Review: Enclave by Ann Agguire ★★★★

Enclave by Ann Agguire
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Razorland #1
Publication Date: April 12th 2011
ISBN: 9780312650087
Page Count: 259
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: Audiobook  
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Synopsis: 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 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.


REVIEW

Another really good YA read!

Meet Deuce. A fascinating character and a creation of her time. Raised (if you can call it that) underground in what was formerly the miles and miles of subways systems (I think in Post-apoc New York, just don't quote me on that). She belongs to an Enclave and has just turned 16 which means she has transitioned from Brat (child) to adult. The people of the Enclave, even the elders (who are only 25!),  don't seem to know a lot about their own circumstances; like where they are, why it's safer to stay underground or what is up Topside, so we are just left to surmise along with them.

From what I've managed to ascertain it has been many years since a plague wiped out most of the population or, worse, turned them into Freaks, and what remained managed to survive by whatever means necessary. There's a lot of misinformation and so much of humanity's history has been lost that they've made up their own rules and created a new way of life that will seem completely foreign to us. Even things that you would have expected to endure; information and traditions that should have passed from generation to generation, haven't. Gone are nuclear families, people are now bred for purpose and set on a path that best fits their abilities—whatever they happen to show an aptitude for—and if you aren't good at anything else (like being a hunter, builder, cook, etc.) then there's always the occupation of Breeder as a fall back option.

Our Deuce is a hunter. Or 'Huntress', as she prefers. I was pleased to see that we joined her story right at the time when her training for that role had just ended. So often that training would have taken up the entire plot of book one in a series (been there, done that), but instead we got to see her already primed and raring to go. She just needed a partner...

That would be Fade. Another interesting a likeable character and the only member of the Enclave not born there. He came in through the tunnels a couple of years ago and no one knows where from or how he survived out there on his own with the Freaks (think snarling, salivating zombie-like creatures). It was great getting to know him and Deuce and seeing their development as well as the vast differences between them.

I'm going to struggle now to talk about much more of the plot because there was a big twist that I don't want to spoil. All I will say is that I really enjoyed this Dystopian YA read; the writing was good, the ideas intriguing and the action intense and exciting. And it even had a dash of romance too!

I moved straight onto the next one as soon as I finished because it felt like it didn't so much wrap up as go "to be continued..." So I did.

Recommended to all Dystopian fans, YA or not so YA.
4 Stars ★★★★

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