Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Book Addict Reviews: Inside by Maria V. Snyder

Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Order Online:  
Author Info: Goodreads | Website
Rating: 4 stars   
Received this book as a gift from my blogging buddy, Jen Ryland from YA Romantics.

In A Nutshell:  
Trella is a scrub.  Trella lives on the Inside.  As a scrub on the Inside, she has very definite ideas about her life.  Some of them come from the education received in her care facility (i.e., uppers are living the life of luxury while she is scrubbing the pipes).  Some of them have come from her interaction with others (i.e., her preference for sleeping in the pipes rather than the crowded barracks).  But her unique strength and her unique talents have given her the unique opportunity to be the instrument of change--if she is willing to take the chance. 

Admittedly, I love Maria V. Snyder!  I have not read a book by her that I did not love.  So I had high expectations when I started Inside and Maria V. Snyder did not disappoint me.

First, Maria V. Snyder created a complicated and interesting world where the rules and norms are designed to separate and divide the population.  The distrust is so prevalent that even when they come together against a common enemy, they divide again afterwards and give others the opportunity to destroy them again.  The way that Maria V. Snyder presents this deeply embedded distrust and the way it permeates every aspect of their lives is telling.  It is subtle.  It is not based on any one making a conscience decision.  It is based on these ideas being told in little ways in every aspect of their lives.  It is in what they teach their children, how they interact with each other, and how they interact with people they do not know well. 

Second, Maria V. Snyder created an interesting cast of characters.  In particular, Trella intrigued me.  I felt reasonably confident throughout the story that she was on the good side.  But she is flawed.  She makes mistakes.  She sometimes believes the wrong person.  She sometimes does not believe the right person.  And she sometimes does not take into account the effect her decisions and actions have on other people, particularly those people who chose to follow her when the odds were stacked against them.

Third, Maria V. Snyder created interesting dynamics in the relationships between her characters.  In my opinion, the relationship that most exemplifies this is the one between Trella and Doctor Lamont.  This relationship goes from one extreme to another as each of these characters learns more about how and why they ended up separated.  The lack of trust and understanding mirrors the lack of trust and understanding in the world as a whole.  As the situation of their world changes, this dynamic within their relationship changes.

Finally, Maria V. Snyder always seems to have one more trick up her sleeve.  In all of the books by Maria V. Snyder that I have read, I have found that every time I think I know what is going to happen or who is going to be on the "bad" side--I am wrong.  Things are always just a little different from what I expected--but still realistic and believable within the confines of her story.  This is not an easy combination to accomplish over and over again--but it is one of the biggest reasons I am always excited to hear about a new Maria V. Snyder book.  

I cannot believe that I missed the release of the second book in the Healer series--I want to read it so bad!

However, buying a new book is not in my immediate plans particularly since I have a Maria V. Snyder book in my box that must be read soon.

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