Saturday, January 31, 2015

*Challenge Review* Outlier: Rebellion (Book 1) by Daryl Banner

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Published: July 23, 2014
Pages: 518
Ages: 14+
(My estimate)


“Those in power will do whatever they can to get away with everything they can.”

Every citizen in Atlas, the last city on the planet, is born with a unique, special ability, and no one sleeps past the age of two.

Except for Wick Lesser who, at seventeen, still sleeps. Hiding this rare ability from the world, his father, who can calculate futures, trains him in self-defense and combat while his healing-gifted mother works an unglamorous job in the muds and keeps his secret safe with the help of Wick’s older brothers. The Lesser family of the ninth ward slums manages to keep afloat, suffering under the corrupt, greed-driven Kingship of the Lifted City.

But not for long.

In the first installment of the Outlier series, Wick’s unassuming slumborn life soon explodes into a full-speed adventure of danger, betrayal, and self-discovery when he secretly joins an underground rebel movement working to take down the oppressive ruling power. But the task is far from easy, and there are more adversaries than Wick can count. Not to mention the complication of an intense, unplanned attraction ... to someone on the wrong side of the rebellion.

Powerful forces are gathering to put an end to the uprising, including the city’s elite crew of law-enforcers called Guardian, of which Wick’s own two eldest brothers are sworn members, and all corners of the slums grow ever restless: a lustful boy with blackened eyes leads a violent street gang, with Wick’s younger brother as his newest recruit. A cunning orphaned girl whose ability is to be unseen, sees everything. And high up in the Lifted City, a privileged and wealthy boy yearns for an exciting new life in the slums.

Their world is at a precipice of great change. No one is safe. The rebellion has begun.

*** Contains adult themes, M/F and M/M sexuality, and violence.


This book was like a combination between The Hunger Games and Twilight for me, without the blood sucking. The Lifted City is clearly the Capital from Hunger Games, and the various wards that make up the slums are similar to the districts in the Hunger Games. The special abilities, or Legacies, that everyone is born with, seemed a lot like the special abilities that some of the vampires in Twilight possess, like Edwards ability to read minds or the little blonde psycho Volturi guard's ability to cause great pain with just a thought. Also like the vampires, no one sleeps. 

I LOVED this book. I wanted to just sit and devour it without getting up, and yet I found myself having to put it down after every two to three chapters because I needed time to absorb what I had read. I can't think of a time when that has ever happened to me before; where I wanted to keep reading but just couldn't do it because I needed time to wrap my head around everything I had just taken in. I do not consider this a bad thing.

The story itself is told in limited omniscient third person, rotating between characters (although not with a particular pattern). It was a great way to get inside many of the characters heads, albeit briefly every time, allowing us to see the events of the story from several different angles. And while there was a fairly large cast of characters, I never felt lost as to who was who. Each character had a very distinct voice, and the legacies also kind of helped to keep them straight in my mind because I always immediately thought, "That's the one who..." 

I thought the descriptions were excellent. I had no problem picturing the filth of the slums and the shine of the Lifted City. I was able to imagine most of the Legacies, except Forgemon's math, but math stopped making sense to me when I got to Trig, and that was 14 years ago, so I don't expect to be able to picture a math Legacy very well. 

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It's a book that I would happily re-read and I imagine there are things I would pick up on in a second and third reading that I didn't notice in the first, you know, because I'd be starting with more knowledge. I would definitely recommend this to all dystopian fans because I cannot say enough good things about it. 

Buy the Book

My Challenge Scorecards

How does this book help me with my two challenges? For book bingo, it very clearly fulfills the dystopian category. That was not a category I was at all worried about filling because I pretty much love all things dystopian. For the Popsugar reading challenge, I used it to fulfill my "set in the future" requirement. I am a member of a Facebook group created specifically for the Popsugar reading challenge, and within the group, we are pretty much all in agreement that dystopian counts as set in the future since these dystopian worlds do not yet exist. 

Other Popsugar categories this would have fulfilled for me:
A book with more than 500 pages (according to Amazon)
A book a friend recommended
A book based entirely on it's cover (If I had just seen this cover, without the friend recommendations, I really would have wanted to read it anyway)
A book set in high school (portions of it take place in high school)
A book by an author I've never read before

Copy received in exchange for an honest review.

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