Inside Out by Maria V Snyder
Review by Anna Sheldrick
While everyone believes in the Gateway, a way to get to the Outside, Trella is happy to ignore them knowing that the Gateway doesnít exist. It is a spark of hope in the otherwise depressing life of the Scrubs and Trella will have none of it. For a Scrub life is what it is.
Life as a Scrub means that Trella spends her life cleaning the various vents and pipes in Inside. She likes spending the days alone as she follows the trolls that are used to clean the pipes. When she isnít working she sleeps above the vents instead of her bunk and spends as little time with the other scrubs as possible.
She is quite content to continue life like this when her friend Cog convinces her to see the Broken Man. The Broken Man enlists her to retrieve something for her that only she can get as no one knows the vent system quite like Trella. Reluctantly she agrees as she lets curiosity get the better of her. Little does she know at the time that what seems like a small foray is really the beginning of an adventure that will change Trellaís view on life and make her think that maybe the Gateway really does exist.
Inside Out is a great little book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The world that Maria V Snyder has created is an interesting one of a self sustaining environment called the Inside that is divided up into levels that are fed propaganda to keep the inhabitants subdued and suspicious of those who live on a different level to them. It takes a little while to get your head around the world but once you get going you find you can follow the geography and story easily enough.
The only real problem I had with the book was with Trella. I found that she reminded me so much of Snyderís other heroine, Yelena Zaltana, from the series of the same name. They are both strong resourceful young women who both seem to have a knack of getting into a lot of trouble. Although Yelena, in my opinion, is still Snyderís most endearing and interesting character Trella has enough mysterious background that makes her interesting.
Inside Out is supposed to be the first in a series but it works well as its own book. I do not feel any particular need to read the next book, although I probably will, as I canít really see how the storyline can continue as Snyder wraps up the plot nicely. I would highly recommend this book to any Snyder fans although this book seems to follow a similar pattern to Poison Study (Snyderís first book). This book is not the sort of high fantasy of the Yelena Zaltana and Opal Cowan novels. It has more of a sci-fi feel to it and even though it is nothing compared to novels like Enderís Game, Snyder pulls it off well.
Molly from England
Loved the book! Can't wait until I read the second book: Outside In!!!
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