By: Jill Williamson
Illustrated by: Brand Navigation
Publication Date: January 2014
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: December 13, 2013
The daring, heroic, and dangerous story following Mason, Omar and Levi continues in this second book in The Safe Lands Series. In Outcasts the reader is reunited with the three brothers as they try to find a way to free the children of Glenrock from the boarding school, solve the mystery of liberation, and possibly find a cure for the thin plague. After the initial shock of being captured and the wonder of the new technologies of the Safe Lands, it is now becoming clear to all three brothers that this place is not safe at all and their only chance for survival is to find a way out. Each person knows it will take everything they have to get out of this prison and everyone has a job to get done. Mason is working to see if there is a cure while trying to learn information from Ciddah, the medic who Mason has been assigned to work under and has a slight attraction to as well. Omar battles with his own addictions while trying to be a better man for Shaylinn, and then Levi struggles with how to be a leader but not over controlling. Each problem they face is attached to an infinite number of obstacles that have to be conquered and conquering them will take more strength than any of them thought they had.
Jill Williamson has a way of writing that leaves the reader wanting more after turning every page. Especially at the end of each chapter, she brilliantly leaves the reader with an agonizing cliff hanger that cannot be ignored and I found myself giving in and reading the next chapter almost every time. The end of the book also leaves with an epic cliff hanger and has me hoping that another installment is in the works to give some much needed answers.
The relationships that are built with each character are complex as they are built on extremely strong emotions, both positive and negative. Those feelings are easily seen in the writing and allow the reader to truly feel what each character is experiencing for Williamson brings that to life beautifully.
Before reading this second installment of The Safe Lands series I did read the first book, Captives and I am very glad that I did. This allowed me to know exactly where the people of Glenrock came from, why they lived outside of the Safe Lands and their brutal introduction to the life inside the wall. Without knowing all of those details it would have been difficult for me to realize why it was so imperative to escape and understand the level of loyalty these characters held for each other. In addition, there are many character relationships that are developed in the first book that continue into the second. With many books it is hard to understand why a certain relationship is where it is currently without knowing the reasons that caused those emotions. So, if this is a story that looks interesting to you I would recommend starting with the first book and then reading this one, for it will allow you to truly dive into the adventure and get swept up in this life changing rescue mission.
Quill says: Outcasts is an absolutely breathtaking epic story that shows the bonds of love and loyalty when life is at stake.