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Twice-Caught - Syd McGinley In my review of Out of the Woods I said how it reminded me of The Gate to Women's Country. Unfortunately, one of the most disappointing things about Twice-Caught is that the explanation for this community is so glossed over. I wanted a specfic explanation that addressed social issues and deepened my understanding of this post apocalyptic world. I essentially got unenlightening handwavery that left more than a few plotholes.

Aside from that I found the story interesting enough I read it in one sitting. The whole Preparation plotline bothered me because it was obviously meant to be titillating - there were certainly a lot of words spent on it - but it just came across as slightly puerile and trying-too-hard.

I wasn't particularly convinced by the ending - it had the ring of 'and they all lived happily ever after' without any real change evident to explain the optimistic tone. However, the characterisation remained solid and consistent and the relationship between Tarin and Garrick developed naturally enough to convince me that it, at least, was going to survive.

The central themes of freedom, choice and consent were addressed multiple times throughout the book from many perspectives and this was probably the most satisfying part of the story for me. Several characters were asked to choose between the good of the community and the good of the individual and these decisions were wonderfully fraught and angsty.

Twice-Caught suffers somewhat from being a sequel - it seems to want to be more flashy and more smexy to keep readers interested. The characters are better developed than in the first but the plot flaws are slightly more flaw-ey. Defintiely worth a read if you enjoyed the first.