Monday, April 9, 2012

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

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.  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. -

I can't believe it took me so long to read this book.  I've had it for months and it's just been sitting there languishing.  I could kick myself now.  This book was fantastic and I found myself completely sucked in.  It took me no time at all to finish this story because it was fast-paced, action-packed, exciting, and just plain awesome.

There were quite a few characters in the beginning, but after the first few chapters, there are really only 2 to 4 characters in the story, and they carried the whole thing beautifully.  The two main characters, Deuce and Fade are awesome hunters, and their interactions together are interesting, suspensful, and even romantic.  These are people who have grown up in underground tunnels, believing that the world above is pretty much destroyed and uninhabitable.  And they both have to go to the surface.  They are brave, skilled fighters, and they need all those skills for what's awaiting them.

The progression of the love story was pretty much perfect for me.  Nothing was rushed, nothing was forced.  No insta-love here.  It was a slow and careful progression that really kept you interested and kept you rooting for them.

The post-apocolyptic world that Ann Aguirre has created here is scary, dangerous, and suspensful.  I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  She is a skilled writer, excellent with pacing.  I can't wait for the next installment of this story.  I'm definitely hooked.

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