Book Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.”

Hardcover: 262 Pages

Series: Razorland #1

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

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I absolutely and completely and totally LOVED this book! I finished it in a couple of hours, I couldn’t stop reading.

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At first, the book is similar to Roth’s Divergent, if you read it. If you haven’t, you need to do so ASAP, because it’s great. Anyway, in Enclave we’re introduced to a post-apocalyptic world where people live underground without ever seeing the sun, in enclaves ruled by Elders. They are all divided in 3 groups: the Hunters, who protect the other people from the zombie Freaks and go out in the tunnels for food, the Builders and the Breeders.

Deuce is our heroine and she’s a Huntress, something she’s wanted all her life. I couldn’t have loved her more if I tried – except for her name, she’s amazing. Aguirre did a terrific job character wise. Being born and raised in the enclave, she’s used to following orders and not second judging the Elders; taking at face value everything they teach her.

However, she’s not stubborn or narrow-minded that she doesn’t believe, in time, Fade’s claims about the world above. She adapts quickly enough, she’s brave, kind and very smart.

I liked Fade too, especially when he went all feral rage in the middle of fights. I even liked Stalker, after he stopped being a rapist lunatic.

I had hoped Deuce wouldn’t be so emotionally inept as to not understand what Fade wanted from her or not respond back even though she cared for him. I wanted to see more happening between them, because a relationship felt like a natural step forward and that’s coming from someone who yells “TOO FAST” at pretty much any romance in books nowadays.
And I do not want to read about a love triangle in the second book. I can understand why she might be attracted to Stalker as I understood why the author kept him around, but I just rather noooot go there. Oh, well. Small issue of a brilliant book.

Even though we don’t have a full explanation as to what happened, how long ago, how many people survived, what are the Freaks etc, the world is still a believable one.
Even without the author’s note at the end of the book – which was a pleasant surprise – if you know and understand human nature, it’s easy to imagine this new, devastated world.

With a few exceptions – like failing to give us Deuce’s or Fade’s ages etc – Aguirres writing is really good.

I can’t say I liked the ending very much, although it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it certainly makes you want to know more, to keep on reading Deuce’s and Co. story.

Now I want to read the next book and I don’t have it and it comes out in September and..can you say torture?!
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I know, it’s not pretty.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

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