Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

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Blurb from her website

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

I have been so excited to read this novel. I heard wonderful things about the book. I was anxiously waiting for it to turn in at my library and finally it was my time to read it. Prior to reading the book I had read several reviews and the latter ones started to not paint a very good image of the book.

I became torn. I love dystopian novels. I know the market is becoming saturated in this genre, but due to some reviews I read I was hesitant to read the book. I have a massive stack of books to read. I was stressing about getting them all read in time and know I have to decided on a few I just won't have time to read.

I posted to Twitter and heard no reply about the book so I decided to give it a try and form my own opinion.

I am so glad I gave it a try.

I could not put this book down. It had a slow start for me. The whole underground scene was cool, but was not an atmosphere I enjoyed. I hate closed environments as I am claustrophobic. However, as I continued to read and understand the enclave and the system put into place I became intrigued. I wanted to know why this happened and more importantly what was the twist going to be that causes this book to take off.

It did not take long for me to discover the adventure put into place into this desolate world after the aftermath of a major catastrophe. Deuce is forced to choose a way of life away from the Enclave. From this moment on I was immersed. The book was beyond great.

I really enjoyed all the characters. Deuce was very likable. She was not whiny, but a tough girl who fights for survival. Fade is another character I quite enjoyed reading about. He is tough with an interesting past. There are several other characters(I won't mention so I don't ruin the story) that really help move the story along.

I am dying for the sequel. It just leaves you hanging like YA novels are known to do in a series. This is the best YA dystopian novel I have read so far this year. I know I have not read them all, but this one is well worth the time to read.

I really liked the setting(in some ways it reminded me of The Road by Cormac McCarthy in terms of setting. It was so desolate. Yes, there are Freaks, but I am not sure what they are....mutated zombies of some nature.

What really impressed me at the end of the novel was the author sharing the articles and reasons for the choices she made in the story. I was very fascinated reading about life after an apocalypse and these resources further sealed my love for the book and author.

Great action, great storyline, and great characters all lead to a promising series by Ann Aguirre
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