Book Review of Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Title: Outpost

Author: Ann Aguirre

Release Date: September 4th, 2011

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

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.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: We pick up in Outpost almost immediately after we left off from Enclave (review here). Deuce is trying to adjust to the ways of Salvation, but is not acclimating as well as she would like. She is unfamiliar with the way of life here and is not quite sure where she fits into all of it, but does not want to ask a lot of questions in front of others for fear of being ridiculed. She observes:

“Topside had lots of foreign words and concepts; I was digesting them as fast as I could…but so much strangeness made me feel small and stupid”

It cannot be easy to live one way for so long and then have to switch gears and learn a whole new way of life. I always find it refreshing to be in Deuce’s head though, because she always says exactly what she is thinking and does not water things down just so people hear what they want to hear. She tells it like it is and I admire that about her. She is coming to realize though, that letting people into your heart is okay and being strong will not always get you what you want. She can be abrasive and is beginning to realize that about herself.

“Until then, I hadn’t realized I was so much like my own knives, shard edged, cold and perfect for keeping people at a distance.”

She wants to change, but it is hard to let go of the Huntress inside her.

She is also struggling to understand her relationship with Fade. She wants to be with him, but is not sure how to talk to him or why he has been avoiding her.

“I longed for Fade and hated lessons and I missed being valued for my skill.”

Much of Outpost does focus on Fade and Deuce understanding their feelings for one another and how that fits in with their life now. They had so few moments together that when they did get time alone they clung to those moments, which made them very precious and sweet. Don’t get the wrong idea though, there is still plenty of fighting and Freaks to make life in Salvation difficult, but I did appreciate getting to watch Fade and Deuce find some much needed happiness in one another.

In Outpost, the Freaks are starting to take on new characteristics and behavior. While grotesque at times, Ann gave us great descriptions of what they are like and interesting insight into their world. They are not what I originally thought them to be in Enclave and I am very interested to see what will become of them in the final book, Horde.

There is so much happening in Outpost it is almost impossible to sum it all up in just a few sentences. It is a frightening world with tough characters that you cannot help but root for. Their courage is admirable and watching Deuce navigate her way through this world is always an adventure. Outpost is an outstanding addition to this series. If you enjoyed Enclave you have to read Outpost to see how all the events unfold. I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fast paced, engaging young adult novel that will grab you from the first page and not let go.

FTC: I received the ARC from them publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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