Outside - a post-apocalyptic novel (Outside Series #1)

Rated 4.38/5 based on 9 reviews
The future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal.

Riley lives on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through and murders her sister.

She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable than she ever expected. More

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About Shalini Boland

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband and two noisy boys where she grabs every spare second to write.

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Now available:
OUTSIDE - a post-apocalyptic novel (Outside Series #1)
THE CLEARING (Outside Series #2)
THE PERIMETER (Outside Series #3)
HIDDEN (Marchwood Vampire Series #1)
THICKER THAN BLOOD (Marchwood Vampire Series #2)
A SHIRTFUL OF FROGS

Coming Soon:
HUNTED (Marchwood Vampire Series #3)

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Reviews

Review by: Anastacia Knits on Nov. 19, 2013 :
I am more and more getting into dystopian novels so I was thrilled to join in this tour. I love books that are in series, too so I was doubly excited.

That being said, I was very confused reading the first half of the book. It goes back and forth between two characters, the past and the present, and I wasn't picking up on that at all. I was also disappointed that the editing wasn't better, something that really bugs me. I'm by no means a writer and by no means do I know or follow all the grammatical rules out there, but I kept seeing little things pop up that slowed down the story line for me because I was distracted by the errors.

Another thing that kept bugging me was Riley kept acting way too mature for her 16 year old age, from the very beginning. Her friend tells her that her sister was murdered, and she thanks him, telling him how hard that must have been for him to tell her the truth. Come on, seriously? Your sister was just killed and you are telling your friend how hard it must be for HIM? Do you know any adults that would have the presence of mind to say such a thing in that situation, let alone a teenager?

All in all though, the story is a good one, has lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting, but the story is really only good the last 1/3.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Cynthia Shepp on July 03, 2012 :
Shalini Boland weaves a story of ‘Perimeters’ and devastation in a post-apocalyptic world. This story is told from two different character point of views, from different times in their history. Riley, a sixteen year old girl, who grew up inside the Perimeter walls, born after the terror attacks and devastation that happened to the world, and Eleanor, another teenage girl before the attacks. The ‘Perimeters’ are closed communities of people who are lucky, and rich, enough to buy safety. Others are not so lucky as poverty rampages the world, and it is a fend for yourself mentality.

Riley’s story starts off with the death of her fourteen year old sister Skye. Riley decides to go after the killer, taking along her neighbor Luc. They set off on a journey outside of the Perimeter walls that takes them through all sorts of scary and thrilling adventures. Riley, who comes to realize she has feelings for Luc, feels guilty because Skye had a major crush on him. Both Luc and Riley seem strong and reliable, though sometimes Luc seems a bit angry with Riley and Riley breaks down and has nervous episodes. I would say that it seems like character inconsistenties, but they are teenagers and ups and downs go with that ride. Their journey is one that will have you biting your fingernails and wondering what’s next. It was amazingly sweet watching them grow and learn together. The brilliance of all their plans, even when they failed, had me rooting for them through every page.

The second main character is Eleanor. Her story starts off with her as a teenager. The world seems to still be intact and you really do not follow what her role is. It becomes clear later on, though her story is interesting and enjoyable, when it clicks in your head and you are like, “Oh my God, duh!” It is amazingly complex and at once impossibly simple, and it makes you feel for her character in a split kind of way when you come to the jaw-dropping conclusion. You do not know whether to pity her, dislike her, or empathize with her. I came away with all three feelings.

Shalini Boland did a bang up job of weaving a tale of a realistic post-apocalyptic world. I would have liked to known a bit more about what happened to cause the terror attacks because that did not stand out as explained really well. Besides that, the two concurrent storylines weaved together brilliantly, taking you on a ride of twists and turns, that had you confused and speculating about what was coming next. I mean that in a good way. Books that I can figure out the plot and twists before I finish reading them are not as good as ones that leave me guessing until the bitter end. I was completely shocked at how all the events unfolded at the end. I really did not see it coming.

I did think that the epilogue gave off too much information, especially since this is the first book in a series. I think I would have been left wanting a little more than I do now without the epilogue, as it seemed to tie up most of the loose ends. Though, there is plenty of more left to make me want to read the second book, as Shalini Boland makes you curious about new characters in the epilogue.

