Inside Out – Maria V Snyder

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Pop Cops’ prophets preached that Outside could only be attained after a person’s life ends. And only if the person worked hard and obeyed Inside’s laws. If a scrub was worthy, his inner soul would travel to Outside while his physical body would be fed to Chomper.

Most of the scrubs believed this Pop Cop dribble. I didn’t. Souls were a myth and our bodies stayed trapped Inside.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

The book is fairly confusing. It’s dystopian fantasy about a world which is set in layers. The bottom layer contains pipes and scrubs – the people who maintain them. Trella is a scrub and she wants to escape to a new land called The Outside. It would have been nice if the author spent some more time world-building than just dialogue and pipes – because the imagination – that powerful tool which helps us set the scene so to say, was fairly unused throughout the book. Yes, Trella is a teen hero. She’s the new Katniss starting a rebellion, albeit unwillingly.

Plot holes by the dozen and some fairly undistinguished writing make this first book of a series a potential mood killer for what’s next. I’ll try it but I won’t guarantee I’ll like it.

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