Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel Enclave is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.
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--guided by Fade's long-ago memories--in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.
In this skilled though violent postapocalyptic thriller, Deuce has newly earned the rank of Huntress, after years of training have taught her to "wield a knife or a club with equal proficiency." It's her duty to provide meat for her loveless, draconian enclave, deep beneath the streets of a ruined city, as well as to defend it against cannibalistic Freaks, who are gradually eliminating the scattered human survivors of a vaguely remembered plague. Deuce's is a world of terrifying encounters in near-complete darkness, but she's very good at what she does. Then Deuce stands up for a friend unfairly accused of hoarding and, accompanied only by her talented but unpopular partner, Fade, is soon exiled with little chance of survival either in the lightless and dangerous sewers or Topside. In her first young adult novel, Aguirre (the Sirantha Jax series) has created a gritty and highly competent heroine, an equally deadly sidekick/love interest, and a fascinating if unpleasant civilization. This series is likely to hold considerable appeal for fans of The Hunger Games. Ages 12 up.
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Good, but not great.
The book starts off well, but the character development actually kind of tapers off as the book progresses. Once you get the backstory of the main characters, you're pretty much done with any real character development even though they're going through things that should make the characters feel deeper (not more shallow). The ending was sort of meh. I probably won't read the next book in the series. If you're looking for an awesome book, try "Divergent" by Veronica Roth, or "Graceling" by Kristen Cashore.
Welcome to a world where you are lucky if you make it to age 25. If disease, injury, or hunger don't get you the Freaks just might. This book has been compared to The Hunger Games and it is in that our main characters must fight for survival but it differs in every other way. I can't recommend this book highly enough. The action starts quickly and doesn't let up from there. You'll find yourself, like I did, trying to read as quickly as possible to find out what happens next.
Enclave falls in line with other popular dystopian books such as Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. If you are a fan of those books Enclave is worth reading. The nly down side to Enclave is that it is paced slow and not a lot is accomplished by the main characters.