Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Recent Reads - Enclave
Enclave (Razorland #1), Ann Aguirre
4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Published: 4/12/2011, Feiwel & Friends
Why I Chose It: It was recommended by a friend who assured me I would love it. I like the cover. It might not stop me in my tracks in a store, but it definitely has the whole post-apocalyptic feel to it.
Synopsis (from Good Reads): WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
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 Review: I am actually surprised by how much I liked this book. I mean I knew going into it that there were zombie-like creatures known as Freaks and that alone should have appealed to me, but for some reason I went in thinking that there was no way the author would pull it off in a way that would satisfy me.
I was dead wrong. Deuce is kick-ass from the start. She wastes no time trying to find her inner strength. She's been trained from a young age to kill freaks, and that she does. And does it well. She's been taught to be strong, hard. To not let little things like emotions get in way of the greater good of the enclave. Yet there are moments when her innate compassion boils to the surface and you see that there is more to her than just being a Huntress.
Her relationship with Fade builds over time as the two are forced through one life threatening ordeal after the next. I loved Fade. Physically he may not have been my type (I think it was mostly his hair. I don't like guys with long hair and his was described as falling into his face at one point) but he's strong and complex. He's a fighter. A survivor. There was no doubt in my mind at any point in time that he would die if it meant saving Deuce.
I will tell you that it wasn't perfect. There were moments where I felt the author was repeating herself. Almost as if she didn't trust that I was intelligent enough to remember something she'd said just a few paragraphs/pages back. And on occassion events transpired to help our heroes that seemed a little too convenient.
Then of course there was the love triangle. I didn't like it. The third player should never have been able to come between Deuce and Fade. There was absolutely nothing redeemable about him. Although Deuce may have found things in him to respect and admire, I found him deplorable and never would have been able to forgive his actions and/or inaction the way she was able. In fact, I found myself waiting and wanting for the Freaks to get him. But there was enough action and suspense to warrant a higher rating.
Bottom line, if you like a kick-ass heroine and a fast paced thrill ride, Enclave is for you. I was through it in just a few hours and hungry for more. Highly recommended.