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A Reader of Fictions: Gateway - The Seatbelts

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gateway - The Seatbelts

Inside Out
Insider, Book 1

Author: Maria V. Snyder
Pages: 315
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Brief Summary:
The scrubs have it rough. They work strenuous, boring jobs in 10 hour shifts. The food is slop (and not only that but the same slop over and over). There is no personal space. Trella escapes this cramped lifestyle by mostly remaining in the pipes, which she cleans as her profession. She explores every inch of Inside and knows it better than anyone, earning her the nickname Queen of the Pipes. This moniker also references her somewhat haughty and distant attitude. She has one friend, Cog, a guy full of hope that Gateway, the way to Outside really exists. When the next in a succession of prophets claims he can find the answer, Trella does not believe him, but decides to fetch the discs he hid to prove him a fraud. Only...he might not be.

Trella made a pretty good main character for me. She is not really the heroine sort, but she was someone I could very much identify with and understand the motivations of. She is one of the least trusting people and quite antisocial. Quite unexpectedly, she finds herself the leader of a revolution, someone people look up to and help in any way possible. The attention and the role are not something she relishes, but something she must learn how to deal with.

It was really awesome to watch her grow a little bit as a person throughout the book. Although I liked her growth, I also appreciated the plodding nature of it. Some characters change so fast in novels right at the very end; this change is much more natural and complete with setbacks. As a result of Trella's self-absorption, none of the other characters is all that well flushed out. Still, I think that is acceptable in the circumstances. And I do want to see more of some of the characters.

The dystopian society was pretty interesting, especially in the construction of the hierarchy. I don't really want to give anything away, but it definitely makes you think about the impressions one has of the lives of others. The grass is always greener, huh? Except that they're inside, so there really isn't all that much grass anywhere, but you get my point.

What impressed me the most about Inside Out was that I totally did not see the ending coming. Any of it, really. Snyder did a really good job of coming to an interesting and believable conclusion without doing the obvious. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book, Outside In.

Check out this review from the author:

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