“Outpost” Ann Aguirre

ARC (Advanced Reading Copy).Razorland series, book 2.” On sale September 4, 2012. Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan). 320 pp. (includes Author’s Note).

At the end of “Enclave,” Deuce, Fade, Tegan and Stalker had survived their time in the ruins, and battles with Freaks (zombie-like characters). Rescued by a passing villager on a trade run, they were taken to a small outpost called Salvation. Eager to forget her past, Tegan blended in well, while Deuce, Fade and Stalker found everyday village life constricting and dull after their time in the wilderness.

Deuce, especially, dislikes having to go to school for the first time in her life and being forced to wear long dresses like a proper young lady. She is uncomfortable with the rules under which she must live, and unfamiliar with the ways of how to behave. As a result, she is shunned and ridiculed by her peers. In addition, she is distracted by Fade and Stalker’s amorous attentions and dislike for one another. Her love for Fade is obvious, yet Stalker is sure they are meant to be together and has no plans to give her up to Fade.

Life becomes difficult once more as the Freaks (also called Mutants) find new and improved ways to attack the small outpost and its citizens. Deuce, Fade and Stalker volunteer to join a group of guards who leave the outpost to protect the villager’s crops, which the Mutants have found a way to destroy. As the Freaks become bolder and more creative in their attacks, the villagers’ ire against Deuce becomes louder as their superstitious natures blame her for the attacks due to her “unladylike” behavior. Soon, Salvation is surrounded by Freaks, and the villagers are days away from annihilation. It will take the combined bravery of Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan to save those who have always seen them as different.

Both Middle and High Schoolers, especially boys, will love the excitement and battles in “Outpost,” and will excitedly read through to its cliff hanger ending. Despite the typical “Two Boys and only One Girl” love triangle, the action is irresistible, and readers will join thousands of other fans eagerly awaiting its sequel, “Horde,” scheduled for release in 2013.


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