Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Trella is a scrub on the first level of the Inside. She is one among tens of thousands that work in the lower levels that keep their society running smoothly. While Trella psychologically survives by keeping to herself in the pipes, other scrubs like her only friend Cogon look to prophets that speak of Outside and a Gateway that will free them. Eventually Trelly is persuaded to meet with the newest prophet Broken Man, who has requested her by name. It seems that he used to be an Upper, someone who lives on the second or higher levels. Scrubs both hate Uppers for the their seemingly posh lifestyle and fear as the population cops or Pop Cops who deal out them punishments are all Uppers. Broken Man manages to pique Trella's curiosity via Cogon to go and steal some discs that he has left in his room on the fourth level. It isn't long before Trella is immersed in an intrigue that could take down the entire system that she has grown up in. She'll need all the help she can get from of Logan and Anne-Jade twin Tech Nos who allow her to ghost around the technology of the upper levels, Jacy an information shark who doesn't like her much, and Riley a smart Upper who is starting to mean more to her; as Cogon has been captured by the Pop Cops and slated for execution. With all the scrubs hope resting on her shoulders, will finding the Gateway give Trella the answers she seeks?
Sounds exciting right? No. For some reason I never got a real sense of urgency in this book, I got why things were bad but never cared enough to get into it. I've read quite a few of Maria V. Snyder's books and have always liked the depth she puts into the cultures she creates. Though let's be honest sometimes her characters lose out because of the seeming time and effort she puts into the settings. I was all set to like this book, it seemed like it should be a pretty solid like for me. Nope. I just never CARED! Didn't care if she saved Cogon, didn't care if she got caught, didn't care if she solved the big mystery about the Gateway. It also seemed like the romance between her and Riley was a bit of an afterthought. I didn't really get why Riley ended up falling in love with her or why Trella thinks that dating him is a good idea. And then there's the whole thing about sheep. Riley is a little obsessed with his two stuffed sheep toys. Riley you're seventeen and supposedly old enough to ask a girl to marry you, you shouldn't be playing with stuffed toys anymore. Or at least not calling them Sheepy, Mama Sheepy, and Dada Sheepy. Kind of emasculating.
Anyways, I didn't like this book. I didn't hate it but definitely was not good. If there's someone out there that can give me a different perspective, great. Lay it on me. For now this was a solid mediocre. Inside Out came out last April and sadly I found out that the sequel Outside In is coming out Feb. 15. I wouldn't bother.