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Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
Outside by Gustavo Bondoni takes us into a world where Earth no longer has humankind upon it. When Rome and his shipmates aboard a starship come to the blue planet, they wonder what could have happened in the last 500 years. Meanwhile, upon the blue planet, Emily lives a life of computer simulation, along with everyone else who remains on Earth. Their actual bodies are stored underground while their minds live in a virtual Utopia, until monsters and walls begin to appear. Rome and Emily follow their different mysteries and cross paths, and seem to get answers to some of their questions, but they stir up a hornet's nest in the process. Were things better left alone?
I am the first one to admit that I picked this book to read because one of the main character's name was Rome. Hey, what can I say? I love Roman history and while I knew it was science fiction, I thought it could be fun. I am very glad that I made this judgment call because this book is amazing. While some of the concepts and elements of the story are not new, the way the tale is told is fresh and exciting. Rome and Emily are both very well formed characters that stand fantastically on their own and when they come together, it's just even better. They have to navigate a world of problems and issues that I can't even imagine and I loved taking this journey with them, through the fear, the worries of uncovering a tyrant and worse! All in all, this book gets two huge thumbs up from me and I look forward to reading more from this author. This is a fast paced, fresh, fantastic work of science fiction.