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4/5 (147 évaluations)
335 pages
5 heures
Apr 12, 2011


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.

Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.

Apr 12, 2011

À propos de l'auteur

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English literature. Before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens. www.annaguirre.com

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Enclave - Ann Aguirre



down below

In the windowless tomb of a blind mother, in the dead of night, under the feeble rays of a lamp in an alabaster globe, a girl came into the darkness with a wail.

—George MacDonald, The Day Boy and the Night Girl


I was born during the second holocaust. People had told us legends of a time when human beings lived longer. I thought they were just stories. Nobody even lived to see forty in my world.

Today was my birthday. Each one added a layer of fear, and this year, it was worse. I lived in an enclave in which our oldest had seen twenty-five years. His face was withered, and his fingers shook when he attempted the smallest tasks. Some whispered it would be a kindness to kill him, but they meant they didn’t want to see their futures written in his skin.

Are you ready? Twist stood waiting for me in the darkness.

He already wore his marks; he was two years older than me, and if he’d survived the ritual, I could. Twist was small and frail by any standards; privation had cut runnels into his cheeks, aging him. I studied the pallor of my forearms and then nodded. It was time for me to become a woman.

The tunnels were wide and laid with metal bars. We had found remnants of what might’ve been transportation, but they lay on their sides like great, dead beasts. We used them for emergency shelters sometimes. If a hunting party was attacked before it reached sanctuary, a heavy metal wall between them and hungry enemies made the difference between life and death.

I had never been outside the enclave, of course. This space comprised the only world I’d ever known, cast in darkness and curling smoke. The walls were old, built of rectangular blocks. Once they had borne color but the years had worn them gray. Splashes of brightness came from items we scavenged from deeper in the warren.

I followed Twist through the maze, my gaze touching on familiar objects. My favorite item was a picture of a girl on a white cloud. I couldn’t make out what she was holding; that part had worn away. But the words in bright red, HEAVENLY HAM, looked wonderful to me. I wasn’t sure what that was, but by her expression, it must have been very good.

The enclave assembled on naming day, everyone who had survived to be named. We lost so many when they were young that we just called all the brats Boy or Girl, along with a number. Since our enclave was small—and dwindling—I recognized each face shadowed by the half-light. It was hard not to let the expectation of pain knot my stomach, along with the fear I would wind up with a terrible name that would cling to me until I died.

Please let it be something good.

The oldest, who carried the burden of the name Whitewall, walked to the center of the circle. He stopped before the fire, and its licking flame painted his skin in terrifying shades. With one hand, he beckoned me forward.

Once I joined him, he spoke. Let each Hunter bring forth his gift.

The others carried their tokens and piled them at my feet. A mound of interesting items grew—and a few of them, I had no idea what purpose they might’ve served. Decoration, perhaps? People in the world before seemed obsessed with objects that existed simply to look pretty. I couldn’t imagine such a thing.

After they finished, Whitewall turned to me. It’s time.

Silence fell. Cries echoed through the tunnels. Somewhere close by, somebody was suffering, but he wasn’t old enough to attend my naming. We might lose another citizen before we finished here. Sickness and fever devastated us and our medicine man did more harm than good, it seemed to me. But I’d learned not to question his treatments. Here in the enclave, one didn’t prosper by demonstrating too much independent thought.

These rules permit us to survive, Whitewall would say. If you cannot abide by them, then you are free to see how you fare Topside. The eldest had a mean streak; I didn’t know if he had always been that way, or if age had made him so. And now, he stood before me, ready to take my blood.

Though I had never witnessed the ritual before, I knew what to expect. I extended my arms. The razor glinted in the firelight. It was our prized possession, and the oldest kept it clean and sharp. He made three jagged cuts on my left arm, and I held my pain until it coiled into a silent cry within me. I would not shame the enclave by weeping. He slashed my right arm before I could do more than brace. I clenched my teeth as hot blood trickled downward. Not too much. The cuts were shallow, symbolic.

Close your eyes, he said.

I obeyed. He bent, spreading the gifts before me, and then grabbed my hand. His fingers were cold and thin. From whatever my blood struck, so would I take my name. With my eyes closed, I could hear the others breathing, but they were still and reverent. Movement rustled nearby.

Open your eyes and greet the world, Huntress. From this day forward, you will be called Deuce.

I saw the oldest held a card. It was torn and stained, yellow with age. The back had a pretty red pattern and the front had what looked like a black shovel blade on it, along with the number two. It was also speckled with my blood, which meant I must keep it with me at all times. I took it from him with a murmur of thanks.

Strange. No longer would I be known as Girl15. My new name would take some getting used to.

The enclave dispersed. People offered me nods of respect as they went about their business. Now that the naming day ceremony was complete, there was still food to be hunted and supplies to be scavenged. Our work never ended.

You were very brave, Twist said. Now let’s take care of your arms.

It was just as well we had no audience for this part because my courage failed. I wept when he put the hot metal to my skin. Six scars to prove I was tough enough to call myself Huntress. Other citizens received less; Builders got three scars. Breeders took only one. For as long as anyone could remember, the number of marks on the arms identified what role a citizen played.

We could not permit the cuts to heal naturally for two reasons: They would not scar properly and infection might set in. Over the years, we had lost too many to the naming day ritual because they cried and begged; they couldn’t bear the white-hot conclusion. Now Twist no longer paused at the sight of tears, and I was glad he didn’t acknowledge them.

I am Deuce.

Tears spilled down my cheeks as the nerve endings died, but the scars appeared one by one, proclaiming my strength and my ability to weather whatever I found out in the tunnels. I had been training for this day my whole life; I could wield a knife or a club with equal proficiency. Every bite of food I ate that had been supplied by someone else, I consumed with the understanding it would be my turn someday to provide for the brats.

That day had come. Girl15 was dead.

Long live Deuce.

*   *   *

After the naming, two friends held a party for me. I found them both waiting in the common area. We’d come up together as brats, though our personalities and physical skills put us on different paths. Still, Thimble and Stone were my two closest companions. Of the three, I was the youngest, and they’d taken pleasure in calling me Girl15 after they both got their names.

Thimble was a small girl a little older than me, who served as a Builder. She had dark hair and brown eyes. Because of her pointed chin and wide gaze, people sometimes questioned if she was old enough to be out of brat training. She hated that; there was no surer way to rouse her temper.

Grime often stained her fingers because she worked with her hands, and it found its way onto her clothing and smudged her face. We’d gotten used to seeing her scratch her cheek and leave a dark streak behind. But I didn’t tease her anymore because she was sensitive. One of her legs was a touch shorter than the other, and she walked with a whisper of a limp, not from injury, but that small defect. Otherwise, she might easily have become a Breeder.

Because he was strong and handsome, but not especially bright, Stone landed as a Breeder. Whitewall figured he had good material in him, and if matched with a clever female, he should sire good, solid offspring. Only citizens with traits worth passing on were allowed to contribute to the next generation, and the elders monitored births carefully. We couldn’t allow more brats than we could provide for.

Thimble rushed up to examine my forearms. How much did it hurt?

A lot, I said. Twice as much as yours. I gave Stone a pointed look. "Six times as much as yours."

