Thursday, July 14, 2011

[Review] Enclave by Ann Aguirre


Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Pages: 272
Series: Yes, sequel: Outpost
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date of US Publication: April 12, 2011
Source: Bought
Synopsis: (from Amazon)
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 she 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.

My Thoughts

Deuce lives underground, presumably in subway tunnels, in what is called an Enclave. She lives there with other people, where nobody is older than twenty or so and the only 24-year-old looks and behaves so ancient that one wonders whether he isn't truly 124 years old. Deuce becomes a Huntress shortly after her naming ceremony (because, you know, kids only receive names if the have proven to be strong enough to survive. Before that they are simply referred to as Brat 26 or something like that) and patrols the Enclave for Freaks - which are something like Zombies.

I read the first two chapters a while ago (actually, in the beginning of April) and I was a little underwhelmed to be honest. Just like with The Forest of Hands and Teeth I did not like the obvious dystopian part. Well, it's a little hard to explain. I like it, when the society is more advanced than our society, instead of a society that lives slightly like in medieval times.

But after I got a feel for the "new world", I enjoyed the story. I was extremely glad to not live in that world, and that I don't have to face the Freaks on an almost daily basis. As an experienced dystopian reader, I obviously sensed almost immediately that the Elders weren't all they were cracked up to be. But it was still fun to experience Deuce figure everything out for herself.
I don't know who  I want Deuce to end up with. There's Fade and then there's ... the other guy. I won't say his name because that might spoil something. There's no real bad guy or villain in this book, but I didn't miss one either. 

I really liked the part of the book that took place "Topside" - i.d. not in the subway tunnels. To see how our cities crumbled after most of the people living there died due to a disease. I kept thinking of the city as New York (and then later the NY public library is mentioned) and it was ... numbing somehow.
Great book. You should really read it,I know I'm looking forward to the sequel!



  1. I'm glad you took a chance on reading this one again. It's one of my favorite books of 2011 so far.

  2. I haven't read this one YET but I think it sounds amazing!

  3. I have this one but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'll have to read it soon. Thanks for the review!

  4. I loved Enclave! Duece rocked my world!!

  5. It took me a while to get into this book too...but by the end I really enjoyed it! Nice review :)


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