Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Adventure, Dystopian
Publication.Date  April 12th 2011
Published By:  Feiwel & Friends
WebsiteAnne Aguirre | Enclave

Enclave - Goodreads
My review copy:Provided by the publisher (thank you!)
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon  | Book 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 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.

I have your back. I didn’t mean only when it’s easy. All the time.
 “We weren’t always inclined to credit the truth around here, if it ran counter to our experience.
People’s value came from their actions. In the enclave, the strong and the physically perfect survived, but if you were strong, you protected the weak until they had an opportunity to grow into their own power.
 “I never belonged anywhere until I met you
 “Fade had told me about the pricks of light above; he didn’t know what they were, exactly. I imagined they were torches from a city built on high. It would take a bird to reach it, so maybe the people who lived up there had wings. They would be pale and beautiful with ivory feathers and starry hair.
I wished I had the ready words of a Breeder or the ability to comfort with a soft touch. I didn’t. Instead I had daggers and determination. That would have to do.
 “There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn’t always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness.

     Enclave by Ann Aguirre is definitely MY kind of book. To put it simply, I loved it. I don’t even know where to begin describing how much and why. I loved everything about this book! It’s a fast-paced, bone-chilling adventure set in a post-apocalyptic /dystopian world, where people are forced to live in underground enclaves and rarely live to see their 25th birthday. 

     Deuce, the main protagonist of this story, is not a nameless brat anymore. Today is her birthday. She did it, she proved that she’s capable of surviving in the cruel world of the second holocaust. Today she will become a Huntress, she will be marked and named. The naming ceremony is the most important event in every brat’s life. So many kids don’t survive the first few years of their lives that naming them seems pointless. They are called Boy or Girl, along with a number. Only those strong enough to survive will be assigned their names and they will also get their scars. Hunters get six scars, Builders get three, and Breeders get only one. In Deuce’s world everyone has a specific role to play, there’s no place for weakness or sentiment. Only the strong ones survive. 

     Deuce is a Huntress now, which means she will be sent on daily patrols to hunt for meat and to fight Freaks (zombie-like creatures with razor-sharp teeth and claws instead of nails). Freaks feast on the dead, but they also like fresh meat and they don’t shy away from attacking humans. Hunters are responsible not only for finding food for their enclave, but also for protecting people from Freak attacks. 

     Hunters are patrolling the underground tunnels in pairs. Deuce is matched with Fade, a mysterious, handsome Hunter, who, unlike most, hadn’t been born in the enclave. No one really knows where exactly he came from or how he managed to survive entirely on his own. He doesn’t talk about his experiences in the tunnels, doesn’t try to make friends, but he’s a great fighter and that seems to be the only reason for  him being allowed to stay. 

      When Deuce and Fade get in trouble for saving a starved, blind brat, as a punishment they get sent to a neighboring enclave (Nassau) to check out the rumors about it being attacked by Freaks. They discover that the zombie-like creatures are not as brain-dead as everyone thought they were. In fact, they are growing more and more organized, showing signs of intelligence. The elders, however, refuse to listen to warnings. Things get even worse when Deuce is accused of stealing and hoarding, and together with Fade they’re exiled from the enclave. What will happen to them now? Can they find a way to survive? What will they find when they reach the surface? 

     This was a really great, gut-wrenching and exciting read. I enjoyed it A LOT. It reminded me of all the great dystopian/zombie movies, like I Am Legend, 28 Days Later or Resident Evil, and yes, I am a huge fan of those and I had a huge kick out of reading this book! The characters were well developed and I liked them a lot (especially Stalker, don’t judge me!). Deuce was AWESOME. I don’t think I ever read a book with a more likable, kick-ass protagonist. The plot line was just fabulous, perfectly balanced and full of tension! I loved that the romance part was tiny and really well-served, not overwhelming, very subtle and with a great build-up! That’s exactly how I like it! (I’m pretty sick of all the love-at-first-sight-BS). 

     Aguirre's writing style is marvelously hypnotizing and irresistible. Ann does not beat around the bush, she goes straight to telling us about the frightening reality of Deuce’s world. Through skillfully crafted first-person narrative, we can see everything that Deuce is seeing, it’s realistic and intense. 

     The cliffhanger ending left me wishing I wouldn’t have to wait the whole year for the next installment in the series. It will definitely be an agonizing wait, I so want to find out what happens next!


Obsession with Books said...

A wonderful review Evie! I have this book but have been holding off on starting it (not sure why..) You have prompted me to pick it up.

Have a great week!

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

Oh no, Evie, you should't have posted this review. It makes me itch to buy Enclave LOL ;)

Kathy said...

I now want to read this book! Your review really makes this book sound awesome. I am now super excited that I am picking it up from the library tonight as my hold came in!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I used to look at these books and keep it moving but now that I've started reading dystopian novels, I'm always clamoring for more. Great review. I'll definitely pick this one up.

R bo said...

lol I loved this book! My best friend and I always fight about who's better Fade or Four from Divergent! I'm all Four but I like fade! :D

Anonymous said...

Great review Evie. I have also read and reviewed "Enclave" at my blog called "Paranormal Goddess Book Blog". I loved reading "Enclave" and can not wait for Ann Aguirre to release the 2nd book in the series called "Outpost" in 2012. I just wished I could read it now.

Natasha @ The Paranormal Goddess Book Blog

Unknown said...

If I wasn't on a small budget right now I soo would buy this book. It sounds amazing, and your review helped.

I recommend reading Forbidden by Ted Dekker when it comes out next month!

Jamie said...

I LOVED this book too and can hardly wait for the second book to come out. Here's the link to my review....


Munnaza said...

So I'll confess that I'm not the biggest fan of dystopian fiction. I love it when it's done well (The Hunger Games, The Giver), but there are so many books that just don't manage to create a world that interests me, or that is even consistent, so I tend to stay away. Your review makes me want to read this book, however. The details in your summary make it seem like the author really has this world figured out, so much that I have a feeling that there would be few or no holes at all in this plot if I were to read this book. The plot itself sounds refreshing and action-packed, and YAY for all the zombie films you mentioned. That's a pretty extraordinary compliment. *adds to to-read list*

Giselle said...

Great review! I've been wanting to read this book for a while now. I'll definitely have to bump it up my TBR list now. Everyone says good things about it!

Giselle Cormier

FairyWhispers said...

oh man, it has a cliffhanger ending?

wow, i think i'll read it next year instead


Unknown said...

So glad you enjoyed this! I am planning on reading this for me "Zomtober" lol!


Anonymous said...

YAY! I did a review of this book too! I'm glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did! I can't wait to read the rest of the series! In fact, its one of my favorites now!!

Madiha Fahmi said...

I really, REALLY LOVE this book!!! I've read it 3 times and I made my mom buy me the audiobook too! I'm glad you love this book. Now I can't wait to buy the second book! =)

Jamie Canosa said...

I loved this book. I mean absolutely LOVED it! I don't know why this book doesn't seem to have as much attention as many other YA books out there, but it definitely deserves it. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out! :)

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read this. Need to dig it out.

Christina said...

I loved this book so much! It's too bad you can't really talk about most of the book because of spoilers! The second half is SO different.

OUTPOOOOOOOOST cannot come quickly enough!

Unknown said...

I'm so excited to read Outpost.

chfe said...

Great review! I've been wanting to read this book for a while now. And your review is making me want to read it even more! :)

Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Another great dystopian book! I really love kick-ass books! Thanks for the review!

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