He always joked he had the easiest job in the enclave, and maybe that was true, but I wouldn’t want the burden of making sure our people survived to the next generation. On top of siring the young, he also shared the responsibility of looking after them. I didn’t think I could deal with so much death. Brats were unbelievably fragile. This year, he’d sired one male, and I didn’t know how he dealt with the fear. I could barely remember my dam; she’d died young even by our standards. When she was eighteen, a sickness swept through the enclave, likely carried by the trading party from Nassau. It took a lot of our people that year.

Some citizens thought the offspring of Breeders should stay in that role. There was a quiet movement among the Hunters to take their number from their own—that once a Hunter got too old for patrols, he or she could sire the next crop of Hunters. I’d fought my whole life against that thinking. From the time I could walk, I’d watched the Hunters going off into the tunnels and known it for my destiny.

It’s not my fault I’m handsome, he said, grinning.

Stop, you two. Thimble got out a present wrapped in faded cloth. Here.

I hadn’t expected this. Brow raised, I took the parcel from her, hefted it, and said, You made me new daggers.

She glared. I hate when you do that.

To appease her, I unfolded the fabric. "They’re beautiful."

And they were. Only a Builder could do such fine work. She’d poured these just for me. I imagined the long hours over the fire and the time in the mold and the tempering and the polishing and sharpening afterward. They gleamed in the torchlight. I tested them and found them perfectly balanced. I executed a couple of moves to show her how much I liked them, and Stone jumped as if I might hit him on accident. He could be such an idiot. A Huntress never stabbed anything she didn’t intend to.

I wanted you to have the best out there.

Me too, Stone said.

He hadn’t bothered to wrap his gift; it was simply too big. The club wasn’t Builder quality work, but Stone had a fair hand with carving, and he’d taken a solid scrap of wood for the core. I suspected Thimble must’ve helped him with the banded metal along the top and bottom, but the fanciful figures cut into the wood came from him, no mistake. I didn’t recognize all of the animals, but it was lovely and solid, and I would feel safer with it on my back. He’d rubbed the carvings with some kind of dye, so they stood out from the grain. The decorations would actually make it harder for me to keep the weapon clean, but Stone was a Breeder, and he couldn’t be expected to think of things like that.

I smiled in appreciation. This is wonderful.

They both hugged me and then produced a treat we’d been saving for my naming day. Thimble had traded for this tin long ago—in anticipation of the occasion. The container itself offered unusual pleasure in that it shone bright red and white, brighter than most things we found down here. We didn’t know what was inside it; only that it had been sealed so thoroughly that we needed tools to pry it open.

A lovely scent drifted out. I had never smelled anything like it, but it was fresh and sweet. Inside, I saw nothing but colored dust. Impossible to tell what it might have once been, but the aroma alone made my naming day special.

What is it? Thimble asked.

Hesitantly, I touched a fingertip to the pink dust. I think it might be to make us smell better.

Do we put it on our clothes? Stone leaned in and gave a sniff.

Thimble considered. Only for special occasions.

Anything in there? I stirred, until I touched bottom. There is!

Elated, I drew out a square of stiff paper. It was white with gold letters, but they had a funny shape and I couldn’t read them. Some of them looked like they were supposed to; others didn’t. They looped and dropped and curled in ways that made them confusing to my eye.

Put it back, she said. It might be important.

It was important, if only for being one of the few complete documents we had from the time before. We should take it to the Wordkeeper.

Even though we’d traded for this tin fair and square, if it yielded a valuable enclave resource and we tried to keep it for ourselves, we could wind up in serious trouble. Trouble led to exile, and exile to unspeakable things. By mutual agreement, we replaced the paper and closed the tin. We shared a sober look, aware of the potential consequences. None of us wanted to be accused of hoarding.

Let’s take care of it now, Stone said. I have to get back to the brats soon.

Give me a bit.

Moving at a run, I headed to look for Twist. I found him in the kitchens, not surprisingly. I still hadn’t been assigned a private living space. Now that I’d been named, I could have a room of my own. No more brat dorm.

What do you want? he demanded.

I tried not to take offense. Just because I’d been named didn’t mean his treatment of me would improve overnight. To some, I’d be little more than a brat for a couple of years. Until I started edging toward elder territory.

Just tell me where my space is?

Twist sighed, but obligingly he led the way through the maze. Along the way, we dodged many bodies and wound through the layers of partitions and makeshift shelters. Mine sat in between two others, but it was four feet to call my own.

My room had three crude walls, constructed of old metal, and a ragged length of cloth for an illusion of privacy. Everyone had more or less the same; it only varied in terms of what trinkets people kept. I had a secret weakness for shiny things. I was always trading for something that glittered when I held it to the light.

That all?

Before I could answer, he went back toward the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, I pushed through the curtain. I had a rag pallet and a crate for my meager belongings. But nobody else had the right to come in here without my invitation. I’d earned my place.

Despite my worry, I smiled while I stowed my new weapons. Nobody would touch anything in here, and it was best not to visit the Wordkeeper armed to the teeth. Like Whitewall, he was getting on in years, and tended to be strange.

I didn’t look forward to this interrogation at all.


It didn’t take long to spill our story and show him the tin. He reached inside, letting the pink dust trail through his fingers. The card he handled carefully.

You say you’ve had this item for some time? The Wordkeeper glared at the three of us, as if we were guilty of stupidity at least.

Stone explained, We traded for it together and agreed we’d open it on Fifteen’s … er, Deuce’s naming day.

So you had no idea of the contents before now?

No, sir, I said.

Thimble added a timid nod. Her limp made her self-conscious, as the enclave seldom permitted such imperfections. But hers was minor and didn’t impede her performance as a Builder. In fact, I’d say she worked twice as hard, not wanting anyone to feel they’d made a mistake about her.

Are you willing to swear? the Wordkeeper asked.

Yes, Thimble said. None of us had any idea what it held.

They fetched Copper from the kitchens and she witnessed. The Wordkeeper growled as he took the document into evidence. Get out, all of you. I’ll let you know of my decision in due time.

I felt sick as we went back to my room. I wanted to show them where it was, anyway. Stone could enter with Thimble present as a chaperone. Like in the old days, in the brat dorm, we flopped onto the pallet together. Stone sat between us and wrapped an arm around each of us. He felt warm and familiar, and I leaned my head against his shoulder. I wouldn’t let anybody else touch me like this, but he was different. We were brat-mates, practically related.

It’ll be fine, he said. They can’t punish us for something we didn’t do.

Looking at the pleasure in Thimble’s face as she nestled against him, I wondered if she might do better as a Breeder. But the elders wouldn’t let her, even if she’d preferred it. Nobody wanted imperfections passed on, even the small, harmless ones.

He’s right, she agreed.

I nodded. The elders looked after us. Certainly, they had to consider the matter, but once they’d studied all the facts, no harm would come to us. We’d done the right thing and turned the paper over as soon as we found it.

Absently, Stone played with my hair; for him, it was a simple instinct. Touching wasn’t forbidden to Breeders. They hugged and patted so easily it alarmed me. Builders and Hunters had to take such care not to be accused of wrongdoing.

I have to go, Stone said regretfully.

To make some brats or look after them? Thimble asked with a flash of ire.

For a moment, I felt so sorry for her. To me, it was painfully obvious she wanted something she could never have. Unlike me. I had exactly what I wanted. I couldn’t wait to start work.

