Dystopian young adult fiction is easily one of my favorite genres to read; I have devoured the Hunger Games, Divergent, and every other related series I can find. The Outlands, the first in a new series by Tyler Edwards, is another excellent addition to the dystopian canon of stories for young adults.
In a not-too-distant future, the Earth has succumbed to the destruction brought upon it by humans. Domes have been erected to protect the remaining members of the human race from the Outlands, a wasteland left behind by climate change and human conflict. Jett Lasting is considered an Undesirable in the dystopian world created after the Great Collapse. He and his makeshift family struggle to survive in a caste system led by the Patriarch, wondering more every day if this is the kind of life he wants to live. A series of important events lead Jett to discover his true path as he comes to terms with his society and what it stands for. Please see my full review here.
Told from Jett’s perspective, this story is different from many of the others of its type because he is a male protagonist. It focuses primarily on action, as sequences of well-executed strategy abound within the narrative. There is a sprinkling of romance, and words that would otherwise be profanity have been replaced with innocuous phrases that fit in with the futuristic time in which this story is set. Because of this, The Outlands becomes accessible to tweens and young teens that read above their grade level in addition to young adults. Like many books of this type, violence and death are a part of the narrative, but these moments are included to enhance the plot.
Excellent world-building gets readers settled in this fictional space without feeling overbearing, and the book is perfectly prepared for a sequel. If you enjoy dystopian stories like I do, I recommend checking out this new series!
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