Date read: November 4, 2013
2. Outpost - Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
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Deuce’s whole world has changed.Thoughts on Outpost: Holy everlovin' crap balls, people. Ann Aguirre doesn't just give you a good story that maybe you'll like, she reaches into your chest and pulls out little bits of you as she puts her characters in excruciatingly difficult situations. I... kinda want to grow up to be like her some day.
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.
Where to begin? Let's see...
Deuce, Fade, Stalker, and Tegan have to adjust to a whole new way of life in Salvation. While Tegan fits in quickly, Deuce and Stalker find themselves just a little left of center, while Fade draws farther away from them. I really love Deuce's outlook on life. She's disarmingly honest -- whether it's about breeding or her own feelings -- and she understands what it takes to survive in a world where Freaks are on the loose.
Given her upbringing, I thought her slow puzzling through her feelings for Fade was perfect. She's not sure what to make of her foster mother because she's never had someone who cared about her without her giving something for it. She understands Stalker better than most because she knows what it's like to be in his shoes. He's doing what he knows because it's what he's been taught. Deuce has come to realize that the Elders made her no better than him by feeding her lies and twisting the truth until it was unrecognizable.
And then there's Fade. Everything about that boy makes me want to weep. Unlike Deuce, he knows what a loving family should look like. He's put in a crappy situation in Salvation and he suffers for it. He feels very emotionally fragile to me and I LOVE how Deuce tries to reach out to him. I love a lot of things about their relationship, to be honest. It's messy and danger is constantly surrounding them, but the crazy makes it somehow sweeter.
Bad things happen on a lot of levels here and I was wound up from the first page. I still am and it's been several days since I finished the book. That's some good story telling!
*deep breath* Okay, I'm ready for Horde.