Author: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: April 12th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I kept seeing buzz about this book and was excited to read it, but did not really know what to expect when I finally got my own copy. I have not read a dystopian book in a while but post apocalyptic societies always fascinate me, so I began the book hoping for the best.
That is exactly what I got. This book is fantastic! It is told from Deuce’s eyes, a girl who has just been given a name and the job she has always wanted: A Huntress. What does this mean? Oh, she goes out and hunts the “Freaks” which are basically zombies. Flesh eating, bodies roting, foul creatures who sole purpose seems to be eating humans and anything else that contains meat, even their own dead. Yeah, not pretty. Plus, they seem to be getting harder to kill and smarter. This concerns both Deuce and her new partner Fade, but the elders in their society won’t listen to reason even though it appears that their enclave might just be next on Freaks the hit list.
Deuce and Fade are both stong willed characters that do not get along right off the bat. He is from the outside and does not just follow blindly where Deuce does. Well, she follows almost blindly, she does question things sometimes, but is pretty much a rule follower at the beginning of the book. This causes obvious tension between the two, but as new partners they are forced to work out their differences so they can work together fighting the Freaks. As the book develops there is a budding romance in the background, but it does not dominate the story which I appreciated. I enjoyed the slow development of their dependency on each other, it made the relationship feel more genuine and I hoped to see it explored more in future books.
One of the elements I really enjoy about dystopian novels is watching the characters eyes get opened to how society could be. What things were in their races past that they never knew about. For example at one point Deuce and her friends come across a wedding invitation and have absolutely no idea what a wedding is, let alone what an invitation to one is. Watching the characters piece the clues together is always fascinating to me, because as a reader you are trying to figure out what happened to their world and these little clues can be helpful.
Ann also shows no fear with her characters and death is a regular occurrence throughout this book. Is it hard to watch characters die? Yes. Is that what would actually happen in a society like the one in Enclave? Absolutely! It makes the story more believable and frighteningly real. She also does a good job of describing the scenes as they play out. Ann gives you enough information so you have a mental image of the events taking place, but you are not bogged down with erroneous details.
Overall, this book was amazing! The world in Enclave is terrifying, but Deuce and Fade offer hope in a world filled with despair and it is impossible not want to ride along with them. It is one of those books that I know is going to stay with me. I still have the characters and events running through my head as I type this. I cannot express how much I loved it. Unfortunately, the sequel is a long way off, but I know I will be waiting anxiously for its arrival.
I am going to leave you with the trailer for Enclave to hopefully get you really excited for the book. Enjoy!
FTC: I received the ARC from them publisher.