Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 12th, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce 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.
Going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Enclave. The cover foretold the dark atmosphere inevitably inside and the summary in the back seemed to say “I’m just another dystopian!”, so I didn’t even bother to read it thoroughly.
Inside was a whole different story. It was dark, of course, because Deuce and her people live underground, but light was shed in the most unexpected places. The story begins on the day when Deuce goes from being a brat named Girl15 to Deuce, a Huntress. Its what Deuce has wanted every since she was a brat.
While Deuce is beginning to think her life is finally complete, she is paired with Fade, a Hunter who came from the dangerous Topside (aboveground) to hunt for food and protect the enclave they live in. Circumstances, including Fade’s consistent questions, amount to Deuce thinking twice about the philosophies of her elders (who are no older than their late 20’s). Soon, she and Fade are exiled to Topside, where they have to fend for themselves and find a place neither of them is sure exists.
Ann Aguirre’s young-adult debut was thrilling in every sense. My only dislike was that I never got to ‘know’ any of the characters that well. For me, they were simply ‘there’ and nothing more. I also didn’t have much sense of time as the story drew on. But the plot itself was unique and had me wanting to know what happens next until I flipped over the last page and realized I’ll have to wait till book two to find out more.
All in all, Enclave is a quick, dystopian adventure that will leave you hungry for more!