Book: Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Available Formats: Ebook & Hardcover
Publication Date: April 12th, 2011How Did I Get This Book: From ARC Tours @ Dark Faerie TalesPreview Book: Preview with Google BooksDescription: New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.
I have to admit, when I first heard about this book, I was a bit skeptical. At the time, the original cover (the one with Deuce and Fade embracing one another and looking all wild and staring of into the distance) was still on it and it was giving me mixed messages. I wanted to believe it was a kickass adventure story, but the cover was giving off a definite cheesy love story vibe. Thankfully, they decided to go with a new cover – one that doesn’t really inspire any snap judgments. Because Enclave is in a class all it’s own. It is an adventure story, a coming-of-age story, a horror story. There is also a side of romance thrown in there, but fear not, it’s minus the cheese factor.
I honestly do not know how to adequately described the, story, setting and tone to you. The best I can manage is riveting, hypnotic, horrifying and a tad depressing. Deuce has lived her whole life underground – it’s a stark existence; everything about her life has been planned out for her. she is to be a hunter, which means she has been trained to protect the enclave and take on the creepy zombie thingies that occasionally come around. She is not a lot to form romantic connections; in fact she is banned from that sort of physical contact – that is for the breeders. Deuce is happy with this sad existence; it’s all she’s ever known. Enter Fade. Fade didn’t grow up in the enclave, which makes him an outsider. He’s dark and mysterious and this frightens the others. They accept him simply because he is the best hunter of them all. When Deuce is assigned a hunter partner, she gets Fade. Now, I am sure you can see where this is going. She begins to question the enclave.
While the beginning basic formula might be something you are familiar with (it is kind of dystopian 101), Aguirre takes it beyond that and gives us one heck of a ride. First of all, the characters, especially Deuce are extremely memorable. She is not only an amazing huntress but she is strong and compassionate at the same time. She goes through quite a few ordeals in the course of the first book, but always manages to come out on top.
The setting and tone are both equally as exquisite. Like I said before; there is almost a hypnotic quality to this book. It completely enchants you and physically impairs your ability to put it down. So much happens in this book – much more than I imagined would. You accompany Deuce and Fade on an insane, frightening and exciting adventure – one that rocks Deuce’s world.
Now like I said before, there are some inklings of romance. I am sure you can guess that there is a connection between Fade and Deuce. This actually turns out as a love triangle – between Deuce, Fade and a mysterious boy that I will not identify. What is different and somewhat comical about the romance in this book, is how utterly unaware of it Deuce is. You have to remember, she was not allowed to interact with boys in this capacity before. She was raised in a group setting and doesn’t remember her parents and she was not allowed to show or develop affection for males. It wasn’t her job. This leaves her in a funny state, because she doesn’t even really consider relationships. She has never seen an actual relationship and therefore doesn’t understand them. It’s an interesting perspective and often leaves you smacking your forehead. There were a number of cases, when I caught myself thinking. “what is wrong with this girl. JUMP HIM!” But then I had to remind myself, she doesn’t even know to jump him.
The ending is one that we as readers love to hate. It literally leaves you standing with your toes on the edge of cliff, trying desperately to find where that missing page, that simply must have fallen out of your book, went. personally, I am leaning a bit more towards hate on this one, because it was just so abrupt. That being said, Enclave was truly a dystopian triumph. It’s much more Hunger Games than Delirium – hopefully that makes sense to everyone. If not, then you have some reading to do slackers! Anyways, long story short – Enclave is an awesome book!
"Here in the enclave, one didn't prosper by demonstrating too much independent thought."
"A huntress never stabbed anything she didn't want to."
"He went in, lean and deadly, and ended the creature with a lightning-fast spike of his blade. It shrieked, likely altering the rest. The death call carried like a mournful song."
"A good huntress respected her partners instincts, even if he was socially ignorant."
"He'd said the sun could burn me. It certainly looked angry enough, all orange and glowing mad."
"A curve of silver hung amid the brighter specks; it looked to me like a curved dagger, pretty but deadly, as if it might slice the sky in two."
"My heart shifted a little in my chest; it seemed to swell and beat against my bones until I couldn't hear."