Title: Outside In
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA science fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: E-galley from Netgalley
First line: My fingers ached as my leg muscles trembled.
Spoiler alert: This review will not contain spoilers for Outside In, but will necessarily contain spoilers for the first book in the series, Inside Out. Consider yourself warned.
The Force of Sheep Revolution is over, the uppers and lowers have mixed and are being led by the Committee, and Trella is ready to go back to being Queen of the Pipes. Unfortunately, the Committee isn’t handling things very well, Riley wants Trella to step up and help lead this new society she has created, and the efforts to expand Inside to allow more living space aren’t progressing as hoped. As Trella struggles with her tricky relationship with her mother, her tricky relationship with Riley, and her tricky relationship with the Committee, rumbles of rebellion start to spread through Inside. And if that isn’t bad enough, the uppers and lowers will have to find a way to work together to face an even bigger threat than the one from within.
I loved Inside Out (my review), and so was excited to be able to read an early galley of Outside In via Netgalley. There are some things that Snyder does very well in both books: terrific characters, amazing world-building, and a brilliant concept. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the plot twists in the first book, and she managed to surprise me again in book two. So, why three stars instead of the four that I gave book one?
Up until the last 50 pages or so, Outside In was living up to the standards set for it by its predecessor. But as I watched the page number draw closer and closer to the end, I started to think, “How on earth is she going to wrap this up by the end of the book? Is it going to be a huge cliff-hanger? I hope it has an ending.” Well, it did have an ending, and she did wrap things up, but she did it in such a rapid-fire way that it was an unsatisfying ending. I can’t go into a ton of details without giving away plot points that I don’t want to spoil for you, but the conclusion felt almost more like a bullet-points wrap-up than a true resolution to the storyline. I wish the author had taken more time to write the ending, even if it meant delaying the release by a few months and adding a couple hundred pages to the total. I’m not sorry I read it, because I still love Trella and the world she inhabits, but I hope that if the author continues the series, she will spend more time fleshing out the plot.
If you liked Inside Out, you will definitely want to read Outside In to see how Trella’s story continues. When you reach the last quarter of the book, buckle up, because it’s going to race all the way to the end.