Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: Enclave, by Ann Aguirre

Enclave, by Ann Aguirre

Published: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9780312650087
Genre: YA Dystopian
Pages: 259
Source: Won from author
Series: Razorland #1
New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

I will write this review. With words. That make sense.

Enclave was a book that I was pretty much dying to read. It sounded uber intriguing, and then the book bloggers starting getting their hands on it, and everyone was raving, and just, GAH. I had to read it.

Let's start with the cover. It isn't necessarily glamorous, not in the way that my typical favorite book covers are. But there's this subtle raw feeling to it, much like the story itself, and I think it is fantastic. The only thing I disliked, was the fact that it states that this book is "For fans of The Hunger Games." If you're frequenter around here, you probably already know that I was not a fan of The Hunger Games. So when I saw that up close, I thought, great. Another dystopian that everyone falls in love with, and I'll be in the minority with those who didn't like a damn thing about it.

Not the case. Not at all. I loved Enclave from the very beginning, and while I can see why fans of The Hunger Games would be drawn to it, and they are comparable in small ways, I don't think the connection is big enough to make a big deal out of. (Unless you're looking at it from a marketing perspective, of course.)

The world in which Enclave is set, is desolate. Heartbreaking. Fascinating.

Deuce kicked ass. There isn't much I love more than a female protagonist who isn't whiny and emotional all the time. In fact, Deuce is hardly capable of those feelings, which made me love her that much more, and certainly allowed me to connect with her character on a deeper level. I knew from the first encounter with Fade that I would love him as well, and I wasn't wrong about that.

I loved the "Freaks". We would probably refer to them as zombies, though I believe they're quite different from the zombies we are accustomed to. Land of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie movies, for the simple fact that the zombies are actually intelligent, thinking creatures. The Freaks reminded me of them. They aren't completely driven by hunger and instinct, at least not all of them, not anymore. I loved this take, and I'm excited to see where it takes us in the sequel.

The growing relationship between Deuce and Fade is subtle, and gradual. For this, I was relieved. I had hoped going in that this wouldn't be one of those stories where the majority of the plot circulates around the romantic relationship between the characters. While it is definitely there, it isn't being thrown in our faces all the time. Instead, they're genuinely trying to survive in a world where surviving seems impossible.

I do have one complaint. I wanted more. I felt a bit cheated in the end, because it was so abrupt. I was expecting a cliffhanger, but I was still expecting it to end gradually. But instead of feeling like we're hanging onto the cliff, I feel like we tumbled over without ever considering holding on.

Doesn't change the fact that I give it...

5/5 Stars

Language: Extremely mild.
Sexual content: Talks of rape and breeding. Otherwise-just a kiss or two.

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