For What It's Worth

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reader Ramblings…Saying goodbye to the Razorland trilogy


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This weekend I’m planning a Razorland by Ann Aguirre series re-read, including all the novellas. Horde, the third and final book in the trilogy releases Tuesday, October 29th. I haven’t read them all in order yet (with the novellas) and I haven’t done a full series re-read for anything since I started blogging. It’s time!

*Full disclosure – I was a beta reader for both Outpost and Horde but these are my honest opinions about the series.

* I kept this post spoiler free!

This series is really special to me. I had been a huge fan of Aguirre’s writing even before this series and when I got an email from the publisher asking if I would give her new YA series a try I said HELL YEAH! I knew she would write a dystopian world that would be gritty and badass. What I wasn’t expecting was how much the characters would wind their way through my heart.

My favorite thing about the Razorland trilogy (& the novellas) is how the characters grow. Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan are not the same children we meet in Enclave by the time we get to Horde.
They broke my heart in the first book. I had never met characters so broken, they didn’t even realize it at the time, that’s just the way their life was, yet so strong and full of potential. Broken is probably not the right word but it’s so sad to see a child, even though it seems normal to them, with all their options and future taken away. A child who is afraid to touch or feel because that’s not what they are “bred” to do.

With each book Ann pushed the characters further stripping away the old rules and giving them choices. Nature vs nurture is a recurring theme for the series. That may seem like a good thing, but to children who know no other way of life that was overwhelming. They didn’t always make the right choices. They stumbled but took each necessary step because that’s what needed to be done.

There are a lot of book characters that I love or swoon over but in this series I admire them. I would be proud to call them friends (or at my age sons or daughters lol). There is no other group I would want at my back if I was being swarmed by a blood thirsty pack of Freaks. That extends to characters who were introduced later in the series.

With each book Ann took the characters, and the story, out of the comfort zone. Most dystopian worlds just ratchet up the action with each book. She definitely did that but she also kept pushing the boundaries, putting Deuce and company in new scenarios that tested their limits and resolve. As we’ve seen in many series that isn’t easy to do. Stay too close to what you know and it gets boring – stray from the familiar and you risk toppling the entire story arc you’ve so carefully built. Enclave, then Outpost and finally Horde pushed through it all and gave us a conclusion that delivers on the promise of Enclave. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine but we get answers, we get closure.

This series has had it all. Heartache, action, scary ass Freaks!, death, love and hope. It was an incredible journey and I’m really going to miss everyone and this world.

Series order:

Foundation (Razorland #0.5) – Prequel novella about how it all began. ~ Goodreads | Amazon

Enclave (Razorland #1) –Welcome to the Apocalypse” ~ Goodreads | Amazon

Endurance (Razorland # 1.5) – Novella about the events after Enclave (**summary is a spoiler if you haven’t read Enclave!) ~ Goodreads | Amazon

Outpost (Razorland #2) – “Deuce’s whole world has changed.” ~ Goodreads | Amazon

Restoration (Razorland #2.5) – Free Novella from the events in Outpost from Fade’s POV ~ Mac Teen books

Horde (Razorland #3) - “The Horde is coming.” ~ GoodreadsAmazon

Author: website | Goodreads | Twitter

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  1. And I have not even read book 1! :/

    1. Do you read dystopian? I don't' think I've ever seen you talk about one on your blog.

  2. +JMJ+

    Is this the series in which the children grow up in a prison and think it is the whole world? And the prison has its own culture, including songs?

    1. I'm not sure. They are children (teenagers) and they live underground in an Enclave - it's not a prison. They just can't live above ground because of the danger from the Freaks. But a few do go out to hunt. So they are aware of the outside world. They do have groups they are assigned to - Breeder/Builder/Hunter etc.

      There are a lot of similar sounding series so I'm not sure if you're talking about this one. I don't recall any songs.

    2. +JMJ+

      Thanks, Karen. I know I'll get to Razorland eventually, but I can't help wondering about the other series I've described. I wish I had a better memory!

    3. I asked around and I think the series you are referring to is Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.

      Hope that helps :-)

  3. What a great post, Karen! I love your passion and knowledge for the series. And how you were able to summarize the series and characters so briefly and thoroughly.
    I hope you have fun with your re-read!

    1. I may be a tad obsessed lol I love the characters so much though. It takes a lot for me to invest in a series these days but I love this one.

  4. For some reason this series never called out to me..maybe I need to revisit it!

  5. I love this series too! Horde is my next read actually and I'm really looking forward to it. Though I'm scared and sad too! I don't do rereads, mostly due to time, but I always think it would be nice with beloved series because then I can read them back to back and enjoy them even more.

  6. Goodbye Razorland! I'll miss you, too. :(

  7. How old are Deuce and the others?