Louise Carey
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“Outcast” by Louise Carey is the second book in the dystopian sci-fi thriller series “Inscape”. A story picks up a few months after the previous book’s ending. Despite all her hard work in bringing down the corrupted superior, Tanta is relegated to work amongst community guardians. But after an attack on InTech HQ, she is pulled back to the special forces unit to solve the case.

I loved the dystopian world the author created for her story. A few big corporations are the rulers, and you can either work for them or perish out in the wastelands without food, medicine, or other essential supplies. With so much power, corruption and abuse of dominance are unavoidable.

Even after Tanta had her mind-controlling program deleted, she still longs for her corporation approval and works for the betterment of society. She struggles when her managing director tries to push her away from the cases for petty reasons even though she did nothing wrong.

But as the story progresses and more dark secrets are revealed, Tanta finds herself torn between the loyalty she felt her whole life and doing the morally right thing. I also loved how the author showed Tanta’s relationship with Reet. Even though they have always been soulmates, Reet still has her Harlow Program intact, which cause her to always choose the corporation, even over Tanta. That leads slowly but surely to the relationship’s degradation, and it’s heartbreaking to watch.

Cole is not faring any better than Tanta. He is stuck under house arrest and working for the boss who hates him and gloats every time he gets a chance. It still doesn’t stop Cole from engaging in corporate espionage when the opportunity arises. That leads to the discovery that results in teaming up with Tanta again.

In “Outcast”, the author is taking us outside of the city, to the wastelands and a distant corporate outpost with entirely different rules than the city. I enjoyed seeing more of the world and how the corporate exiles live outside of corporate grasp.

I enjoyed the ending immensely. It was unexpected but very satisfying, and the fact that characters must choose the lesser evil instead of good and bad ringed true. I’m excited to see how the story will go from there. If you enjoy dystopian sci-fi stories with cyberpunk flair, you should check out this series.