Review: Outside In (Insider #2) by Maria V Snyder


Title: Outside In
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publisher/Year: Harlequin 2/15/11
Length: 335
Series: Insider #2



A leader?

Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew.

That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion—between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again—while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside.

And something from Outside wants In.

My Thoughts

I love when we get a dystopian that’s a bit different from the others and this one is – at that.  While we get a lot of answers that were started from the first book of the series – there are still so many that are left unanswered.

When we left off from book 1, The ‘new rebellion’ had overthrown the Travas, they had established the Committee and the Uppers and Scrubs were now supposed to be working together.  Problem being of course that the Uppers felt like they didn’t have to work and the Scrubs felt like they shouldn’t have to continue to do EVERYTHING.   you can’t blame them right?

So, on top of all that, while Logan’s been trying to work through the network, there have been a series of problems – explosions, sabotage they’ve discovered, and they don’t know who’s responsible.  If that weren’t enough, the computer system has also been compromised – taken over by the Controllers – and when you learn who the Controllers are, you’ll find that it’s something that while semi-unexpected – it’s something quite expected.

The biggest bits to this story really are about trust and developing relationships.  I for one wanted to see something good happen for Riley and Trella, since they seem to be well suited for each other.  It’s never easy and after a few things happen, i think that there may ultimately be no hope for them.  Then there’s Trella and her ‘mom’ – she doesn’t want to go down the path of finding out for certain yet there’s really no reason to think otherwise.  There’s so much resentment there that i spend much of the book wondering what it’s going to take to get them on the same side.

Then there are all the others – Logan, Anne-Jade, Jacy, Hank and some newer folks.  You really don’t know who to trust, and when to trust them down the line.  That’s one of the great things about this story.  Just when you get comfortable thinking that they are going down the right path, catastrophe hits, and you realize that you’ve been trusting the wrong folks.

I don’t want to give anything away – but when we learn what’s driving the Controllers, all bets are off.  The questions that are left in my mind though are

1) what caused everyone to be put into the Cube

2) where are they going and why

3) since it’s so far away, will anyone survive?

Since i don’t think that there’s another installment to this series – these are all things that i’ll have to ponder which i’m fine with, it just would have been nice to have some of those answers.  anyhow – it was nice to find a new series like this and i hope that if you haven’t read it yet, that you pick it up.  Enjoy!

Review: Inside Out (Insiders #1) by Maria V Snyder


Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publisher/Year: Harlequin 4/1/10
Length: 227
Series: Insider #1


Keep Your Head Down.

Don’t Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

My Thoughts

I have to say that when you have a synopsis like what’s above, it leaves you to assume that you’ll exceed expectations on what you read.  That’s the case here since i didn’t have much to go on aside from this being a dystopia and there’s a rebellion looming.

I’ve come to have an appreciation for stories like this that have their societies in an enclosed space  – with divisions and routines all in place to ‘keep order’ and to make sure that people don’t question what they’ve been told and to just do it unless they want to be expunged (or recycled as they say in this one).  In this series, we get that same thing – with the Scrubs – the general pop so to speak all living on the lower levels of the space – working the maintenance and menial jobs to keep things functioning.  Trella’s job is to clean the ducts since she’s small enough and can do it – and the ducts need to ensure that clean air is cycling and the heat is working properly etc.  Of course – with all that time to herself, she’s going to think about things a little more, and even gets a nickname of ‘queen of the pipes’ which leads her down a path of the unknown since it’s gotten her recognized.

Along with Trella, we meet Cog – who’s her best friend/brother type whom she’s grown up with.  He’s protective of her and really just wants to help sort things out to make their life as best as possible.  He’s the one that introduces Trella to Broken Man who’s a prophet of sorts and that’s where things go awry.  See – there’s this thing called ‘The Gateway’ which is supposed to be a way out of The Inside and Broken man seems to think that Trella is the one that can help them find it and get out.  It’s because of this request that life as they all knew it changes.

Trella meets Riley who’s an Upper and who becomes a character that i really like and can’t wait to get to know more about.  he’s not your typical Upper in the sense that he follows the rules and has this air of entitlement as Trella assumed.  He not only helps her when he doesn’t have to but he sees things in her that others don’t and that of course leads to the hopes of a romance in my eyes.

Throughout this story we see a plan form – with Trella and the others trying to figure out how to evade security to find locked files and passwords and allies to get to The Gateway – all the while wondering who they can trust – if they can trust anyone  – and what that’ll inevitably mean.  No one knows if the Gateway is even real – and what’s on the outside and i think that’s the twist that we all really want to learn while reading.

The characters are believable and really likeable – aside from the Travas (the security), there’s really no one that you can’t like here and you want to root for everyone to succeed.  There’s the hint of romance without the expected love triangle, and that’s something that’s so welcome in a YA dystopia.  The one thing that made me sad was an unexpected death of sorts – that was one that i didn’t want to see happen and i’m still in denial about – but we’ll see what happens in the next installment.  anyhow – a good intro to the series and you should check it out.  Enjoy!