Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Title:   Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
My Rating: B+

Genre: YA- dystopian
Series: Razorland #1
Main Characters: Deuce
Release Date: April 2011
ISBN0312650086 or 
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $11.55
Borders- $16.99
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

Story Overview:
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:
You all should be well aware of this by now, but I read entirely for entertainment purposes and I base my ratings upon how much I was entertained by a book- no more..no less. ;o)  

Today, I am reviewing Enclave. Honestly, if I hadn't read Hollowland before this one, Enclave would have rated higher. They are very similar stories- a dystopian society, 4 teens on a trek across the country to find a safer place to live, trying to avoid being killed by "zombies" along the way. For me, personally, Hollowland was the more entertaining book. BUT I think that Enclave has more meat and merit and will be the book that lives on because it would make a great book for high school/jr high class analysis.

The main character in this book is Deuce. She and Fade, her partner, are Hunters from the underworld enclave made up of the subway tunnels of NYC. They are trained to hunt, fight, and protect. After a bizarre twist from the leadership in their enclave to make "examples" of those who break the rules, they are cast out into the topside world. Deuce has never in her life been topside, but Fade spent the first 8 years of his short life there with his father. Along the way through their journey, they pick up Stalker, the leader of the wolf gang, and Tegan, a breeder, forced into submission by the wolf gang.

I think that this is a great book for analysis because along the way, you get to see 3 different kinds of society that the children who remain after the holocaust have created...1. the enclaves, 2. the burrowers, 3. the gangers. They all only comprise of basically children (ages 25 and younger) that are simply trying to survive. They all have developed very harsh rules based upon "only the strongest survive." On the other side of that is Fade. He's the only one who has had some true adult influence through his father and he does not fit into any of the groups and ideas of survival. He takes death much harder and more personally than the others do. Coincidence? I am not sure... It would be interesting to know if Ann Aguirre did this on purpose. Are we taught compassion  rather than having it part of our psyche? Can you have compassion in this kind of dystopian world and survive?

It will be interesting to see where Ann Aguirre takes the story in the next book, Outpost, now that the children are faced with an adult presense again.

This was an interesting read and definitely gives you food for thought. Unfortunately, the book simply ends...there are no loose ends tied up at all so I am anxiously awaiting the release of book 2, Outpost, in 2012....


Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I read your review on goodreads yesterday and I totally agree! This would be an awesome book for 16/17 year olds to dissect in class! I remember having to do that with A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man---this type of book would have been much better!

I am curious where it is going to now that they have opened the door to adults...

The Book Vixen said...

I enjoyed this one too. I can't wait to see how things pick up in the next book.