He grinned, taking the question at face value. If you must know—

Never mind, I said hastily.

Her face fell. I should go too. Hope you had a good naming day, Deuce.

Apart from seeing the Wordkeeper, it was fine. I smiled as they both left and fell back on my pallet to think about my future as a Huntress.

*   *   *

The first time I saw Fade, he frightened me. He had a lean, sharp face and shaggy dark hair that fell over his forehead into the blackest eyes, like a bottomless pit. And he bore so many scars, as if he’d lived through battles the rest of us couldn’t imagine. Hard as life had been here, his silent rage said he’d seen worse.

Unlike most, he hadn’t been born in the enclave. He came in through the tunnels, half grown when we found him, half starved and more than half feral. He didn’t have a number designation, or even any concept of how to behave. Still, the older citizens voted to let him stay.

Anybody who can survive out in the tunnels on his own has to be strong, Whitewall had said. We can use him.

If he doesn’t kill us all first, Copper had muttered back.

Copper was second oldest at twenty-four, and she served as mate to Whitewall, though it was a fluid arrangement. She was also the only one who dared to back-talk him, even a little bit. The rest of us had learned to mind. I’d seen people exiled because they refused to obey the rules.

So when Whitewall decreed the stranger stayed, we had to make it work. It was a long while before I actually set eyes on him. They tried to teach him our ways, and he spent long hours with the Wordkeeper. He already knew how to fight; he didn’t seem to know how to live with other people, or at least, he found our laws confusing.

I was just a brat at the time, so I wasn’t involved in his assimilation. I was training to become a Huntress. Since I wanted to prove myself with blade and boot, I worked tirelessly. When the strange boy got his name, I wasn’t there. He didn’t know how old he was, so they guessed when to christen him.

After that, I saw him around, but I certainly never spoke to him. Brats and Hunters didn’t mix, unless lessons were involved. Those earmarked for combat and patrol duties studied under the veteran Hunters. I’d spent most of my time training with Silk, but a few others had schooled me over the years as well. I formally met Fade much later, after my own naming. He was teaching the fundamentals of knife work when Twist delivered me to his class.

That’s all, Fade said, as we joined them.

The brats dispersed with quiet grumbling. I remembered how sore my muscles had been when I started training. Now I took pleasure in the hardness of my arms and legs. I wanted to test myself against the dangers beyond our makeshift walls.

Twist tilted his head at me. This is your new partner. Silk ranked her as the best in her group.

Did she? Fade’s voice sounded odd.

I met his black eyes with a lift of my chin. Can’t let him think he intimidates me. Yes. I scored ten out of ten in throws.

He raked me with a scathing look. You’re puny.

And you’re quick to judge.

What’s your name?

I had to think; I almost said Girl15. I fingered the card in my pocket, finding comfort in its edges. It was my talisman now. Deuce.

I’ll leave you two to talk, Twist said. I have other things to do.

He did, of course. Since he was small and fragile, he couldn’t hunt. He served as a second to Whitewall, running errands for him and taking care of administrative tasks. I couldn’t remember ever seeing him just sitting still, not even at night. I lifted my hand as he went around the jagged metal partition to another section of the settlement.

I’m Fade, he told me.

I know. Everyone knows you.

Because I’m not one of you.

You said it, not me.

His head jerked in a nod that said he didn’t want to answer any questions. Since I refused to be like everyone else, I swallowed my curiosity. If he didn’t want to talk, I didn’t care. Everyone wondered about his story, but only Whitewall had ever heard it—and maybe he didn’t even know the truth. But I was only interested in Fade as the one who guarded my back, so it didn’t matter.

He changed the subject. Silk assigns hunting parties daily. We join the rotation tomorrow. I hope you’re as good as she claims.

What happened to your last partner?

Fade smiled. He wasn’t as good as Silk claimed.

You want to find out? I lifted my brow in a challenge.

The space had cleared of brats, so he shrugged and took a position in the center. Show me what you’ve got.

It was a clever tactic, but I wasn’t that green. The offensive fighter lost the chance to assess his opponent’s style. I shook my head at him and curled my fingers. He almost smiled; I saw it start in his eyes, but then he focused on the

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147 évaluations / 103 Avis
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  • (4/5)
    The front of the book compared Enclave to The Hunger Games. That sets the standard for quality in a teen dystopia pretty darn high...and Aguirre totally came through! I was completely pulled into this world from the first pages. The writing, the plot and the characters are all fantastic. Book two will so be mine (and I totally want to acquire a copy of this one for my personal collection).

    Zombies have been done before, of course, but these feel much more terrifying. They have the speed of any other predator and are learning, like in Aftertime. What they reminded me of more than anything actually were the morlocks from The Time Machine. Super creepy! And they're not the only terror: "I had begun to throb with the desire to understand why things happened, why some people lived under the ground, like our enclave, the Freaks, and the Burrowers, and why some stayed Topside and turned into the greatest monsters of all" (173).

    Speaking of figuring out why things happened, that is something I would still like to know. That explanation has yet to appear. Thankfully, this does not come across as a lame attempt to increase my interest, but as a part of Deuce's journey that has not yet come. Deuce feels so real. The comparison to The Hunger Games lies largely in Deuce. We see from her perspective and she, like Katniss, cares first and foremost about survival. She doesn't really want to be involved in politics and relationships definitely confuse her. I am digging her love triangle, but have not firmly declared support for either team (Fade vs. Stalker), as both have promise.

    To sum up, I loved this and recommend it to pretty much everyone who likes reading darker stuff, like dystopias. This one rocks, especially because the characters go to a library to research in their post-catastrophe world. Now that's awesome! Ann Aguirre is officially on my watch list.
  • (3/5)
    After a somewhat disappointing encounter with Grimspace a couple of years ago, I was wary about reading anything more from Aguirre, but the concept of this book intrigued me – so I decided to take the plunge. Well, it was quite a pleasant surprise: the story drew me in immediately, to the point that I finished the book over a weekend – and I decided to give the Jax saga another try, on the chance that I might have started it on an "off" day.

    The second half of Enclave seemed a little hurried, though, and somewhat... unfinished, for want of a better word, as if the author were in a hurry to move forward to the next book: it felt particularly jarring after the fascinating details of life in the tunnels and the social dynamics created by that situation. My main point of contention comes from the addition of Stalker and the quick turnaround from wild-pack leader to useful team player: it seems a little contrived and IMHO it should have evolved over a longer time-span.

