Book Review: Enclave

Enclave is a dystopian apocalypse novel by Ann Aguirre. First thing I have to say was why wasn’t this book available as an ebook? I found out about it an went straight to Amazon to buy it but there was no ebook to be found. I was very disappointed. I ended up buying the actual book of Book Depository, which was fine, but I think the times have changed and authors need to have an ebook version of their work.

Anyway here is the synopsis on Enclave:

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.

I loved this book from the first paragraph, Aguirre paints a beautiful, but horrible, world where civilisation has come to an end and there are some humans left surviving underground. Deuce is a strong character who has strong beliefs, but her beliefs are put into question once she is partnered with Fade (love the name). Slowly the truth behind the Enclave comes to light and Deuce has to come to terms with the things she learns.

One of my favourite things about this novel is the way Aguirre describes things that Deuce sees. Deuce doesn’t know about the normal things we see everyday and so she describes them, trying to make sense of them. What I love is how great these descriptions are, there wasn’t one instance where I was like ‘What is she talking about?’. I knew what object Deuce was describing everything. It was wonderful.

I also loved the enclave itself with the hierarchy of people and jobs (Hunter, Breeder, Builder). It’s just such a well-rounded world and it’s so small when compared to the Topside world. I felt like I knew every inch of Deuce’s world and all the people like they were my friends.

oh, oh, OH! The best bit by far is that the Freaks are like zombies but she’s put her own spin on it. A zombie bite won’t turn you into a zombie, they are just like rabid people who eat the survivors and each other. I love that’s she’s taken this idea and made it her own, just like all authors strive to do. Aguirre has really made Enclave a stand out piece of writing that will have you hooked from beginning to end.

When I finished it I went and bought the second in the series, Outpost, which recently came out (another gripe I have is that she’s released book two but only in hardback so far, no paperback? And mostly likely no ebook? I love this series and I think it needs to widen its market).’

You can ignore my whining as it has nothing to do with the story itself. This is a great book and I would recommend it for anyone who likes the Dystopian genre.

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