Inside Out: 09/24/12
Inside Out by Maria V Snyder is dystopian social commentary in a similar vein to 1984 by George Orwell, Fritz Lang's Metropolis and the recently published Worldshaker by Richard Harland. They are all closed, heavily controlled societies where everyone has their place for better or worse.
What sets Inside Out apart from the other closed society dystopians I've mentioned is that it's told from the point of view of the lowest members of society. So often these stories begin in a privileged position, with a character who can't believe things are as bad as the rumors say. He then gets a chance to set himself apart from his peers by actually going amongst the lowest caste and after living their experience first hand, going home to make things better for them.
Trella, though, and her peers, are the lowest members of society. Her perspective gives an appropriately inside-out view of oppression. Furthermore, by making her female, there's another layer of scrutiny on privilege, specifically, male privilege.
The protagonist, Trella is a scrub. She cleans the things that keep the world functioning. The pipes connect all the levels together and are the one thing uniting the Uppers and Lowers.
Trella, though, gets a chance to rebel and learn the truth behind their society. She is brought together with a rebellious Upper who reminds me of Freder, the male lead from Metropolis. A tenuous romance does spark between them but it's secondary to their desire to protect the Broken Man and uncover long buried secrets.
Comment #1: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 00:53:25
Good perspective mentioned in your review. I'm glad you liked this. Will you get the second (Outside In) to read too? I see you mentioned two others I have to check out. Thanks - more books. :-0
Comment #2: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 20:16:12
I plan to post a review of Outside In later in the year. Which other books on my list caught your fancy?