All-in-all, I thought this book was definitely worth reading. The realness of it makes me hope that nothing like that ever happens in mine or my children’s lifetimes. If you like post-apocalyptic books, this story is for you. I love post-apocalyptic books and thought this one deserved 4 stars. Great Read!
http://cynthiashepp@yahoo.com
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sarah Sally on Jan. 30, 2012 :
Thanks to Shalini Boland for giving me this book to reveiew and giveaway. I didn't know about this book until she contacted me, I'm glad she did. I'm a huge fan of post-apocalyptic novels.
From the first page I was hooked. It was fast paced which made it a quick read.
This is a futuristic dystopian set somewhere in England, which is divided by Perimeters, the Inside and the Outside. Life is good for those who live Inside of the Perimeter. For Riley, life is normal, until someone breaks into the Perimeters and murders Skye, Riley's little sister. In hopes of finding the killer Riley and her seventeen year old neighbor, Luc, leave the protection of the Perimeter.
There was suspense, action, romance, unexpected twists and turns. It was realistic. Riley was a strong and brave, you can't help but love her. This is the first book in the series, I'm looking forward to more books in this series.
I recommend this book to any dystopian fan.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sarah Sally on Jan. 30, 2012 : (no rating)
Thanks to Shalini Boland for giving me this book to reveiew and giveaway. I didn't know about this book until she contacted me, I'm glad she did. I'm a huge fan of post-apocalyptic novels.
From the first page I was hooked. It was fast paced which made it a quick read.
This is a futuristic dystopian set somewhere in England, which is divided by Perimeters, the Inside and the Outside. Life is good for those who live Inside of the Perimeter. For Riley, life is normal, until someone breaks into the Perimeters and murders Skye, Riley's little sister. In hopes of finding the killer Riley and her seventeen year old neighbor, Luc, leave the protection of the Perimeter.
There was suspense, action, romance, unexpected twists and turns. It was realistic. Riley was a strong and brave, you can't help but love her. This is the first book in the series, I'm looking forward to more books in this series.
I recommend this book to any dystopian fan.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Tiffany Harkleroad on Dec. 12, 2011 :
The world in which Riley lives is one quite different from our own, but it is the only one she has known. The world is in upheaval, and the only way to insure your safety is to stay within the perimeters. Riley knows this, yet when her sister is murdered and the suspect is not apprehended, she and her neighbor and love interest Luc leave the perimeter in search of justice. What Riley finds, instead, is a truth to terrible to comprehend.

This book, in no uncertain terms, messed with my head (in a good way). The setting of a post-apocalyptic world made me shudder to think that it could really end up being that way. One just never knows. I really enjoyed the storyworld that the author created, as well as the backstory to explain how things got so globally screwed up.

I really enjoyed the character development as well. I enjoyed having two stories running parallel, it forced me to pay closer attention, and honestly I never caught on to how the stories were related. When the truths are revealed at the end of the book, I was surprised, and impressed with how the author molded them together to form the larger overall plot.

Apparently this is the first in a series, and while I am interested to see where the series goes from here, I can safely say this functions quite well as a stand alone novel as well.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tiffany Harkleroad on Dec. 12, 2011 :
The world in which Riley lives is one quite different from our own, but it is the only one she has known. The world is in upheaval, and the only way to insure your safety is to stay within the perimeters. Riley knows this, yet when her sister is murdered and the suspect is not apprehended, she and her neighbor and love interest Luc leave the perimeter in search of justice. What Riley finds, instead, is a truth to terrible to comprehend.

This book, in no uncertain terms, messed with my head (in a good way). The setting of a post-apocalyptic world made me shudder to think that it could really end up being that way. One just never knows. I really enjoyed the storyworld that the author created, as well as the backstory to explain how things got so globally screwed up.

I really enjoyed the character development as well. I enjoyed having two stories running parallel, it forced me to pay closer attention, and honestly I never caught on to how the stories were related. When the truths are revealed at the end of the book, I was surprised, and impressed with how the author molded them together to form the larger overall plot.

Apparently this is the first in a series, and while I am interested to see where the series goes from here, I can safely say this functions quite well as a stand alone novel as well.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mia Darien on Sep. 10, 2011 :
I found this an engaging and intriguing read. I couldn't entirely "connect" with Riley, but I think that's the trouble with being an adult reading a teenage protagonist but I thought that Shalini Boland did a good job writing her.

The alternating tenses took some adjustment, but their uses were entirely understandable and I really liked how the two wound together at the end. Any other "issues" I was having with this book were mostly rectified by the conclusion.

Over all, it had a sort of meandering feel to it, but it worked for me. And the set-up and atmosphere, the inside versus outside, seemed very realistic. Over all, I enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone who likes the genre.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sandra Keys on Aug. 13, 2011 :
This is a post-apocalyptic romance tale. The World in the future is separated by Perimeters that are high security gated communities , where life goes on as normal. if you're inside you are lucky, if you're outside your survival rate is not looking so good.
Riley is born on the inside, so lives a good privileged life, but it all comes crashing down around her when the perimeter is broken and her sister is murdered. Riley forsakes her safety and goes on a search for the killer. Luc decides to go with her , as if not, Riley wouldn't make it past the security gates. What awaits Riley on the Outside is more unbelievable than she could ever have imagined.
I really enjoyed reading this dystopian novel There was a little romance, plenty of action, suspense,drama and of course a few twists thrown in. I will not give away spoilers but will say it didn't end how I expected. I initially didn't join the two time zones together but at the end it all becomes clear. In places its really sad and it shows how one person's actions can have a knock on effect on everyone else. The whole idea of the rioters and having to build perimeters was actually made even more believable by the awful riots going on in the UK whilst I was reading this not so far fetched novel. If you love dystopian you will love this, in fact I would call it a must read for dystopian fans!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: deanna on Aug. 08, 2011 :
I'm becoming a fan of Shalini Boland's style - the alternating timelines and the twists in the storyline. I can't get enough of the post-apocalyptic genre and this didn't disappoint. A great read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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