Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Feiwel & Friends, 2011
My Rating: 4/5
Description (from Goodreads.com, shortened):
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.
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I read this book, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It reminded me of the set up of the video game, Fallout 3. Something has happened that has wiped out most of human civilization and we are left with weird mutated ‘Freaks’ that need to be killed (or they will kill you). Separate, secluded territories are all fighting for the same goal: survival. Our main character, Deuce, is a female from one of these secluded territories and she hopes to become a Huntress – someone that protects the territory by killing Freaks. It is an honorable position to have within the social structure, but there are other options such as being a Builder or Breeder. I liked the detail of how the civilization was run day-to-day, and how both the positives and negatives were highlighted.
Of course, this book boils down to survival. There are some great action scenes involving the Freaks with lots of blood, gore, and creepiness. Every survival instinct is kicked in, and luckily, the author seems to know what she is talking about.
I liked Deuce. She was a strong character, but she was also stubborn. At first, her stubbornness was a bit annoying but she was open minded enough to consider different perspectives to alter her opinions. Fade was also a great character, but I felt a bit distanced by him. He definitely has that mysterious edge to him, so I am hoping to learn more about him in the future books.
The pacing was really well done. By the halfway point, a major plot change happened which opened up far more possibilities for our characters. Just like if it were real, as soon as the characters felt like they could relax, you knew something was about to happen.
I liked that we got some answers as to how the world got to be the way it is, but we don’t get all the answers. I am hopeful that in future books we will get more answers about what happened and what will happen. Overall, I recommend this book!