As we delve into the story of Outpost, the sequel to Enclave, Deuce, Fade, Stalker, and Tegan have found themselves a home in the town of Sanctuary. For Deuce, she soon realizes that things have changed and she is expected to put her life as a huntress behind her and attend school and learn how to do things that girls are supposed to be doing like sewing and wearing pretty dresses. Instead of being considered as an adult, she is now a child in the eyes of the townsfolk.
“Elders prefer that young people spend their time puzzling over how to read and cipher numbers, as well as history lessons with endless tests. There are rules for everything in Salvation. Unfeminine, improper behavior is not tolerated.“
In the meantime, away from the preying eyes of certain busy bodies in the town, Deuce keeps her training up by sparring with Stalker at night, and learning the ropes from her mentor Longshot. She also deals with the fact that her partner Fade has been closed lipped and distant towards her since they arrived in town and that Stalker is taking a much more keen interest in her than I would have liked.
This leads me to debate the merits behind Stalker’s supposed conformity and leaving his gang land living behind. I just don’t buy the fact that Deuce would have any inclination romantically or otherwise towards Stalker knowing what he did to Tegan and others. I guess there’s a point to this that the characters are living in a post-apocalyptic world where forgiveness and change is possible. It doesn’t mean that I like it, nor tolerate anything that pushes the characters into a 3 way triangle. Deuce belongs with Fade and that is the end of my preaching.
As for the rest of the story, once the summer planting season arrives for Salvation, Deuce jumps at her chance to be a part of the guards that will be overseeing the planters. She somehow manages to talk Fade and Stalker into helping her. She knows that she is one of the best fighters around, regardless of her gender, and this is her opportunity to show the elders what she is made of instead of being stuck in some school where she is far and away the worse student in the classroom.
On the outside of Salvation, the Freaks learned and have a rudimentary understanding about things they shouldn’t know. They horde, they build cages to keep humans in them. They attack in masses which leaves Deuce and company worried they are about to overwhelmed with extraordinary numbers. In the end, the decision is made that leaves readers wondering just how Horde will play itself out and whether or not anyone will actually live through the Freak onslaught.
I liked the relationship between Deuce and her step parents who I thought actually made the book that much better. There is a strong evangelical message that the town folk of Salvation carry with them. I’m not much for the argument that women should do womanly things, while men fight and do the rest of the hard work which is why I will always get into fights and arguments over old habits that should fade away.
Although I found Outpost interesting enough, it wasn’t action packed like Enclave was. I do respect the way this book was written and will definitely follow up with Horde when it releases October 2013. I liked the fact that Deuce has had to change her perception and learned a new way to live while continuing her internal struggle as the only female huntress in town.
Title - Outpost (Razorland #2)
Author - Ann Aguirre
Publisher - Feiwell & Friends
Genre - YA Dystopian
Released - September 4, 2012