cover image Inside Out

Inside Out

Maria V. Snyder, . . Harlequin Teen, $9.99 (315pp) ISBN 978-0-373-21006-0

Fantasist Snyder's YA debut is an engrossing homage to the dystopian youth-driven science fiction of the late '60s and early '70s (it even features a character named Logan), with enough hooks to engage adult science fiction fans. Teenage Trella is one of the teeming masses of “scrubs” who live in the lowest regions of the dank and crowded construct known simply as “Inside.” She's a loner, called “The Queen of the Pipes,” as those hidden passages are where she spends time working or exploring. Her reputation brings her to the attention of an injured prophet (and exiled member of the “uppers,” the ruling caste that lives in luxury), who gets her to investigate the fabled Gateway, which carries the hope of salvation. As she explores, she discovers that many of her assumptions about the uppers—and some about her fellow scrubs—are wrong. Although the twists are rarely surprising, the characters—including Riley, a rebellious upper, and the sweet and idealistic Cog—are well-developed, and the solid action sequences and world-building make for an entertaining read. Ages 13–18. (Apr.)