Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Outpost (Razorland, #2)


Outpost (Razorland, #2)Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland
Publication: September 4th 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Hardcover, 336 pages
Buy: The Book Depository


Here we are again: me singing praise to Ann Aguirre and you guys putting up with me. (Oh, stop trying to run away, I’m not about to start singing for real.) I must admit I was terrified of reading this book, but not because I doubted Aguirre in the least. After reading 11 of her books and loving them all, I know perfectly well what she’s capable of. No, I was terrified because, even before starting it, I knew it would crush me into tiny Maja bits. And it did.
There’s a reason for everything, and a million reasons for some things. The list of reasons why Ann Aguirre’s books always affect me so deeply is about three miles long. I’m very familiar with her work – I’ve read everything she’s published under her own name, some books more than once even, and I’ve long ago stopped being surprised by how consistently good she is.

Let’s start with the worldbuilding, shall we? I can be rather nitpicky when it comes to dystopian worlds. I need them to make sense, but sometimes they truly do appear as if they’d been created by YA Dystopia Story Generator. (Hot water has been banned and the government controls fish byproducts, or something along those lines.) But in a world destroyed by a disease, with no government, internet or means of transportation, extremely violent gangs would undoubtedly form, as they did in Deuce’s world. There would surely be groups of people, entire communities that would go back to old values. And some would probably find their way underground, where such a thing is possible. As always, Aguirre’s world is fully realized and flawless.

But character development is where the author’s skill truly shows. She doesn’t just point out Deuce’s upbringing when it’s convenient or when it serves to further complicate the plot. She is meticulously consistent, and not just with Deuce, but with all her characters. Not many authors leave me in awe of their insightfulness and intelligence, but somehow, Ann Aguirre always does. She is, above all, an excellent psychologist and she knows her characters to the bone.

To call what happens between Fade, Stalker and Deuce a love triangle seems vastly unfair and oversimplified, although I suppose, technically, that’s what it is. It is a triangle of comfort, hope and kindred spirits, and there is nothing simple about it. I may have hated some things that happened in this book with a fiery passion, but I never hated the characters for them!

Deuce is amazing, one of those characters that make you want to stand up and do something extraordinary for yourself and for others. She is grown up in some ways, and adolescent in others, naive at times, but a quick learner too. She grew up knowing nothing of how the real world functions, and yet it didn’t take her long to start appreciating family bonds and friendships, or develop her interpersonal intelligence.

I suppose I should address the cliffhanger as well, as there’s been a lot of grumbling around the blogosphere. It’s a trilogy, and as much as it pains me, I understand the need to leave things open for the last book. And truth be told, this open ending (not exactly a cliffhanger) is less painful than most.

This is, hands down, my favorite book in 2012. I hope I helped the rest of you decide to read it, and soon.


22 comments:

  1. Lovely review, I just bought Enclave on the weekend so this has me feeling really positive about a series that's new to me :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will admit right away that I didn't read that whole review as I still need to finish Enclave, but it very, very much made me want to. It also very much has me looking forward to Outpost now! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved Enclave, just waiting for this one to come into the library so I can snatch it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Maja! I haven't read Ann's books before, but now i'm interested. I'm glad to hear about a book that goes beyond the normal world building. No government? Nice!
    Fantastic review!!!! I would love to hear you sing, even if you the most tone-deaf person in the world, if its about a book you love.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gosh, 5 Stars? I haven't even read Enclave yet! :head desk: I clearly need to get started with this series, Maja, especially as you loved it so much! I think it's something I'll really like as it has strong world-building and the characters seem to be outstanding! Phenomenal review as always, dear! I hope I can read this one soon! :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Alright, Maja. You win. I guess after that review I can't not read this book soon. ;) An open ending isn't nearly as bad as a cliffhanger, so things are looking up. The rest of it sounds fantastic too. I don't think I realised how much I missed Deuce until now.

    Lovely review as always, darling! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm glad you liked this one. The negative reviews have had me really saddened, as I loved the first book. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the love triangle, as it has been a sticking point for a lot of readers who can't stand Stalker. I get that, I guess, but it wasn't my experience in Enclave, which I really will need to reread before this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on Stalker, Christina! He's such a tragic character, and the poor boy really didn't know any better! I'm just so heartbroken because of him and I can't stop thinking about him.

      Delete
  8. Wohoo! I'm so glad to hear that Outpost is even better than Enclave. I've been worried to start this book too, but now that I've read your review, I'll be sure to check it out. Lovely review, Maja! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've yet to read Enclave, but I've heard great things about it, so I definitely can't wait to start it. (I was actually about to start it today, but chose Ultraviolet instead.) I've also heard mixed things about Outpost, so I'm happy you loved it so much that it's your favorite read of 2012 so far. Amazing review, Maja!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ooohh I guess I should give Enclave a try. It sounded really depressing and disturbing. The love triangle threw me off as well but I guess if it is complicated and different I might give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your favourite of 2012? I really need to get out of my rock already and pick up a Aguirre book. You have been taunting me already with your wonderful reviews and recently I've been enjoying a lot more different genres of books than my contemporaries (I know shock horror!) so I think this series will fit in nicely with my current mood!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yayayay! I liked the first book in this series quite a bit so I'll definitely be picking this one up. I'm a little nervous about the Stalker love triangle but it sounds like it's more complex than your average triangle. I am always so impressed by her worldbuilding too. That's something I really noticed about Enclave. She never explains the whole history of the place in great detail; she just gives you what Deuce would reasonably be expected to know. She gives you ENOUGH but not too much. Looking forward to this! Great review, Maja.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Damn it! Another cliffhanger and now a love triangle. I read Enclave last year and remember literally had to come up gasping for air and sunshine, what would have been a five star read though became four with that wretched ending. I am looking forward to reading this and I have procurred my copy, now just to find the time.....Busy with Kevin Hearne and Darynda Jones!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, I knew you were a fan of hers but the fact that you've read all of her books AND loved them all is so impressive! You've just made me want to read this series (I previously thought it wasn't for me!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Enclave is one of my top five favorite reads! I've almost been afraid of Outpost, wondering if it could possibly live up to its predecessor. You've convinced me it can, and I can hardly wait to dive into it! Oh, and call me a glutton for punishment, but I LOVE cliffhangers ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've heard of this series but I haven't read it yet. I'm glad you enjoyed it though :) Great review!
    World of Books

    ReplyDelete
  17. 'Favourite book of 2012' that's an impressive feat! I haven't read any of Ann Aguirre's books- yet- but I have Enclave on my to-read list and I'm quite excited to read it. Such a stunning, articulate review darling. :) I like cliffhangers too, so the one in this book shouldn't bother me too much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was kind of waiting for your review of this, like holding my breath waiting b/c I was hoping Aguirre didn't let you down. I'm so glad she didn't!!! Great review!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I need to read the first one before I read this review, Maja, it looks really good and I know you're a huge Aguirre fan, so it must be. I also know you don't give 5 stars lightly! Wow. Must get to this series sooner rather than later. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I haven't heard of this series before, or this author, that I remember anyway, but I'll definitely be checking them out after all your singing lol. A triangle of comfort, I need to know more. And I don't mind an open ending when there's another book, much better than a cliffhanger.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I finished this book today and I loved it! Much better than Enclave :-)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.