign ways will need to rely on her and her friends to keep them safe from harm. Salvation is about to get a dose of reality.

On their journey to Salvation, the Freaks (aka Muties) seemed to be getting smarter and were bordering on being organized. Now we'll learn just how far they've come. Salvation is about to go under attack and Deuce, Stalker, and Fade, each of who are experienced fighters, may be their only hope. Things will never be the same.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. Plenty of action, excitement, and zombies in this one. If you like dystopian novels and zombies, you'll probably love this series. I enjoy seeing Deuce try to survive in a world gone awry. She's smart, strong, resourceful and doesn't need rescuing because she can rescue herself. A very fun read.

Order of the series.

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