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.
Deuce has lived in her underground enclave her entire life. She has never seen sunlight or clean air. She’s grown up eating rats and bathing under a tiny trickle of water. She’s also trained her entire life to become a Huntress. And on her naming day, when she changes from an unnamed Brat to Deuce, she becomes exactly that. Now, Deuce is partnered up with the enclave’s outcast, Fade, and must work to protect and provide the enclave with food, as well as ward off all dangers from the terrible beasts that roam the tunnels, something that they call the Freaks.
After an unfortunate turn of events, Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave and banished to Top Side, otherwise known as above ground. Together, as well as with the help of a few friends, they must work to stay alive and find out what has happened to their planet and what made everyone else die or flee to the North.
The first half of Enclave was very strong. It was completely dedicated to Deuce and Fade’s time underground at the enclave. It was so full of emotion, drama, adventure, and even a little terror. I found myself on the edge of my seat, dying to know what happened next.
By the time I reached the second half of Enclave, I started to get a little skeptical. By this point, they had been exiled to Top Side, and it started to get really slow. The characters almost seemed like different people and it seemed like both parts of the book could be separate books themselves. It started to pick up in the last four or five chapters of the book, but a lot of damage had already occured once the second part of the book started.
I was a big fan of the storyline in this book. People living underground? Cool! Freaks who hunt them underground? Even cooler! Being exiled to Top Side when you had never even seen the sun before and thought that rain burned like acid? Bring it on! I was really impressed with the ideas that Ann Aguirre contributed to this book, and I am so pumped up to read the next book in the series, OutPost.
The characters were really cool and interesting. My only complaint, as I mentioned above, is that their personalities changed once the second part of the book began. That didn’t make the book bad, it just made it difficult because I was already so used to one type of personality. It also became difficult because a lot of the second book was dedicated to the characters traveling to find the people who headed North. At times, this made parts of the book and even the characters slightly boring.
I think that Enclave was a good first start in the Razorland series. OutPost is either going to be really good or really boring, which makes me slightly nervous to read it. Hopefully, it will be really good. Fans of Dystopia books will be intriguid with this book. The cover does say “For fans of the Hunger Games.” I have to point out that this series is nothing like The Hunger Games. Since that was the exact reason I bought the book, I feel like that’s something that you all should be aware of. Overall, though, it was a good first start!
Publication Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: [rating: 3]
Teaser Quote: “There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn’t always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness.”