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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Title: Outpost
Author: Ann Aguirre
Format Acquired: Hardcover 
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Publishing House: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9780312650094
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Deuce's whole world has changed since readers first met her in Enclave.

Now living topside in a community called Salvation, she has a new set of problems. Down below, she was considered an adult and she contributed to the enclave. Now above ground, she's viewed as a brat in need of training by the people of Salvation. She doesn't fit in with the other girls: She hates cooking, sewing, and school. 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 pursues a chance to serve in the summer patrols - those responsible for making sure the growers and planters can work the fields without danger of Freak attack. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks are 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 the tide.

           (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I don't know why it took me this long to read Outpost, and I seriously want to kick myself for letting it collect dust in my TBR pile. While Enclave (you can read Nicole's review of it here) was an okay read for me, I was totally caught unprepared at the completely different tone of its sequel, Outpost. It seems that 2012 is proving to be a good year for sequels (Rae Carson's The Crown of Embers and Moira Young's Rebel Heart left my co-blogger and I reeling and wanting for more), and Outpost is definitely included in that list.

Outpost brings us to where we we once again meet Deuce and her band of misfits, who are having quite a hard time adjusting to the culture and mindset of the people in Salvation. Deuce is taken under the wing of Momma Oaks, Fade is left with the guy in charge of the animal husbandry, Stalker's an apprentice smith, and Tegan is being taken care of by the community doctor's family. And the Freaks? Ever present as always. But whereas Deuce knows of Freaks that thrived underground, these Freaks - or Muties, as the Salvation folk call them - are something different altogether. When the Muties' devilish cunning threaten the stability of her new home, to what lengths will Deuce go to to save the community that's starting to grow on her?

Outpost proves to be the sequel with the capability to catapult the novel into tugging at your heartstrings. In Enclave, we are introduced to teens who are forced to act as grown-ups. In Outpost, we are introduced to teens who - hesitantly - begin to act their actual age, and I love it. I can't help but feel that the voices of these teenagers will resonate in the hearts of readers. These characters are very true, and I don't think I have ever encountered a dystopian novel or series that has this much realness - for lack of a better term - in their characters. Too often have readers been dredged in information about their "different" way of living, but Outpost promises to grab you by the collar and shake you. It is, in fact, not hard to think of this world as a possible - albeit, future - reality. The people of Salvation do not know the pangs of hunger, the painful practicality, the horrors of killing for self-preservation, nor the denial of simple pleasures - and sometimes, even of basic needs - that Deuce and her crew has been long accustomed to, in the similar way that some of us do not know the pains and sufferings that our fellow human beings face. 

It then goes without saying that this is definitely a recommended book. If you've picked up Enclave and weren't quite blown away with it, I must insist that you give Outpost a chance. While the first in the series may not be the best for me, Outpost has proved that Aguirre  has found the voices of her characters, and judging by the looks of things, it can only get better from here. 'Til we meet again then, Deuce.

Horde, the third in the Razorland series, comes out sometime in 2013. 



  1. O.o well now i am excited. Nicole had me interested because its a dystopian, but it wasn't hot on my list..but Michelle you have me so excited to get to book two! I love that its dark with a little sci-fi!

    1. Aww, thanks Kimba! :) If you do decide to pick these books up, we sincerely hope you enjoy them as much - or more - than we did.