Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm burning in the starlight: THE SCATTERING.

The Scattering (The Outliers, #2)The Scattering by Kimberly McCreight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Note that this review may (will) have spoilers if you haven't read the first book in McCreight's Outliers series.

Now that we pick up with the second book, Wylie and Jasper have escaped the camp in Maine. But they are both deeply affected by what happened there, especially Cassie's death--each feels guilty in their own way. Further, Wylie is still coming to terms with her ability as an Outlier--to read people's thoughts and emotions--and what it means for real life. She's getting better with her skill, but does that mean it's also of value to others in the community or the military? It seems like the answer is yes, especially when Wylie gets picked up by the police and taken to a local hospital. There, on an isolated wing, she finds a group of girls similar to herself. She's convinced she's among other Outliers, but they are under heavy security and Wylie senses something is amiss. She has to get the girls (and herself) to safety--before it's too late.

So, I read the first book in this series, The Outliers, back in March 2016 and enjoyed it, but the Outlier storyline took some getting used to. I found the second novel to be far more enjoyable, as I was now prepared for the start for the story to revolve around Wylie, her Outlier abilities, and the fact that shadowy Government forces seem to be involved in seeking the Outliers and potentially having some control over their abilities. Probably my only complaint with this novel--and it actually has nothing really to do with the book itself, is that it's a little jumpy and confusing. Most of this would probably be resolved if I had a better memory, as a lot of the book relies on what happened in the first novel. I am not sure that you could just jump into this series without reading the first book--as I have actually read said first book and was still confused a few times and had to go back to my previous review to remind myself what happened.

Otherwise, this is a really exciting book, and I found it a great change of pace from some of the usual thrillers and other fare that I've been reading lately. If you're prepared for the plot (maybe suspend a little disbelief), it's a fast-paced read, and I often found myself lamenting when I couldn't read it. The novel is full of twists and turns, and it constantly keeps you guessing. McCreight has created a strong character in Wylie: she's tough and willing to fight for herself and those around her, even as she struggles with her own anxiety and the fact that she's an Outlier. Most of the novel focuses on Wylie, and she can hold her own. We meet some new characters in this one--all of whom add to the intricacy of the story--and some familiar faces from the first book pop up: many of whom will surprise (and confuse) you.

Overall, I think McCreight is coming into her own with this series. As far as I can tell, this is going to be a trilogy, and often, the second book in a trilogy can lag a bit, but not so here. Also, this one ends with a major cliffhanger (so much waiting for resolution!), and I'm fascinated to see how McCreight will resolve everything in just one book! But I'll definitely be reading it the moment it comes out!

You can read my review of book one in the series, THE OUTLIERS, here.

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