Review: Enclave

Review: EnclaveEnclave by Ann Aguirre
Narrator: Razorland
Series: Razorland #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 12, 2011
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic
Pages: 259
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
five-stars

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.

The front of the book compared Enclave to The Hunger Games. That sets the standard for quality in a teen dystopia pretty darn high…and Aguirre totally came through! I was completely pulled into this world from the first pages. The writing, the plot and the characters are all fantastic. Book two will so be mine (and I totally want to acquire a copy of this one for my personal collection).

Zombies have been done before, of course, but these feel much more terrifying. They have the speed of any other predator and are learning, like in Aftertime. What they reminded me of more than anything actually were the morlocks from The Time Machine. Super creepy! And they’re not the only terror: “I had begun to throb with the desire to understand why things happened, why some people lived under the ground, like our enclave, the Freaks, and the Burrowers, and why some stayed Topside and turned into the greatest monsters of all” (173).

Speaking of figuring out why things happened, that is something I would still like to know. That explanation has yet to appear. Thankfully, this does not come across as a lame attempt to increase my interest, but as a part of Deuce’s journey that has not yet come. Deuce feels so real. The comparison to The Hunger Games lies largely in Deuce. We see from her perspective and she, like Katniss, cares first and foremost about survival. She doesn’t really want to be involved in politics and relationships definitely confuse her. I am digging her love triangle, but have not firmly declared support for either team (Fade vs. Stalker), as both have promise.

To sum up, I loved this and recommend it to pretty much everyone who likes reading darker stuff, like dystopias. This one rocks, especially because the characters go to a library to research in their post-catastrophe world. Now that’s awesome! Ann Aguirre is officially on my watch list.

10 responses to “Review: Enclave”

  1. Nori says:

    I need to read this!

  2. Christina Kit. says:

    This one sounds awesome – so great that it’s a dystopian that really works! And the cover? REally creepy!

  3. Elisquared says:

    This was a totally terrifying book, and I loved every minute of it! I can’t wait until the next book to find out what happens to Deuce and Fade!

  4. Can’t wait to read this. Have read nothing but glowing reviews!

  5. I’m pretty much freaking out right now over how much I want to read this book. I’m actually waiting until the second one is closer to release though, since I have so many other books to read and I hate reading the first of a series when the second comes out in a few months. So I’ll try to read them close to each other, but gosh. Every time I see this, I just want to forget all my other books in favour of getting this one. I actually went to BN the other day and I told myself if I saw this, I would get it. I did not see it 🙁

    • Christina says:

      This book is so good, but I totally get you one waiting. Sometimes by the time the sequel comes out, I can hardly remember what happened in book one. My mind is like a sieve.

  6. Bookie Bee says:

    I have been seeing this book everywhere! i need to read it!!

  7. Karen says:

    OOOOHH! I’m a fan of Dystopia! I am really looking forward to read this. It’s on my to-read list on Goodreads for a long time now. It’s just that, I’ve been too pre-occupied with a lot of dystopian books. Have you read Partials by Dan Wells? It’s good. =)

  8. i read this book and OMG…i love it so much..
    can’t wait to read the sequel 🙂

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