Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Razorland, Book 1

Synopsis: 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.

Review: After hearing so many great things from Marcela and Sullivan Pig about this book, I knew I had to try it pretty fast. Okay I admit that I did not expect that Sullivan Pig would send me the book, which is why I started it much earlier than expected. I also want to thank her because I didn’t have the opportunity to read a lot of post-apocalyptic YA novels and this one is a really good example of the genre.

We discover Deuce, a girl who was a Brat until today and who had her initiation to become a hunter, something she dreams to be since childhood. It must be said that people are categorized in this world, there are those who are destined to have and raise children, others to hunt as our heroine, but also some who can read or even other activities that might be useful. Our heroine will have to team up with Fade, this mysterious young man who was not raised in the enclave. Everyone is really cautious toward him and therefore we have many questions too. But evolving with him, will make her realize that the world she knew is so far as perfect as she thought and that the elders do not have answers to all her questions. A terrible upheaval in her life that will change her destiny. A new world opens up to her, full of opportunities and promises. Something we will discover throughout the novel, discovering the characters and their feelings.

The world that Ann Aguirre has created is sublime and it was a great pleasure to discover it. It’s always interesting I think to have a world so well built and so different from the one we live in. We can imagine all the details and problems when we read it. It was a lovely discovery and the author was very successful in bringing out the changes and the landscapes our heroes discover. However, I was a little bit disappointed to not really know the reason for the Apocalypse, or how humans had become « freaks » because I was very curious to learn more. Well I wonder if the author keeps it for later and I wait with curiosity to know the end of the story.

Deuce was a very interesting character to know and follow. She radically changes throughout the story, but she does not always understand what is happening or what she really feels. Fade and her form a nice duo, and I really liked the appearance of the other characters in the story. I’m quite curious now to find out more in the second volume, the end opens up new possibilities and I would love to know everything.

4

 mellianefini

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