    On the other hand, Deuce's "voice" is quite compelling and it drew me into the story very quickly, so all things considered this was a fascinating read, that made me interested in the sequel.
  • (4/5)
    The premise: ganked from the author's website: 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 she 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.My Rating: Good ReadAguirre's YA debut is thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. Deuce is a great heroine who's really trying to carve out her own niche in her world, even though her world is something that isn't as simple as she thought. There's a solidly good cast with some interesting world-building, and Deuce isn't without friends to turn to, which is good to see, especially in YA. Enclave definitely passes the Bechdel test, even though most of Deuce's time is spent with her hunting partner, Fade.The blend of dystopia and post-apocalyptic also works really well, and the ending, which is a mostly satisfying resolution, still leaves enough of a question mark to make the reader look forward to the next book, Outpost. I'm looking forward to returning to this world and these characters, and I think both fans of dystopia fiction as well as Ann Aguirre's fiction will enjoy this as much as I did. Deuce is a fighter, so I can see why blurbs are saying this book is a must for fans of The Hunger Games, even though in all reality, there's not a whole lot that's similar (except for a heroine who's a fighter and a hunter who lives in a dystopic/post-apocalyptic setting). Still, it's not an unfair comparison. It's darker than your typical YA fare and isn't afraid to make the reader a wee bit squeamish, isn't afraid of making the reader look at some uncomfortable issues. Don't mistake this for just another YA romantic dystopia either. It's a solid survival story, and an enjoyable one at that.Spoilers, yay or nay?: Nay, to the best of my ability. It's such a new book that it doesn't feel fair to spoil it, you know? The full review is in my blog, including a discussion of the difference between dystopia and post-apoicalyptic fiction. Just click below! As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.REVIEW: Ann Aguirre's ENCLAVEHappy Reading!
  • (3/5)
    I'm a fan of Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series, so I was eager to see what her YA debut would be like. Sometimes I'm a mood reader and the first time I picked up Enclave it wasn't working for me. When I picked it up for a second time- things finally clicked.Enclave is a dark and captivating story. I haven't had the best luck with dystopian books - but ended up really enjoying this one. I loved the characters and their unique names. The "Freaks" definitely add to the creepy factor. I wasn't a big fan of the ending. It wasn't a bad ending, but I was just hoping for more. I look forward to book two and I hope we'll see more of Deuce and Fade.
  • (4/5)
    Amazingly fast read, it was over before I could realize what happened! I am just kidding of course, but once this book gets rolling, it's off! It's like you can't turn the pages fast enough because you know something is going to happen, and the next big thing is just a couple pages away. And then your heart it beating so fast wondering if they are going to make it. Then it's over and your wondering..can I have book 2 now please?It does not leave you with a huge cliff hanger ending. But it will leave you wanting more. Tons of adventure, action, kicking butt and weird cannible like creatures that will freak you out! (zombie's?)The humans do not act much like humans either. They live underground, they have very short life spans and they are very protective of the little they have managed to save.
  • (4/5)
    Newly named Deuce lives in an underground enclave known as College where the rules are strict to ensure survival. Her whole life has been spent training to be a Huntress, one who protects the enclave and fights the Freaks, diseased and cannibalistic creatures. Now that she's considered an adult, she sees more of the inner workings and it isn't what she expected. Everyone is expected to follow orders to the letter. Innovation or deviation are not allowed or appreciated. At first, she's distressed to be paired with wild card Fade because he doesn't really conform, but outside the enclave, he's shown himself to be an asset. They discover that the Freaks are getting smarter working together and formulating strategies. When they try to warn the leaders, they are brushed off and forced to make a dangerous trek to a neighboring enclave. Can Deuce and Fade get people to take them seriously? Will they even return alive?Enclave had been on my reading list for years and I finally decided to read it because I had collected the whole series over time. I was pleasantly surprised. This dystopia takes place in the future where these Freaks have overrun the world. Since Deuce only lives underground, she only knows College and what they tell her. She lives in what used to be the New York subway system and has been told her whole life that above ground is too dangerous to live there. No one in her society lives past 40 and their eldest member is 25. No one gets named until their 15th birthday. Children are called Girl or Boy and a number instead. The enclave has 3 essential roles: breeder, builder, and hunter. Rules and commands are to be followed without question or comment. If core rules are broken, the perpetrator is exiled. At first Deuce is enamored at having some authority, but quickly sees the flaws and inconsistencies in the rulers culminating in being exiled to save an innocent friend.The characters are compelling. Deuce struggles with her own identity, as teens do. She tries to exude a tough demeanor, but she hides the fear and uncertainty inside. She's clever and observant with a will to do what's right. Fade is an oddball for above ground that never really fit in. He and Deuce come to depend on each other and build their trust outside of the enclave as they fight Freaks and other enemies. Stalker is an interesting but offputting character. He led a gang called the Wolves who hunted people for sport and raped women to keep their numbers up. He sees a losing fight against the smarter Freaks and joins Fade Deuce's group. They begrudgingly accept him because of his skill in fighting and his vow to change his ways. This could be a hard pill to swallow for some readers because of his heinous actions, but I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often in post-apocalyptic stories. Both parties are being practical and weighing the risk against the reward.The zombies called Freaks are a mutated variety that used to be completely mindless and driven by their hunger for flesh. They look like people, but have lesions all over their skin, large claws, and sharp teeth. They hunt in backs and their stench of carrion usually announces their presence. This new variety of Freak seems to have more ability to strategize and work with other Freaks for a greater goal, making them far more dangerous for the remnants of civilization. These zombies don't make other Freaks out of people it seems, but it begs the question how they haven't died out yet. Perhaps this will be revealed in further books.Enclave is a fun zombie novel that has an interesting vision of a dystopic future that I haven't seen before. There were some things that weren't well thought out. For example, health doesn't seem to compromised by a poor diet in the enclave and how the stores above ground still had a lot of usuable supplies in them. These things and others like them didn't bother while I was reading, but seemed suspicious afterwards. Overall, I enjoyed Enclave and I plan to read the rest of the series.
  • (3/5)
    I didn't love this book as much as I expected to. Most of the time I was pretty bored and started to skim read again. :/
  • (3/5)
    This book is less dystopia and more post-apocalypse, with zombies thrown in - though they are never given that name. Though the plot focused solely on Deuce's life inside and outside the enclave, I was much more curious about the details of the world that Deuce lived in. The answers to these questions were sadly few and far between. It quickly became apparent that it was not in Deuce's nature to be inquisitive, and I was often distracted from Deuce's single-mindedness to be a Huntress. Deuce's two closest friends come from the other two groups, but little is told about these groups or the members that populated them. I was especially curious about Deuce's Breeder friend, who fathered a baby boy, but he is unfortunately removed from the plot before much development could occur.
