Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Outpost and Horde

I decided to review these two books together because Ann Aguirre's "Razorland Trilogy" took over my life and I read them in a row without coming up for air. It's been a long time since I loved a series this much. It's fitting that I read this after The Young World, which was another attempt at post-apocalyptic teen lit. Outpost and Horde are everything that novel wishes it was.

Over the course of the series, we watched the four main characters mature. Stalker went from a violent gang leader to someone more selfless and caring. Tegan changed from a tormented rape survivor to a talented medical practitioner. Fade went from an outcast to a loved leader. And our heroine, Deuce, went from a single-minded huntress to a complete person--a family member, military hero, and self aware individual. I loved watching their evolution. 

While the series started as one of many dystopian novels following in The Hunger Games' wake, it
developed into something more. At times, I was reminded of The Lord of the Rings. There was a small band of adventurers who are hopeful, despite the odds. There were journeys across the land filled with travails and loss. In my mind, I pictured the Freaks as the Orcs. These books surpassed my expectations and I was engrossed. 

There is some sexual content in the third book, so I will recommend it to upper middle school students. That's the only thing preventing me from running in and book talking the whole series to my sixth graders tomorrow.

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