Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

16 September, 2011 Reviews 1 comment

Review: Enclave by Ann AguirreEnclave by Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on April 12th 2011
Pages: 259
Genres: Dystopian, Horror, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository


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.

Enclave was a breath a fresh air. If you are looking for a book with lots of action, a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and romance that takes a back seat, Enclave is your book.

This book is marketed towards, “Fans of The Hunger Games.” Ummm…why? The only similarities I can possibly see is the strength of
the main characters. Katniss and Deuce (how awesome is her name?!) are both hunters and get into a lot of fights. And both books do feature dystopian societies.

Enclave is very fast paced in the beginning. The book begins right before Girl15’s naming ceremony. She finds out her name is Deuce and she officially owns the title of “Huntress.” As a Huntress, it is her job to brave the dark tunnels and bring food back to the enclave. It is a very dangerous job. Why? Because there are Zombies Freaks!
The zombies in this world are rather interesting. They do not seem to infect anyone,
they just want to eat you.

Deuce lives in her enclave which is underground. She has never seen the sun and no one in her enclave lives very long. They are lucky to live to be 25. Lack of vitamin D perhaps? No one seems to know how they ended up there and where the freaks came from. The enclave has strict rules that she firmly believes are there to protect everyone. However, after she is paired up with Fade, a boy who grew up Topside, she slowly begins to question everything she is taught. One day Deuce and Fade are exiled from their enclave and forced to live Topside where vicious gangs battle it out over territory. Add in the zombies and you have one hell of an adventure!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE strong heroines. I can not stand a damsel in distress. Thankfully, Deuce can hold her own and then some. Seriously, the girl was a badass. She had me sooo happy at parts, I found myself saying, “Oh Hells yes!” during the battle scenes.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was the question of, “What is strength or weakness?” In the beginning of the book Deuce measures that with how well a person can defend themselves. As a huntress, she was always taught showing emotion was a weakness. However, she later learns that strength can be measured with one’s ability to endure. This proves especially true for the character Tegan. She is viewed as a very weak character, but IMO was the strongest of all. Deuce realizes she doesn’t possess the physical strength of most fighters, but Tegan has a mental strength that keeps her pressing forward. Deuce later acknowledges that those emotions are not a weakness, and that causes her to reassess her own character.

I really liked how this book moved fast. It is a quick read, but the way Ann Aguirre writes it, it feels longer. There were a lot of unanswered questions about the world they live in and I expect it will be answered in the next book based on how this one ended. I can’t wait!

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

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