Audio Book Review: Outpost (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre, Read by Emily Bauer

February 11, 2013 Review 0 ★★★

Outpost

(Razorland, #2)
by Ann Aguirre, read by Emily Bauer

Genre: Paranormal YA, Post-Apocalyptic |
Excerpt: Yes Book Trailer:  Yes
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners; Unabridged edition (October 2, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 142722627X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427226273

Rating

Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.

Sexual Content

Kissing. References to rape.

Description

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.

Review

OUTPOST is a very different book from ENCLAVE.  Instead of a group of teens governing themselves a la THE LORD OF THE FLIES, Deuce, Fade, Stalker, and Tegan find themselves literally adopted into the town of Salvation. Instead of focusing primarily on hunting Freaks and surviving, Deuce has to learn gender roles, attend school, and accept parental affection…yeah.  It’s a big change.  Aguirre still writes well and the characters have maintained believable consistency in their new circumstances, but the dramatic departure from the debut was jarring to say the least.

The whole first half of the book felt like one long lecture on gender stereotypes. The townspeople kept trying to get Deuce to conform with their puritanical notions regarding women.  She naturally objected and then there were lengthy passages about gender equality etc.  Not that I disagree, but it became somewhat tedious after the third ‘girls can do anything boys can do’ monologue.  The romantic developments helped to breakup these parts, and only deepened my love for Fade.  It was nice to see Deuce soften where he was concerned and see her own sense of wonder at her emotions regarding him. Unfortunately, that storyline ended up moving in several cliche directions.

The story did pick up when the group finally ventured outside the walls of Salvation, but they didn’t stay out there long enough to fully compensate for the slower beginning.  That’s partly due to the Freaks themselves.  Yes, they are still cannibalistic feral creatures, but it’s almost as if they’ve evolved.  They almost end up being viewed like some indigenous people group that Deuces group just doesn’t understand.  Yes, they are hostile, and yes, they eat people, but they also have baby Freaks and build houses.  They just didn’t feel the same as they did in ENCLAVE.

As an audio book, the production level was good, and I appreciated that the narrator altered her voice subtly when delivering dialogue from other characters   My only complaint is that she was a little too sunny in her delivery for Deuce.  Still, this is a series with merit, and while OUTPOST didn’t wow me in the way that ENCLAVE did, I’m invested in these characters and where the story is headed.  I’ll be interested in seeing how it ends when HORDE is published on October 29, 2013.

Series

1. Enclave – 5/5
1.5. Endurance
2. Outpost
3. Horde

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