Outpost (Razorland Series #2)

Outpost - Ann Aguirre I listened to the narration and it was decently narrated, although the narrator sounds very young. But, then again in this story the main character Deuce is really young. Outpost begins when Deuce is 15.5 years old. So I enjoyed Enclave, the first in this series, but didn’t love it. I was lukewarm enough about that book that I waited months after the release of Enclave to start it. Ultimately, Enclave addressed all of my concerns about Outpost and is such a better book than the first one in this series. The beginning of the book starts slow. Almost too slow. The set-up explains how Deuce, Stalker, Fade and Teagan are doing in Salvation. Deuce is not happy, Salvation has strict gender division rules and education rules pertaining to children and these pose problems for Deuce. The gender divisions are irritating, almost to the point of not wanting to read about them. However, the book quickly turns the corner from a slow beginning to action upon action mixing in sweet romance and some pretty good town tension. Ann Aguirre’s books spend a lot of time in the minds of the main character. It seems to be her style of writing and both Sirantha Jax and the Corinne Solomon series are similarly done. There are huge passages with only the heroine’s inner monologue going on and the heroine providing explanations for why other people are feeling certain things and doing certain things. At some points it is irritating, some points it is not believable but usually this is very well done. It is an amazing way to learn about the main character and truly be her. One of the problems I had with Enclave was that there was absolutely no explanation as to why society ended and where the freaks came from. Outpost changes all of that. Looking for an explanation of what caused the devastation? Aguirre provides some history in this book and adds a wonderful twist that completely distinguishes the Enclave series from other zombie and post-apoc books. It is enough to say, that this deviation from the standard storyline of the zombie genre makes reading this book worth it – factor in the emotional development of Deuce and her growing relationships with her friends and this book is a great read. Okay, rape. Ms. Aguirre seems to speak through her characters and attempt to address readers concerns about Stalker and his past actions. Somewhere near the beginning of the story, Deuce has a conversation with Teagan about her abuse at the hand of the Wolves. As I read this section, I felt the author was explaining to the readers and trying to justify Stalker’s presence as an acceptable character despite his past. The reasoning was this – authority taught the followers of a group (The Wolves – Stalker and the Enclave – Deuce) to commit violence in support of the group. The followers of each group (both Stalker and Deuce) bought into these ideas for the betterment of their group. Now that Stalker and Deuce have left these groups they are able to re-evaluate these ideas and their respective roles in the violence they committed. This issue is revisited multiple times throughout the book. At one point Deuce tells Teeagan, “I don’t care if you ever forgive Stalker.” Almost as if Ms. Aguiree is talking to her readers – you don’t need to forgive Stalker or accept that his background made him do it, you can still enjoy the story. I am not sure if I agree with this concept nor do I accept it. However, I appreciate the author’s willingness to address readers’ concerns. Additionally, Ms. Aguirre doesn’t let Teagan just move on past her past attacks. Realistically, the pain and suffering Teagan endured from the gang rape and beatings from the Wolves is not just pushed under a rug – but Teeagan continues to suffer from fear of boys and the need to be safe. Outpost ends with a hell of a cliffhanger. Horribly tense yet hopeful. I cannot wait to read #3 in this series.