Saturday, March 15, 2014

Book Review: Outcasts by Jill Williamson

Summary: Outcasts is the sequel to Jill Williamson’s Captives. Faced with new freedom – and new challenges – the brothers and the rest of the Glenrock captives. As tensions to rescue the remaining captives mount, difficult decisions must be made and the consequences will change many lives forever.

What I liked: While the plot is pretty good, what I really enjoyed was the complexity of a few of the main characters.
Mason and Ciddah’s relationship is fascinatingly grey. What I mean by that is that it is morally complex, and while I found myself cheering for them, I also understood some of Mason’s concerns, as well as those of some family members. What I’m saying is that the characters and relational dynamic is well imagined and well written.
I found myself really enjoying the character of Omar, also because of his grey/complex/dynamic nature. I found I related to him, even in, or especially in, the moments when I was most frustrated with him.

What I didn’t like: Occasionally, the writing comes across a little too on-the-nose – not quite preachy but a little too obvious is the moral message trying to be sent. At least, that is how I perceived it. When this happened, it was odd because there are many other parts of the story where Williamson lets the story tell itself and the “message” comes across much stronger and more naturally.
The other thing I didn’t care for is that it seemed like a lot of the descriptions of minor or passing characters focused a bit much on their body shape. Why I found this especially odd was because a big part of the previous book dealt with body image and so I felt like there were contradicting messages being sent. I guess there is a fine line between portraying how people view others and reinforcing such ways of thinking.

In conclusion, like its predecessor, Outcasts has a few flaws that are easily overlooked in favor of the three or four well-developed the main characters. I am looking forward to the final book in this trilogy.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program in exchange for my honest review.