Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

6 Nov

Series:Razorland, book #1

Published: April 12th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends

Details: Hardcover, 259 pages

My Rating: 3/5

My Summary:

Great start with a tough heroine in a claustrophobic and grim dystopian world, but that fizzled out in a week plot, with a brooding male romantic interest and a forced love triangle. Be prepared for an abrupt ending. Overall, still a good read, but not as good as it could have been.

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Synopsis:

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.

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My thoughts:

My thoughts regarding this book are nearly identical to Birthmarked. It started out strong with plenty of potential, but half way through the plot simply fizzled out. And so did my interest.

In the opening chapters, we are introduced to the claustrophobic dark tunnels of Deuce’s world. She belongs to the human settlement The Enclave, deep in these tunnels, a society which follows strict rules in order to ensure the settlement’s survival. Child mortality is high and children earn their names only if they manage to survive the first 15 years. On the naming day, each one is categorized into breeders, builders or hunters. Deuce belongs to the latter category, a huntress, whose goal is to protect the settlement from all the zombie-like freaks that roam around the tunnels.

Grim world, to say the least, but very very intriguing.

Deuce is a great heroine, with similarities to Katniss, which may explain the comparisons to Hunger Games on the cover. She is a survivor and a fighter who takes matters into her own hand. Her mind is more practical than sentimental.  She has a tough shell, but doubts and vulnerability exist on the inside, which just makes her that much more endearing.

Fade, the guy she is paired up with to guard the enclave, is an outcast. He was found out in the tunnels by the enclave, and it’s an enigma how he survived by himself that long. He’s quiet but strong and an excellent fighter. I immediately felt Deuce’s curiosity regarding him. In short, I was hooked!

But half way though, something unexpected happens. They leave the enclave. And that’s where it all started to go downhill for me.

They embark on a journey seemingly without plans, where each event that happened seemed rather random. Instead of focusing on the secrets of The Enclave, or why things were the way there were, the plot took a turn into typical YA territory.

Yes folks, I’m talking about that inevitable love triangle! The problem is, I would have been perfectly happy with only Deuce and Fade. The second male interest felt forced, introduced only for the sake of creating some romantic tension.

A shame.

Especially since there was so much potential there in the beginning. I almost wished that Deuce had stayed with The Enclave, despite the hopelessness of that world, since the characters and potential plot was so much stronger there.

By the time it ended I was loosing interest quickly. Good thing it was only 250 pages long, or else it might have got an even lower grade. That said, the ending itself actually lowered the grade, since there was no real closure, just a cessation of words.

Despite all my qualms above, it was still overall a decent read, and I will keep an eye out for the reviews of the next book Outpost, to be released in 2012.

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4 Responses to “Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre”

  1. jenika November 15, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    I started to read this book a few days ago but I decided to leave it for a while and try some other book. I tried “The Goddess test” by Aimee Carter. I had a travel ahead of me from and I thought to buy a book for the 7 hours travel by coach. The book had a nice cover and a very interesting plot:
    “It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.
    Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
    Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.”
    So I bought it, expecting something really good (I always loved greek mythology).
    And regretted totally.
    The characters were totally shallow, with a non-existent romance (how did she fall in love with Henry? Did I miss something?) and a story who might have been really interesting but wrote in totally bad way.
    I really don’t advice to read this book. If I can give a mark I would give 1.5/5. I don’t give 0/5 because a few things were interesting but anything else was veeeery poorly developed. There is a sequel but I am not going to read it. :(
    I’ll try Enclave and I’ll let you know my thoughts about it. :)

    • tess November 15, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      Oh thanks for letting me know. I didn’t know it was that bad!!! I’ll definitely be skipping it now!
      Also, would love to hear what you think of Enclave if you read it, I wonder if you’ll find that the first half is stronger, like I did.
      Great as always to hear your thoughts!

  2. jenika December 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Hi!
    I just wrote this post one minute ago but it didn’t came through so I am writing it again. I hope it will not appear twice
    ^^;
    I just finished reading Enclave and it was a very interesting read.
    I really liked how the world was described, it was very real and it probably was the thing which caught me the most.
    The characters were enjoyable (all the 4 of them)(I liked Deuce and Fade and I started to like also Stalker and Tegan)(about Stalker I like very mich when a “bad” character becomes a “good” one).
    At the beginning the story was not so interesting (after a while I thought I would stop reading) but I didn’t, and I am happy about it because the story became much more interesting.
    Especially from when Deuce and Fade are sent away in the “topside”… after a while I really had no idea what was going to happen next and I liked it!
    I liked also the parallel of Deuce and Fade story with the book they found, the Night Girl and The Day boy…
    It’s not the best book ever but I would recommend it for an entertaining reading and I will probably continue the series.

    • tess December 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi!
      That’s interesting, you seem to have liked the second half better, while for me, it was the other way around. Always good to hear a different view though! If you read the sequel, please let me know, I would love to know if it’s good! Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts! Tess

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