Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: March 1, 2011
Series: Insiders #2
Reviewed by: Lili
Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion—between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again—while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside.
And something from Outside wants In.
It’s hard for me to put my thoughts regarding this one into words. I enjoy its prequel so much, so I was very anxious to get my hands on it. But I have to admit that I don’t think it lived up to its amazing sequel. However, I still found this one enjoyable. It’s hard to describe. The best way that I can explain how I feel about this book is that book one is worthy of a very solid four stars, but this book can only garner three stars.
When it came to plot progression, this novel was by far the superior of the two. What I love about Snyder is that she is very much able to deliver realistic action sequences and suspenseful mysteries. The plot, like book one and every other novel I have read by Snyder, easily held my interest and my attention. I didn’t ever want to put it down and easily flew through it in a single sitting. The entire plot of this book centers around sabotage happening on the Inside and there’s a frenzy to uncover who is setting everything off before something terrible happens. The addition of newfound Outsiders wanting In added great suspense to the last third of the novel. It was pretty cool that this novel contained explosions and new types of weaponry as well, mostly from the hands of Logan, the amazing Tech-No that I love dearly.
Plot-wise though, the book was also slightly frustrating. More than once Trella eavesdropped or noticed people doing suspicious things. And every time (I can recount at least three times off of the top of my head) it was one of those instances where she recognized the individual’s voice, or body movement, or physical stature, but couldn’t pinpoint their identity though it was on the tip of her tongue. Then when the reveal of the person’s identity came, she would somehow slap herself mentally and pull out the classical, “I knew it!” Not literally, but that’s how she was consistently described emotionally when the revelations hit. These moments were clearly there to further the plot progression of the book because the entire scheme would have been spoiled if she recognized any of these people, but after the second instance of a near recognition happened I began to get slightly frustrated because Trella’s previous genius went completely out the window in this one for most of the novel.
When it came to characterization, I didn’t think there was anything new that could be described as marvelous. The new characters were interesting enough and older characters continued to grow, but no serious break-through’s occurred. Trella, in all honesty, seemed very immature in this one, though she did continue to have her moments of live-saving genius.
And don’t even get me started on Riley. One of the aspects of this novel that I believe pales in comparison to book one is the romance. It was cute and slow in book one, but this one it was too fast and rocky. In the blink of an eye, a sweet relationship turned into a physical one. And that’s it, it was purely physical. If they weren’t doing something physical, they were arguing. And whenever they fight or take a break, they reconcile after saying something along the lines of “if you do what I say, my body is completely yours” or something of the sort. I understand how it’s a way to instill trust. They trust each other so much that they’ll do whatever the other one wants, but it all relates back to the physical. I missed the emotion of it all. The declarations of love almost seemed forced.
All in all, this book was still enjoyable, but it can’t be compared to the first. While some plot reveals ended the story well, I felt as if the overall ending was lacking in the sense that I just wasn’t happy. Book one wowed me so much more than its companion novel in this series. The emotional connection that I had with Trella in book one despite her anti-hero ways were completely nonexistent in this one.
With that being said, I do encourage any sci-fi lovers to check out book one. This series will especially be enjoyable for those who like space novels that aren’t huge on aliens. I encourage you to create your own opinions regarding this series and I urge you to continue on to book two if you loved book one as much as I did. While this book isn’t as great, it delivers an enticing story that’s easy to read and ties up some very interesting plot points.