Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
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.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Do you know how much I loved all that running about and struggling to survive to get to a safe place in ENCLAVE? Well, I didn’t love this as much. Deuce, Fade, Tegan and Stalker have reached that goal but are faced with a different set of problems. The people of Salvation have a way of doing things and it’s a way that didn’t fit her, so there she was sticking out, winning some admirers but rubbing others the wrong way. But while trying to stay true to being a Huntress, it came as a surprise to her (and to me) when she’d act less fierce and more the girl in love. I was surprised, truly I was, because it’s a new side I was not expecting. Her putting away her old mindset the way she did and going all glow-y (her words, not mine) didn’t feel like the right fit. It’s what some other key character felt too.
Because with that going on, OUTPOST became less about the Freaks and more about the characters and their plentiful feelings . I’m not scoffing, (OK, perhaps I am a little,) because when it got gory and bloody I felt engaged and excited… but when it reverted to all those soft then hard emotions, my feelings of ‘Come on! Haven’t you guys been through enough already?’ would well up. So there I was, disappointed a little because I’d have wanted them all to be what they were in ENCLAVE. In that they were upfront and ballsy and ‘I’ll kill you if you look at me wrong.’ Here there’s all the ‘I’ll win you over some how’ or ‘I don’t what to hurt your feelings.’ Except to be absolutely fair, it is a shift that’s understandable because they were in a new place and they were learning new ways. Worse, sometimes some of them could be so unforgivably selfish… just saying.
The four’s complicated relationships aside, bits of the story was interesting. I doubt Deuce of old would have approved of the place. They’ve their own way of doing things, a very clear and almost simplistic distinction between male and female roles. But it’s a distinction that made no sense to her given her background where one’s merits aren’t defined by age nor by gender but by one’s actions. So, her frustration at being hemmed in was so obvious. It’s this aspect of the story that added a little something extra because she’s of two minds: grateful for the safe place but frustrated by how things are done.
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