    Many loose threads are pushed aside to make way for the character of Fade, and Deuce's relationship with him. I saw much potential in Fade's character because of the potential of his backstory, but the possibilities of what he could accomplish in the enclave are wasted. In the end, despite the title of the book, the plot seems to be more about what happens Topside than saving or reforming the enclave. Plus, I know little more about the Freaks (zombies) than I did when I started the book. While the book brimmed with potential, much of the characters' potential was unrealized, and the book ended with too many loose ends and unanswered questions. While I typically love YA literature, I think this book was too juvenile for me.
  • (5/5)
    In a post-apocalyptic world where the rules of survival are rigid and ruthless, staying alive means staying underground, fighting off the cannibalistic freaks, and unquestioning obedience to the enclave elders. Old enough to earn a name of her own and the six scars that mark her as a Huntress for the enclave, Deuce isn't too sure about the partner she's been assigned. Fade wasn't born to the enclave, and the elders don't trust him. Can Deuce?Riveting. Fingers crossed that the next book in the series is out soon.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the story, but the unusual names were a little hard to get used to.
  • (4/5)
    Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Razorland #1)Pages: 259Release Date: April 12th, 2011Date Read: 2011, October 20th-21st Received: LibraryRating: 4/5 starsRecommended to: 14+SUMMARY -In the Enclave, if you don't follow the rules, you die. Whether you're a Builder or a Breeder or a Hunter, following the rules means safety.Deuce, after going through with her ceremony, is a Huntress. She's proud of her title - it's all she's ever wanted. Now, she can fight the Freaks who terrorize the tunnels outside their Enclave. Deuce is partnered with a more experienced Hunter, Fade, a man who kept himself at a distance ever since he was discovered outside the Enclave, sickly and abused.With Fade, there is no turning back, once decisions are made. And with Fade, Deuce will discover a world far greater than she ever imagined. But first they must stay alive.MY THOUGHTS -This book started out good and ended great! I wasn't expecting anything going into it; if I had, I probably wouldn't have liked it much. But this really was an excellent read - and I managed it in under 28-ish hours. ;)At first I wasn't so sure how much I liked the writing, but that changed. As Deuce's voice became more prominent, the writing style smoothed and became very lyrical. By the end I totally enjoyed all the words!CHARACTER NOTES -While these characters didn't amaze me with uniqueness and depth, I did truly enjoy reading about them. Deuce had a very serious outlook on her life and job, but she was still very spunky and interesting. I grew to love her as she grew and as the pages flew by.Fade was quite something. I wasn't sure about him at all in the beginning, really loved and respected him in the middle, and then went back to being unsure in the end. I didn't really see a smooth change between theses portrayals of Fade, but I'm hoping something good happens because I'm really bummed about his change.The side characters were typical but well-developed. I enjoyed seeing who came and left over the course of the story.STORY NOTES -I'm surprised there wasn't more action here. At least half of the book was cutting and slicing and running and being scared, all of it was really good and interesting and really intense, but the other half set up the story and the world and what happened. I honestly wish the book had been longer, to give more action time than set-up time.But for the most part, the story was great. I really enjoyed Deuce and Fade's adventures together, whether they were on the run or hiding in a storeroom or searching for maps. And the end was totally what I'd been hoping for: a solid finish, climactic, with a bit of a cliff-hanger.SUMMING IT UP -A fearless venture. I love that phrase, and I think it does a great job describing this story. I look forward to the continuation!For the Parents -Intense and sometimes gross descriptions of fight scenes and wounds inflicted. Very gross. A few mentions of rape (forced breeding, in their terms). Some men think that's all women are good for. However, this book was honestly way less scary/intense/disturbing that I thought it was hyped up tot be. Recommended 14+
  • (4/5)
    I got this book from Goodreads First Read program and at first I have some reservations about the book since it is "sci-fi" in a way and a not-so-catching title (sorry) but I was really surprised. From the 2nd or 3rd chapter the book already connected with me. It was actually pretty good. It was exciting and action-packed and I would love to see it in big screen (3D!haha) Book has a nice concept/plot and highly imaginative. However, I do wish there was a brief description of what happened to the Earth, freaks, disease/virus that killed the people, etc. I kept thinking of "I Am Legend" every time I read about the freaks (haha). I also wish that there's a sequel or at least more chapters focusing on Fade and Deuce's love story! Less action and more love! HAHA
  • (5/5)
    Let me take a second to say OMG! I absolutely loved this book! If you read my blog, or know anything about me then you know I'm really not one for the dystopian type novels. Well I think I may have found the exception, and maybe it will change my mind. Whatever the reason this was an awesome book. I finished it in about a day in half. It's divide into 2 parts the underground: Which is where the compound is and it's where most people live. (Although they live in different compounds) along with the Freaks (zombie like creatures). The second half of the book takes place above ground. Where other people live...like gangs.The story starts off with "Brat or girl 15" having a ceremony because she has lived past the age of 15, and now has the right to a name which she learns is going to be Deuce. Along with the name she becomes one of 3 things, she chooses to become a huntress because that's what she's wanted her whole life to be able to fight outside. Now a huntress she's given the opportunity to fight against the "freaks" but she gets stuck with a partner who keeps to himself and plays by his own rules. At first she's not happy with it he likes the rules they're what's kept herself all this time. Now though she's beginning to question the authority, and by doing that she loses the only place and people she's ever known.*SPOILER-Y*When one thing leads to another Fade and Deuce get kicked to the upside. (They get pushed to the top, and that's not a good thing.) Living above ground means survival of the fittest. (If you're a girl it's even worse. You pretty much get treated like a slutty slave) Together Deuce and Fade must learn to trust and help each other. Fade came from the topside, and knows what it's like to live and what must be done to live. While above they run into problems gangs mainly. *END*I honestly don't think I can put into words how much I loved and enjoyed this book. I think I've been trying to write this darn review for a few weeks now. :) Sometimes I feel like I'm just repeating myself over and over on each review. That's not what I want, but I can't help it. This book definitely has me looking for some other good dystopian novels now. (Note I read the hunger games wasn't a big fan. Trying to read the forest of hands and feet still can't get past 100 pages. Started Delirium I kinda liked it. As for others I don't know) Anyways, I think now whenever I read A dystopian it's going to be measured to this one. I shouldn't do that, but what can I say that's just me. I absolutely loved the world building in it. The idea of people living underground in sewer like systems was intriguing (yet kind of gross). Where