Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Book #: 1st of Duology
Publish Date: April 1st 2010
Date Read: August 7th 2013
Rating: ★★★★ / out of 5
"And then..." I couldn't speculate any further.
"Everything changes," Cog said.
All her life, Trella has been nothing more than one lowly scrub among thousands of others who work in the lower levels to keep Inside running at tip-top shape for the Uppers. Her goal has always been simple: keep out of trouble.
However, when a prophet comes to her with information that tingles her interest, she embarks on a dangerous mission and uncovers secrets about the Gateway that leads to Outside. All while starting and becoming the head of a rebellion against the corrupt form of government that has been feeding both the Lowers and the Uppers lies.
Wow! This book is not exactly what I expected, but it actually turned out to be better than I imagined.
Inside is a large cube separated into nine sectors- A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I. Each sector has 4 levels- the lower ones for the Lowers and the upper ones for the Uppers. There is also a supposed Gateway that is the entrance to the Outside.
Trella, our protagonist, is a Lower "scrub" who is assigned to clean the pipes that travel throughout Inside, sending heated and clean air and water where they are needed.
I loved how, right from the start, we see how intelligent, strong and sharp-witted Trella is. She can smell someone's B.S. from a mile away and trusts her instincts. Her fellow scrubs call her "The Queen of the Pipes" because she prefers to be alone, exploring (and often sleeping in) the pipes instead of milling about with other Lowers. Though, while she makes it seem as though she doesn't believe in the rumors about Gateway, I liked how she was curious enough not to ignore all the evidence she ends up finding.
Cog, Trella's best (and only) friend, was a great side character. He is kind, nonjudgmental and ready to lay his life down to protect his friends and what he believes in. I enjoyed the roles all of the other characters played, as well.
The story is what really surprised me here. I was not expecting that twist at the end. Even though I was suspecting something like it, the thought never really sunk in because of all the action that took place. This story is full of action. There was never really a dull moment. I would sit there, read and without even realizing it chapters would just fly by. Trella is constantly taking action and doing something. There is always new information being found out and conversations taking place. I thought it was paced very well!
Now, the romance. No insta-love. One thing I enjoyed about the relationship between Trella and Riley was that, right after they meet, Trella doesn't become all star-struck and thinking about this hot guy she just talked to every single moment until they meet again. Actually, she barely thinks about him after they meet and mentions his name to herself once before they meet again (and what a surprise that scene was!). Even after that, with everything going on, there is very little time for them to fall head-over-heels for each other. You can tell that they have special feelings for one anther, but the mentions of them are very minute. I can't wait to see how their relationship grows in the next book!
Unfortunately, this would have been a 5 star rated book if I hadn't found some of the information confusing to process, as well as some awkwardly worded sentences, some 2+2 aren't equaling 4 scenes and some holes in logic.
Not a spoiler!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the sequel!
The rush of air blew past me in the active duct. Closing my eyes, I concentrated on the warm current as it caressed my face. I pulled my hair from its single long braid, and let it flow behind me, imagining for a moment that I flew.
"No hope, Trella, is worse than fear."
"When the effort fails, is it worth the cost?"
"Then why try at all?"
"Because there is a chance for success. Maybe not complete success, or even the hoped-for results, but maybe just planting a seed to grow long after I'm gone. It doesn't have to be a total failure."
"It would be, but words are easy. It's convincing the heart that's hard."
Maximum damage. It was the beginning of the end. Either we would fail or not. At least we could say we tried.
"I'm not going to tell you-ow! Let go of my ear, I'll tell you."
I released his lobe. He rubbed it.
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