Monday, April 5, 2010

Inside Out

By Maria V. Snyder

Keep Your Head Down. Don't Get Noticed. Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. The Trava family who rules our world from their spacious Upper levels wants us to be docile and obedient, like sheep. To insure we behave, they send the Pop Cops to police us.

So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it's all that dangerous--the only neck at risk is my own.

Until a lower level prophet claims a Gateway to Outside exists. And guess who he wants to steal into the Upper levels to get the proof? You’re right. Me. I alone know every single duct, pipe, corridor, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. It’s suicide plain and simple. But guess who can’t let a challenge like that go unanswered? Right again. Me.

I should have just said no...

Ever since I read Snyder's Study Series last summer I have been a huge fan, and I've been waiting rather impatiently for Inside Out to be released. My patience was definitly rewarded.

This book revolves around a girl named Trella, who is a scrub in a world called Inside. Being a scrub means she lives in the lower levels on Inside and does grunt work like cleaning pipes. In fact she enjoys the escape her pipe cleaning affords so much that she has been tagged with the nickname "Queen of the Pipes". Life goes on day by day in a mindless cycle, until her best friend Cog takes her to meet the latest prophet, Broken Man, who claims to know the way to find the Gateway, and the way to the outside. Trella is soon pulled into an adventure that she never imagined and becomes a leader in the revolt against the ruling family.

I really enjoyed this book because, while not neccesaraily along the same vein as Snyder's past books, it showcases what I feel Snyder does best, and that's creating worlds. Admittedly, it took me a bit to sort out what exactly Inside might look like (Snyder has posted maps on her website to help), and how the measuring of years worked, but once I decided to just go with it, it actually started to make more sense.

Like Snyder's other leading ladies Yelena (Study Series) and Opal (Glass Series), Trella is a reluctant hero, who doubts her own abilities, but rises to the occassion. The characters are well developed and you quickly grow to relate to and care about them. One thing I really liked was that despite there being two great guys in her life, Cog and Riley, Snyder steered away from the somewhat overplayed love triangle. Sometimes a best friend is simply that, and I appreciated that storyline.

In terms of Inside v. Outside- I loved what outside ended up being (but I will keep that spoiler to myself for now). I had a million theories, and yet, the one Snyder went with never once crossed my mind. I LOVE when that happens.

I'm pretty sure I could go on and on about what I liked (how bout' the riddle password questions?? Trella's mother??)- but I will end with simply saying that this is another great book by Snyder and I for one will be waiting (rather impatiently again) for the next book in this series, Outside In.

Snyder has a great website and there is also a page called What's Inside Out? that has a bunch of fun extra's including a book trailer and a quiz to find out what job you'd be assigned to is you lived Inside. For the record - I'd be a shepard :)


  1. Great review! I adored this book as well and am a huge Snyder fan. :D The revelation about outside hit me like that too! Lolz. I was like "oh duh! how did I not pick up on that?!" but it never crossed my mind once. Love your background and header btw. Just thought I'd add that. Haha.

  2. Thanks Ky- for the comment on the review and the header (I spent hours on that making it look jsut right!). We are having a chat on Eve's Fan Garden later this month with Snyder- be sure to check back to my chats page b/c I'll be posting the date as soon as it's scheduled!