else could you possibly go though if the world above lay in ruins. You can't live in the skies. Unless you had a really awesome ship that didn't need fuel of some sort. (Totally off topic I know) I liked how they found that everyday things were fascinating. Things that maybe they've never seen before. (This is where notes would have come in handy for me)As for the characters I loved Duece I thought she was a strong character, and held her own. Although she was a little niave at first thinking that her superiors (I forget what they call themselves) had everyones best intentions at hand. (When do they ever?) She soon learned that they didn't know much of anything and they weren't willing to listen to others that did. (Namely Fade). She cared alot for her friends, and for those she didn't know. Which we see more of when things got crazy on the topside. I do think she may have more room to grow. It will be interesting to see how. :) Fade, there's one of him in (almost) every book. The mysterious, not well known guy who happens to fall into place with the girl. I'm totally not complaining though I adore him maybe as much (if not more) then some of my other literary hotties. He's the one who defies the Elders (I looked it up that's what they're called), who knows what living above is like.He starts off being this guarded person not letting anyone in, but eventually he opens up. We get to see that he does have a good heart. Boy, what I would do for him. :) Then we have Tegan who we meet above. I definitely have a soft spot for her, and all the crap that she went through with the gangers. Then Stalker, who is one of the gangers, I didn't know if I really liked him or not. Hum? I'm thinking maybe the only complaint I had was I would have liked a little more of the underground I think to see more of what the life was REALLY like before everything happened with Deuce and Fade. That part of the story went a little quick for me. We didn't get to see much of Deuces Friends. We didn't get to learn to much about the other two groups. (I know it's kind of self explanatory)Wrapup: Awesome CharactersStoryline super
  • (5/5)
    Enclave is a book about a boy and a girl who live in an underground town.The girl is named Deuce and has been living there since she was born. The boy's name is Fade and he only recently found his way to the town from wandering around in the vast underground tunnel systems. Both Fade and Deuce have taken the role of a hunter to get food for the town and kill freaks. Freaks are zombie like creatures who are believed to be very stupid creatures who eat any meat they can get. Deuce and Fade are assigned to be hunting partners and are sent on a journey to a near village as a punishment. When they get there they find that the whole town has been overrun by freaks. They quickly make the three day trip back to their own town. There they try to warn the people that the freaks are getting stronger and smarter. The towns people just laugh at Deuce and Fade and banish them from the town. Fade then tells Deuce that hes actually from the topside, so the two of them go to the topside of the earth were everything is in ruins. (Cliff Hanger for next book)I loved this book because I love books that are dystopian. I also love that there was lots of action and a little mystery. I also like the fact that there is a lot of survival involved. This book has been my favorite book so far this year. I cannot wait for the next two books in the trilogy and will be reading them soon.
  • (5/5)
    This book was an amazing read(I'm already devouring the next book in the series.) I just loved the fact that Ann Aguirre mixed the 2 people most likely to never get along with each other. Fade was such a mysteries person that he never quite fit in even when people like Banner started to appreciate the way that he thinks. He never shows pain even though many of his new friends die he doesn't complain about it, just keeps going like nothing ever happened. And Deuce is the exact opposite. Deuce hates the fact that as a Hunter she must never show weakness or the slightest bit of softness, but as a Huntress she must always show that she has the upper hand. She just can't not follow the rules, its in her blood. But when she is partnered with Fade Deuce believes that Silk is trying to ruin her life. As the story continues to move along Deuce realizes that everything that she has been taught was all wrong. Join Deuce and her friends as they venture out into the real world. The world where everything can go wrong and if it can go wrong it will. Hunt...if you want to survive.
  • (4/5)
    "Enclave" is the story yet another dystopian YA story. While I admit to becoming somewhat tired of them I enjoyed "Enclave" and I am glad that I read it. There are plenty of descriptions of this book's plot but let me give a brief synopsis. Something has happened to make the world as we know it uninhabitable. Pockets of survivors of this time have hidden in the subway underground tunnels. Entire communities have formed below where there is no sunlight or fresh air. In Deuce's community there are three groups of people and everyone belongs to one of those three groups. There are Builders, Breeders, and Hunters. Builders build and create things needed for living. Hunters protect and go out and hunt for and gather food. Breeders make children and care for the next generations. Deuce has always wanted to be a Hunter. Shortly after she becomes one she learns more about things going on in their enclave and things quickly spiral out of hand. She and her partner Fade are eventually banned from their community and forced `aboveground'...a fate that could easily mean their deaths.I liked that this book really seemed to stand out and be unique in this overly saturated dystopian market. I really liked reading about the Enclave and how they lived after whatever went down to because the world to be changed so drastically. Deuce was an enjoyable character although at the beginning I was somewhat annoyed by her because she seemed so willing to overlook all the horrible things happening right in front of her. I loved Fade. He was empathetic and different straight from the start. I really thought he seemed like a great guy and I liked how he and Deuce interacted. We spent only a fairly short amount of time down below with the entire group so it was hard to get a good feel on any of the other characters. Stone, the dumb but kind Breeder was intriguing but I thought best friend Thimble wasn't loyal or kind hearted. She actually was somewhat selfish.Adding to the danger is a group of zombie type creatures Deuce refers to as Freaks. They are mostly dumb (but maybe getting smarter) once-humans who eat their dead. They see the humans as meat and will do anything to get at them. They are a danger both below and aboveground. What is somewhat confusing is that the readers don't really know what the Freaks are or how they came to be. Readers don't know what happened aboveground or why the tunneled groups to fled the aboveground. I have my theory and it is something that I think is hinted at in the book and it would also somewhat explain the Freaks. Something this important to the story should probably have been explained in more detail upfront. Also, readers are informed early on that people don't live to be very old. They are dead by their early twenties most of the time but they never explain why that is either. Is it due to natural causes because of all the danger? Is it due to whatever caused this `apocalypse' of sorts? Is it just because hygiene is poor? More details, please!I have one other really big complaint and it is something that just doesn't sit well with me at all. In the latter part of the novel, Deuce and Fade are topside. They have figured out the a group that refers to themselves as Wolves (a gang of sorts) basically use woman for just one thing and the woman don't agree or want this. After several events Tegan (the young raped woman) and her rapist (Stalker) end up with them on their journey. Tegan is obviously miserable being forced to have Stalker along and the fact that Fade and Deuce accept him along just made me sick. At one point Deuce tells them to get over it and stop fighting between themselves! Now here is (word for word) the part I am disgusted by:"Part of me hated