Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: YA, dystopian, romance, sci-fi
Perfect for: dystopian readers (especially those that enjoyed 'Birthmarked'!)
Star Rating: 4/5 stars

Taken from Goodreads, "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."

Wow, a lengthy description for this novel. Here's what you really need to know: while this is great dystopian, do not read it expecting 'The Hunger Games'. It has a similar feeling, but the characters and environment are are quite different. Don't ruin this great novel by expecting 'The Hunger Games'. To be honest, I found this novel more like 'Birthmarked' or (to a lesser extent) 'Matched' in terms of storytelling than 'The Hunger Games'.

Now, onto 'Enclave'... I really like 'Enclave'. It is good dystopian and comes highly recommended! If it's not on your 'to-read' list and you like well done dystopian, then you should add this to your list! 'Enclave' is the beginning of a trilogy and will leave you wanting more!

What do I love about this novel? To begin with, the world is easy to settle into. It clearly separates itself from other dystopian titles. Main characters Deuce and Fade are likable and their relationship is believable, never crossing into 'sappy' territory! The secondary characters are characterized in a way where you really do form connections to them and care about their well-being.

Ann Aguirre knows how to tell a story. 'Enclave' doesn't follow the story you'd expect it to. Midway through it takes a turn that introduces (the before mentioned) great secondary characters and poses intriguing questions. And the ending? Well, it really shows you that the saga for Fade, Deuce, and the others is only just beginning.

All in all, 'Enclave' is a novel you want to check out. I think you'll enjoy it!  'Enclave' gets 4 out of 5 stars!


danya said...

I really enjoyed this one — Deuce is such a strong heroine!

Small Review said...

Nice review! I agree with you about the world she created. It's different and vividly drawn.