So remember where I read Enclave here and wasn’t blown out of my mind even though I considered it a good read?
In Outpost, I thought the story shot up at least two notches in awesomeness. Seriously. The sequel surpassed the first book!
If you don’t want to read my rambling, just skip down now to the summary and the picture. Don’t worry. My feelings won’t be hurt. 😄
(In most series, sequels are letdowns. I can’t think of any literary examples right this second, but I think Disney easily has proof: Cinderella 2 & 3, Jungle Book 2, Peter Pan 2, Pocohontas 2, Mulan 2, Aladdin 2 & 3 etc. etc. I think the only moderately good Disney sequels were The Lion King 2 and The Little Mermaid 2…but that’s beside the point.)
So, Outpost! I started it last night and was so disappointed that I absolutely had to put it down at midnight. I wanted a time turner so I could keep reading and then get a proper amount of sleep. 🙂 I finished it today as soon as I could get time to sit and read and ignore everything else.
On this go around with Deuce, Stalker, Fade, and Tegan, I care more about the characters and how they’ve changed. I think in the last book it was so hard to relate to Deuce and establish a common rapport from main character to the reader, which made it less of a great read for me. Deuce just did not process things as much of a fifteen year old would. She seemed to act more like a child and blindly trust in her elders. This seemed too much to me like a much younger child. Before I turned fifteen, I certainly was second guessing my elders’ intentions! So, in book two, she’s much more emotionally developed and mature than she was in the enclave. She’s learning there’s more to the idea of breeding than just creating offspring (even unsanctioned offspring) [^–Nothing inappropriate here.] She also is adapting to life in Salvation, as a real girl, and one who doesn’t just give up her Huntress identity to be the girl that Salvation demands. She can be her own person and utilize her skills for the good of the community and at least appease some of her naysayers. One of the things that changes most is how she relies on Fade. Before he was a constant extension of her and together they were one force working for the enclave and to survive. Here, we find Fade somewhat absent and withdrawn at times, leaving Deuce to figure more things out on her own or learn to reply upon different people.
Just a warning for younger readers, there was a lot of violence in this book and certainly sexual references (mostly dealing with simply her concept of breeding).
Life in Salvation is entirely different than life as a Huntress. Women are expected to wear dresses, take acceptable trades like dressmaking, and care for the home and the family. Because of her preference for pants and her independence (not to mention her skills with blades) when she is female, Deuce finds herself the target of malicious teasing and hostility. She struggles finding a way to fit into the community and be true to her own wishes. It doesn’t help that according to their standards, she is still a brat and has to depend on her new foster family for everything. This isn’t to say they aren’t nice. Momma Oaks and Edmund are good foster parents, and Deuce learns what it means to have a caring family who love her. But Salvation has also changed her friends. Tegan wants to fit in with the village girls and doesn’t want to be reminded of their past while Fade won’t see or speak to her. She has only Stalker with whom she talks and practices fighting with secretly. As for the Freaks or ‘Muties’, they’re still changing. They’ve become smarter and more calculated with their methods. No one knows what their plans are next, but they’re certainly planning something. And it’s something big that could flatten the whole town. Deuce has no choice but to keep fighting, for she is a Huntress and will stop at nothing to protect her friends, her family, and her new life from the vile monsters.
Rating: Great read! Loved it! Status has changed to possible buy for the future!
It is as of yet unknown when the next book, christened Horde, will be coming out. *Edit, reviewed here.
I have to say, after reading Outpost, I’m quite interesting in reading Ms. Aguirre’s adult fantasy novels!