him for what he'd let the other Wolves do to Tegan, but the Huntress half of me wondered why she hadn't fought until she died. I admired his ruthless skill with those blades that seemed an extension of his hand."Ok, so we don't know for sure that Stalker himself raped Tegan but he was definitely the leader and allowed this to happen on his watch. He also seems to have raped other woman in his gang because this is supposedly the way of life for them. I can't get past this. I can't understand why the others are so willing to forgive and forget when this guy tried to kill them and raped women. Wow. Just wow. Now I find that "Enclave" is recommended summer reading for my 12 year old son's advanced English class. I'm glad I read this book first so that we can discuss this part of the book together.Overall, I did find this book very readable and fairly unique. I think the writing is solid and I think the author is very skilled at her craft. I had problems with the previously noted content and the fact that I wish the world was explained in more detail. I found the action exciting and found the world, especially the tunnel communities to be very intriguing. I certainly am engaged enough that I want to read the follow up "Outpost" because I also loved where the book left off. I see a lot of potential in where this series would go. I just wish Stalker would be written off or better yet tarred, feathered, and scalped.
  • (4/5)
    Full of action, adventure, mystery and danger, Enclave, will have you at the edge of your seat. I am on a dystopian kick right now. So I pretty much will devour anything that says post-apocalyptic on it. But I found that Enclave did not disappoint. From the first pages I quickly connected with Deuce. I have a thing for kick-ass females and she is definitely one. In a world where you are a only considered a number until you reach a certain age and are finally given a name, Deuce was like a shining light. She is strong, tough, loyal and brave. She is definitely not someone who needs rescuing... on the other hand, she is the one who most likely does the rescuing. I admired her for coping with the bleak and dreary world she lives in and making the best of it. When she gets partnered with Fade she is not a happy camper. Fade is someone whom the Enclave has ostracized. He is allowed to live amongst them but is not seen as one of them. When they make a discovery that will have Deuce questioning the moral code she's always lived by she'll find that the only person she can truly trust is Fade. His determination to survive and find out the truth no matter the cost will be their beacon in the darkness.Although at first it is a bit tedious when it comes to getting the names, sometimes number, etc. down, please persevere. After a few chapters you will find that you are in the grips of a masterfully crafted adventure. One that you will have a tough time putting down. I guarantee that the world building, the tough-as-nails characters, humanity's struggle to survive, the bright spark of hope in a world that is hopelessly dark, a glimpse of compassion in a world full of cruelty, the danger, the adventure, the plausible and fascinating dystopian world, will all have you flying through its pages. Fans of The Hunger Games make sure to add Enclave to the ever-growing YA dystopian must-read list. This is one series that you should not miss out on.
  • (5/5)
    I love dystopia and I'm eager to read just about anything of the genre. But for some reason, although I wanted to read this one I think I had become a bit worried that maybe it would be more focused on the Freaks and fighting them and wouldn't have as much of a dystopia feel. I shouldn't have worried because this book was fabulous! The first half or so we see what it's like in the Enclave. How the elders (who are no older then 25) keep everyone controlled by using the fear tactic. We watch as Deuce starts to realize that this method is not so good. We also see as her and Fade get to know each other how much they trust and depend on each other. Their romance is something that develops over time through the story as they go through one thing after another. It's sweet and realistic. The second half is different and they have to struggle to survive, but in a different environment. They meet new challenges but Deuce is amazed at all she has been missing out on in the Enclave where they've lied to her her entire life. The world that was created was easy to imagine. It was a post apocalyptic world and I was just as eager as the characters in the book to find out what had really happened to everyone. I thought the characters were all great. I love Deuce and how what's ingrained in her makes her strive to be stronger, to be better, and to not be burdened down by sad and tragic events. But Deuce, while she see's her softness for other humans a bad thing, it really is a good thing. And Fade sees that and helps her realize that as well. All the side characters were great and played their roles perfectly. The only complaint about this book is really a minor one. I hate how they call the children brats. To me that's a word to call a child who's bad. You don't just call ALL children brats. It bothered me through the whole book. I didn't really think it was necessary. They could have just been called children just as easily. But like I said, it's just a minor thing.This was a very fast read. Without interruptions I could have easily read it in a couple hours. It was hard to put down because it had constant action and the need to know what happens next is strong. It ended very well with a decent conclusion so no major cliffhanger. However I'm very anxious to read more about Deuce, Fade and the others. So I'm hoping the next book continues with them.
  • (5/5)
    Enclave… another dystopian novel, but I have to say, SUCH an outstanding plot. It really sets itself apart from the other books with the world that Ann Aguirre builds for us. What is not to love? Apocalypse, zombies, major fight action scenes, heavy dystopian themes and zombies?!Deuce lives underground in an enclave with Fade. Their enclave is segregated, so people are given a role in the society, and they don’t break away from this. There are builders, breeders and hunters. Deuce and Fade are hunters, so love is forbidden for them.They primarily hunt and gather food, and also kill off the Freaks, which are Aguirre’s AWESOME version of zombies (Seriously, I loved the concept of them, and how they became smarter and more capable. It was great!).Due to a series of events, they find themselves exiled from the enclave and are forced to Topside, which is basically Earth as we know it, but set far far into the future, when we’re all gone and basically the skyscrapers are remaining but disheveled and falling apart. Gangs remain and the streets are dangerous. They need to survive.I absolutely adored these characters… I was made to CARE about these characters. I felt pangs of sadness and jealousy for Deuce, and annoyance at Fade at certain parts of the book. I even started to come around and start liking Stalker, who is a gang member we are introduced to. And I loved Tegan’s vulnerability throughout, and admired her growing courage.There was just so many aspects of this book I loved, but I really was just so drawn in that when the book ended I was like “Oh.” and actually felt disappointed… only that I have to wait now for the second book in the series! Talk about leaving you hanging!Absolutely fantastic book, amazing dystopian novel, and I think for lovers of The Hunger Games (and side note anyone who loves zombies), you will truly enjoy the Razorland series!
  • (4/5)
    All her life Deuce has lived underground in an enclave called College. She was born during the second holocaust and has never seen the surface. People in the enclave don't live past the age of twenty-five. They are split into three categories, Breeders, Builders & Hunters. Deuce is a huntress. Along with her partner, Fade, she patrols the tunnels and checks the traps for food. When they are assigned to travel to a nearby enclave to check if they are ok, they find something they didn't bargain for. The Freaks (zombies) have always been a threat, but now they are becoming smarter, more organized. But no one at College believes them, especially the leaders.

