Sunday, November 02, 2014

Book Review: Outcasts (Safe Lands #2)

Outcasts (Safe Lands #2) by

Review by ()

I usually review books much quicker after I've read them, but some stuff kind of derailed me temporarily. So even though I read Outcasts a little while ago now, I'm just getting to the review. But the time since the read has given me time to think. I've decided not to continue this series.

In the first book, Captives (my review) we have these two groups of people: people inside a large, walled community partying like it's 2049 and people outside the walls partying like it's 1849. Inside - monorails, skyscrapers, virtual tattoos. Outside, the farm life: butter churning, town meetin's and, well, for some reason, ATVs. Bad guys, good guys. Modern progressive free-wheeling, rustic rural living-off-the-land Christians. Most of the world is dead from a plague and, in fact, the people inside the walled community are dying as well. So they kidnap the people outside the walls who aren't sick, hoping that they will help produce new humans to save the good lifers from a slow extinction.

Of course, the outsiders don't want to be inside. They had plenty of opportunities to come in on their own, but it wasn't the life for them. But now, they're here by force and they don't aim to stay. So book two follows their efforts to escape, including connecting with rebels within the walled community.

Where the first book really played on the Christian theme, the second book starts with it almost noticeably absenst - as if someone said "hey, lay off the Bible verses already." Eventually they pick it back up, but it's secondary to the tale of this group and their desire to flee the city. As I've had more time to think about it, it just doesn't feel legitimate - that after multiple generations of barn raisings, that they fit in far too easily into the new world. My grandmother is nearly 100 years old. In the last 100 years, she's been witness to a lot of technological advances but there are some portions of modern technology and culture that she doesn't have an interest in learning about, they are not approachable, perhaps even foreign. Even if she understands the concepts, she wouldn't see the value in becoming proficient with some aspects of modernity. Now these people have been living in this manner for multiple generations - only one man in the community knew what life was like before the plague and he died in the first book. It just feels implausible that these 15-20somethings who have lost their parents (and the one formerly-surviving elder) can really assimilate this quickly into the modern world, but somehow they do. Oh, and at one point one wears a suit made of screens so that he can move around, seemingly invisible. Like this, only apparently much better:



Yeah, it was too much. I'm leaving the series here, I won't continue on to book three.


Captives (My Review, Amazon.com)


Outcasts (Amazon.com)

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