Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
Release Date: Already on the Shelves! Get it now!

Guys! Guys!

We’re still alive.

I know we’ve been MIA for almost two weeks which is forever in the world of the interwebs. It’s the end of the school year (for me as a teacher and Amy as a mother), and time just got away from us.

Here’s the good news! Even though we haven’t been blogging, we have been reading! And boy, do I have a review for you today!


I loved this book!!!!! I ended up making my final exam for one of my classes in the wee hours of the morning because I couldn’t make myself stop reading this book.  Let me set it up for your right quick:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

That’s right, kiddos. I’ve got another awesome dystopian for you! The world building in this book is so strong that I never questioned for a second that this time and place could actually exist. Life is hard in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic society that has moved into subway tunnels to survive. Life is so hard in fact, that you aren’t even named until you make it to 15-years-old, because so few make it that long. There are three types of people in this society—Hunters who find the food and protect the enclave, builders who build needed supplies and maintain their compound, and breeders who attempt to keep the population steady.

Deuce is a strong, interesting heroine, and Fade—her partner—is mysterious and damaged and tough. Parents are sort of a foreign concept because no one lives very long. Everything is done for the good of society. But Deuce and Fade soon learn that “the good of the society” is a little more complicated than originally thought.

This book has a lot of elements that at first made me think it was going to be just another run of the mill teen book. Dystopian is everywhere now days, and the “freaks” that the hunters are fighting against are most definitely zombie like in nature. HOWEVER—Aguirre has somehow managed to get a fresh outlook on all of these things, and I think it goes back to her world building. There are so many layers of this world (metaphorically and literally). There are societies that have managed to survive in the tunnels, above ground, and outside of what used to be NYC, and each of them has had to adapt to survive, and it’s so COOL to see how drastically different each society became over the years. There are details that are so unique and fresh—like the blood ritual used to give every person who reaches fifteen their name.

This book is packed with imagination, adventure, and excitement!

And unlike some books, it doesn’t excel just in the action. It has great characters that give the story more depth! Fade is the only person in the enclave who wasn’t born there, and as such is an outsider. Deuce comes from a long line of breeders, but she’s determined to be a huntress. You’ll fall in love with these characters, and then when they start to fall in love it gets even better.

Now—here’s the one thing that some might have an issue with. It is not an easy romance between Deuce and Fade (as it rightly shouldn’t be, HELLO, APOCALYPSE!). They’re both inexperienced, afraid, and terrible at communicating what they want. If you’re looking for an easy romantic pay-off, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a slow-building, realistic relationship that has ups and downs and will most likely have an EVEN BETTER pay-off when it finally works out in future books (at least I hope it works out in future books)—buy this book now! I, for one, thought it was so refreshing! It was great to see two incredibly brave characters lose all their courage in the face of love.

Read this book! It’s definitely made my list of favorites of the year so far!