Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: 2nd book in the Razorland series
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Source: physical ARC from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
**Possible (mild) spoilers for Enclave**
Wow, even a week after finishing this book, I’m still having a difficult time putting my thoughts into coherent sentences. There is no Middle Book Syndrome to speak of here. Outpost is all fast-paced action and unpredictable plot twists. But after the insanity in Enclave, I shouldn’t have expected anything less. And legions of Ann Aguirre fans are probably shaking their heads at me, thinking, “I could’ve told you so.”
I love that in Outpost, we get to see more of the world top-side and how those survivors are living, as opposed to the glimpses we got in the ruins and in the tunnels in Enclave. Now that Deuce and her companions have been whisked away to Salvation, literally and metaphorically, we get to see the type of life the adult survivors have created for themselves. The amount of time spent expanding upon all facets of Deuce’s world – new and old – never seemed cumbersome or tedious, and it served to help characterize the townsfolk and explain why some of them felt as they did toward Deuce. The brief history lessons show the reader that, although the citizens of Salvation have majorly regressed, the setting is North America in the probably not-so-distant future. Something horrific has plagued the country, resulting in the creation of the Freaks…or Muties as the citizenry of Salvation tends to call them. In other words, it was not always this way, and we most likely brought this destruction upon ourselves.
Deuce is finding her new life in Salvation rather difficult to acclimate herself to. She has to learn how to navigate friendships, family and love, as well as keep a low profile where some of the townsfolk are concerned, which is easier said than done. Deuce is an ace with her knives, but she’s a novice with her heart. She undergoes more of an emotional journey than a physical one in this novel, and it shows in the growth of her character. But the good people of Salvation do not see things in this respect; they feel that a woman should not wield weapons, nor should she do a man’s work, for fear of bringing the wrath of God down upon them all.
And then there’s the matter of Fade. I was glad that these two found each other down in the tunnels. Deuce is the yin to Fade’s yang; he’s the light to her darkness. They are drawn to each other as opposites often are, but because of some misunderstanding, they keep their distance from each other in Salvation. If you’ve seen other reviews, you’ve probably read tales of a love triangle, and yes, the outline for it is there. But I’m still not convinced it exists. Stalker has made his feelings more than clear to Deuce, but Fade is the one who taught Deuce how to love and be kind, and her heart belongs to him. I maintain that Stalker is simply there to complicate matters. Well, that, and the fact that he’s a pretty badass zombie killer himself.
This novel had me pondering a lot of things where the end of days are concerned. Would people’s religious beliefs change, for better or worse, should the end of the world prove near? How many of us would resort back to the ways of old? What if it meant the difference between life and death? Would we go back to persecuting those who did not believe the same, just to ensure our own survival?
I loved Outpost even more than I enjoyed Enclave, which is saying a lot. Outpost is such an explosive continuation to Deuce’s already exhilarating story; I was so emotionally and physically drained after finishing this book. I guess I’m not as ready for the Zombie Apocalypse as I’d previously believed. *sigh* It appears that I have a lot more preparations to make…
"I had my blades in my hand, and my partner at my back; therefore, I feared nothing, not even death." -- p. 67 of ARC
If you haven't read Enclave yet, you can still pick up the ebook for $2.99. Also of note, Endurance, Thimble and Stone's short story, is available for $0.99.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Amazon | Barnes & Noble