Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
After waiting quite a while, Outside In finally appeared in the UK bookstores so I snatched it while I could. Was it as good as it's prequel? NO! It was much BETTER!!! I don't know what it was, but despite the fact the first book was very tense, this was even more so.
There were so many twists and turns and accusations thrown around by the characters that I didn't know which way to look next!
Outside In is set a little while after Inside Out. Trella is part of a committee along with several others, but Inside is still restless and a lot of the citizens still see themselves as uppers and scrubs. As unexplained incidents continue to happen, and Trella gets caught up in the middle of it all, it soon becomes clear that there is an outside force at work, and they want to come in.
I loved the tension in this book and it kept me so strung out that I couldn't put it down and with so many different things happening I found it impossible to judge what was happening next, who was causing what problem and who were the good guys and bad guys. At one point I even thought Riley might have been up to something!
Maria's writing ability is second to none and she is an incredible story teller. So few authors have had me so all over the place when reading a novel and yet I still had no desire to flick to the back and find out the what happened in the end. In some books this may have been a bad move and have caused a loss of interest, but in 'Outside In' it just creates more tension and pulls you deeper into the story. I lost count of how many times I guessed wrongly who was behind the sabotage (much to my annoyance because I love to guess right!)
The characters stayed very true to form in this novel, but having said that there was still some development. I got to see Trella making changes, bad guys doing good things and apparent good guys being bad guys (I won't say who since I pride myself on being spoiler free!)
I also managed to go from hating Dr Lamont to loving her which is odd for me; I'm a pretty stubborn person and to do a complete opinion change on a character take a lot of persuasion, but having said that, she does redeem herself pretty well.
Trella and Riley also face challenges and I found it fascinating to watch how they both changed by the end of the novel, both for the better and I'd definitely consider the ending amazing. Whether it's happy or not, well I'll leave that for you to decide, but I loved it.
If you like science-fiction, romance, exploring tunnels, being sneaky and a great thrill-ride of a novel then give this a go, but make sure you read 'Inside Out' first or it won't make sense!