A few weeks ago I read and reviewed "Inside Out" the first in this series by Mary V Snyder. At the end of that review, I said I'd be reading "Outside In" purely out of curiosity for what the author could possibly do with a second novel.
I have to say, Outside In is a marked improvement over the first entry in the series.
The second book takes place after the committee is instated to run The Inside.
Our main character, Trella, is part of this committee initially. The book follows Trella and her friends as The Inside is invaded by an other people.
Compared to Inside Out, the sequel's storyline is very good. Its entertaining, full of twists and unexpected events. There is still a lot of glossing over of world lore and very little description of The Inside's technology. However, a lot of the lore and world-building information that was missing from Inside Out and the early half of Outside In is explored in the latter half of Outside In.
The character development in book 2 is much better than the first book. We're still stuck with exactly the supporting cast that Trella needs to be the hero of the story, but at least most of them put her under some kind of stress or pressure with their actions, rather than just being the perfect side-kicks all through as before.
There is a lot of surprise betrayal, secret support and surprising changes of heart in the supporting cast. The unlikely alliances which develop in the latter half of the book keep it interesting.
The writing of Outside In in terms of pacing and flow is miles better than Inside Out. Although I still felt like important, big-finish scenes often felt rushed, just like Inside Out.
I felt much more engaged with Trella's struggle as she is left, essentially alone, to figure out who are the good guys, who are the bad guys and how to get everyone out of this situation alive and well.
Copyright Samathy Barratt 2020