Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Release Date – April 12, 2011
Publisher – Feiwel & Friends
Pages - 259
My Rating- 9/10
Obtained - library
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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
There has been a lot of dystopian out there recently. I have read a whole bunch of it. This is one of the few that has honestly scared me. The world that Ann Aguirre has created is described so well, developed so well that you can picture it. It’s not just the Freaks that you need to worry about in this world, and that is the scariest thing of all. You think of how the survivors would evolve and it wouldn’t be far fetched for some of them to become like what is depicted in this novel.
Deuce is an amazing heroine. She’s tough, smart, and self reliant. She knows how to take care of herself, and knows what she wants. It’s not as common to find a character like this in YA and I am so glad Deuce exists. She does follow orders given to her by the people in charge of her enclave, but she is able to THINK for herself.
Fade is amazing. He’s tough, smart, thoughtful and a great match for Deuce. I liked that the “relationship” stuff was understated and not the focus of the novel. It felt like it was just this slowly developing thing. Neither Deuce nor Fade really knows what is going on, and they are just kind of “living in the moment” which to me seemed very real and natural under the circumstance.
The writing style is very gripping. You want to keep turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next. It’s a shorter book so I was able to polish it off rather quickly. The terms used for the different placements in society - breeders, hunters, and builders - could have been distracting, however, they really went with the tone of the novel.
The ending of the book was satisfying as a stand alone, but I also felt the need to revisit the characters that survive and see how they have fared since we left them last. I became invested in these characters and want to know more.
If you are a fan of dystopian novels this one will make you remember why, and if you’re picking one up for the first time it will make you wonder why you waited so long.