Monday, February 6, 2012

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
2011, Feiwel & Friends
Series: Book 1 of Razorland


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.

Why read: Bought after reading lots of positive reviews

What impressed me: I loved the unique touches of the novel, like how brats names were chosen. I also really enjoyed the slow build romance aspect of the book and how it was never a love-triangle or insta-love. The romance wasn't a given at any time, but rather a vague possibility that had everything standing in its way.

What disappointed me: I really dislike when an author creates an intriguing society only to abandon it early into the story. I loved the way brats were grouped and it was really sad to have that entire hierarchy presented only to not be able to experience it fully. Instead, it was a tease that drew me in only to find this was another dystopia that built a fascinating world only to be mostly on the run. The running and then fighting and then running some more never works for me.

Recommended: Hardcore fans of dystopia who won't mind the on the run scenes.

Continue series: Maybe? The world created was so different that I retain high hopes of something similar in the future of the series.

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