    This is a great story, twists and turns and edge of your seat moments. I liked Deuce. She is naive in that she never questions what the leaders tell her, but how could she know better? Her partnership with Fade is great. He is the perfect mysterious stranger in a place so contained that they all know each other. He was found wandering in the tunnels. Somehow he managed to survive alone and nobody knows how. He is quiet and keeps to himself. When Deuce is paired with Fade, her life begins to take a new direction. It's obvious from the tension between them, that somehow they will end up in a relationship and the inevitable love triangle.

    I'm reading the second book now and loving it. Really looking forward to the third!!

    Recommended to:
    Fans of young adult fiction, dystopia, zombie and apocalypse stories. Another great young adult series. Read this!!
  • (5/5)
    Thank you Velvet for referring me to Ksenia to read and review this amazing book!When I read Velvet's review, I knew I had to read this book.Imagine what life will be like when the world suffers much devastation and hunger. Where would the people go if meteors hit the world?Well, this book gives an idea, a pretty cool idea too, into what life would be like after disaster. The things that happen, and the characters make this such an exciting tale!I really hope there is a book 2.I sincerely suggest getting a copy.... I don't want to give anything away, but I guarantee you will enjoy it!A definite must read for all fantasy or dysotopian fans!
  • (5/5)
    WELCOME TO RAZORLANDMeet Girl15. She lives underground not by choice, but by necessity. War and plague have obliterated New York City forcing most of civilization to migrate underground. The elders have long since warned the enclave of the severe dangers of Topside with horrific tales of acid rain and a sun that melts your skin off. Instead, they take their chances with the Freaks down below, a nasty breed of human-like creatures with a serious appetite for flesh. Living Down Below is rough and life expectancy is in the early 20's. Because many are lost at a young age, names are not given until they reach age 15. A naming ceremony is conducted and a role is provided: Breeder, Builder or Hunter.Girl15’s naming ceremony leaves her with a new identity. She is now known as Deuce and will become a Huntress, something she has been training for her entire short life. She is immediately paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter wise beyond his years. Fade was found years before in the tunnels, a deranged, animalistic young boy who had been left to fend for himself…and survived. Welcomed into the enclave for his fighting skills alone, he is as much an outcast as he is a badass.Deuce and Fade soon discover that they work well together, although their penchant for following directions is mediocre at best. They soon learn that you do not disobey the elders. As punishment, they are sent on a death mission to investigate the status of the neighboring enclave, a mission they aren’t expected to return from. Returning with horrific news of which the elders quickly dismiss, the duo find themselves wondering whose side the elders are really on. Later on, Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave. Fade assures Deuce that Topside is not as bad as the elders make it out to be, although it presents its own set of dangerous issues. With nothing more than a few key items, the pair travels to new territory, in search of hope, freedom and salvation.MY THOUGHTSNot since The Hunger Games have I read such a thrilling book that I inhaled in 12 hours flat. The world that the author has created is one that easily sucks you in via pure horror. You are presented with a dark, terrifying existence underground, where space is limited, food and medicine are scarce, and Freaks threat your very existence. There is nothing joyful about this stark existence, as every day is spent ensuring the survival of the enclave. The elders are relentless in their mission to keep the population in the dark about reality outside their home, and should anyone threatens their rule, well, use your imagination…Duece is one hell of a heroine. She is a fierce huntress who is completely content living the dangerous life. However, she is also extremely compassionate, a character trait that is not respected or tolerated within the enclave. She is intelligent yet lacks real-life experience, including that of love and intimacy, as no one but Breeders are allowed to be romantically involved. This makes for interesting plot as love is presented to Deuce, and she remains completely oblivious. Most of all, however, Deuce is a survivor, and her perseverance to keep herself and her party alive are beyond admirable. Although her life has been nothing short of hellish, she never gives up on breathing.Fade. Wow. What a character. He is the best Hunter the enclave has ever seen, yet he remains an outcast and is used only for his frightening ability to kill. He is an enigma, at first, but once his history and personality are slowly revealed, you begin to appreciate his depth. Fade’s tragic life experiences allow him to weasel his way into our hearts. As we watch him battle both physical and emotional threats, we cheer for his victory all the way. Fade is fierce, protective, and downright magnificent, in my eyes. He is an intense character with many layers.The naming ceremony was a wicked cool idea! I will not go into details but I was very impressed with the author’s conception of this important event. It was quite creative. On a different note, I was left wondering about the Freaks and how they came into existence. I hope this is relayed in future books. This was my first book by the author, and I must say I am her newest fan girl. She has an amazing quality to her writing that is quite hypnotic. Her ability to make the reader feel as they though they, too, were fighting Freaks, experiencing intimacy for the first time, and enduring much despair and loss, was quite amazing. The ending to Enclave is abrupt, and makes your heart yearn for more connection between the characters. However, we haven’t seen the last of Deuce and Fade. When we meet again, I am more than prepared for greatness.
  • (3/5)
    An interesting take on the post-apocalyptic/dystopia genre. It's nothing ground-breaking, but neither is it a penny-a-page hack attempt at cashing in on the hype surrounding these two genres. I enjoyed the growth and progression of the protagonist, Deuce, even though her male-counterpart (Fade) perfectly fit the tall, dark, handsome, brooding stranger trope(s). The addition of Stalker was nice, until the decision to kill him came up negative and his transgressions were quickly forgotten (here we have a violent gang-leader who regularly rapes women and hunts and kills men for sport...why the hell would you ever trust him/let him live?). His character development was far from realistic and, in retrospect, pisses me off. He switches from enemy to ally more quickly than one can flip a light-switch. Even Tegan ends up not caring so much about his past, even though she had been forced into pregnancy twice by him (both children were lost).
  • (3/5)
    This is the first in a new YA series. I found the first book to be engaging as you learn about the dystopian, future world through, Deuce.
  • (4/5)
    Mini Book Review: Fascinating Post-Apocalyptic (Dystopian) novel perfect for the YA set. I would especially recommend this to reluctant YA readers as it is a fast paced exciting story with not too much fluff. I enjoyed Aguire's writing style and will be checking out some of her other stories. I was a little disappointed with one of the plot developments (Sorry can't say too much without spoiling story) as I found it a tad disturbing but you have to remember I am a 40 yr old Mom who is a wee bit of a dreamer (Yes, I know I would totally die in a post-apocalyptic world). This could work as a standalone novel with the ending giving a bit of hope for the future of Deuce and her gang, but I am happy that there is going to be a second novel as well (Sorry haven't looked into that more). BTW, think for even my mini reviews I am going to stick with point form as I really am not a writer as you can tell from this rambling review. To make a long story short (too late) just go buy the book its an absorbing story that will help you escape for a little while and your life will look a lot better considering the world that these characters live in : )4.25 Dewey'sI won this from an Ann Aguire Twitter Contest
  • (5/5)
    Oh, my gosh! Sooo good! I'm a big fan of Ann Aguirre's Corine Solomon series (adult urban fantasy) and so I was looking forward to seeing what she did with YA. And, ooh boy, did she write some awesome!Deuce is a great character. She's very focused, knows what she wants (to be a Huntress and feed/protect her home and family) and works extremely hard to get there. She's so proud when she makes it, with the six scars on her forearm to prove her status. But she's also willing to stand up for what she believes is right. Unfortunately, some of those ideals are quite different from what the elders believe and because of her actions, she and her partner, Fade, are exiled Topside. There's interesting chemistry between her and Fade, though she isn't really sure what to do with it, since that kind of stuff is left for the Breeders. Touching isn't encouraged in her society. Once exiled, she no longer has to follow her society's rules but then they're more concerned about survival than love.The first part of this book takes place underground in a harsh society where kids die young and the "elders" might make it to twenty-five. Knowledge is scarce, disease is rampant, and you follow the rules or you're exiled, a death sentence in most cases. There's something about the dark that's frightening enough but add in almost-human monsters known as Freaks with claw-like nails and a thirst for flesh of any kind, and I'm sleeping with a nightlight and my dogs close for protection.What I really liked about this story, aside from the characters, story, and overall creepiness (that's pretty much everything, isn't it?), was that I could actually picture this happening. This second holocaust, brought on by a rampant disease, decimates society, scattering those who survive. Some remained human and regrouped. Some turned into Freaks, twisted by disease, and went feral. Placing the reader squarely in the action, in the dark, and fighting for her life against the Freaks, ENCLAVE is another 2011 Favorite. I'm really looking forward to book two, which is due out next year. (Ah--A whole year to wait! Darn.)
  • (5/5)
    Zombies. Yes, that's right zombies. People living in the sewers trying to survive while eating rats and surviving said zombies. An apocalyptic New York City with crumbling buildings and ferocious gangs that rape women to keep their numbers up. A world that has been decimated by a deadly virus. There is no safety anywhere. What would you do? How would you survive? And that's how I've chosen to quickly describe this novel. It is a dystopian lover's dream. It has all the elements that make a book suspenseful, enjoyable, and a little bit frightening. Amazing characters. Scary monsters. Well honestly, they weren't scary at first. But then they got really scary. And that was about when the book really got going too. Reading this is like watching an action movie, in that it moves really fast. It's suspenseful and nerve-wracking. I wish it had been longer, but that only means it was amazing. For awhile while I was reading I was only going to rate this book 4 stars. But in the end, when I finished, I decided it was definitely worth 5. I don't know exactly when my mind changed but if I had to guess, I would say it was somewhere around halfway. Great characterizations in this novel. Awesome character development. Everyone changed and adapted. Their personalities and perspectives changed and it was mesmerizing while it was happening. Very vivid settings as well, but the descriptions weren't over done at all. The author gave you plenty of room to create your own world in your mind. I loved that. Best part, no cliffhanger. But it's a series, so I'm expecting an entirely new storyline for the next book. But I definitely think this book was a stand-alone. If you love dystopian novels, apocalyptic storylines, or reading about zombies, I can promise that you will enjoy this one. Even if you are an adult, pick it up. You will love it. It's gotten great reviews and I can definitely see why. It's a popular read, but it definitely needs to get more hype behind it. Because it's one of those novels that live up to the hype. I have been looking forward to reading this for months now. I was afraid it was going to let me down. And it so didn't.
  • (4/5)
    I am absolutely fascinated about how much dystopian teen fiction is out there right now and I've been trying to read as much of as possible. A lot of it is really bad, but yet there are some that really suck me in. This is definitely part of the latter. I devoured this book and cannot wait for the next installment.

    Also, I really loved Deuce and Fade so far. I liked their interaction and their relationship, issues and all. I'm rooting for them individually and as a couple.
  • (4/5)
    When I first read the synopsis of this book, I just knew I had to read it. The above synopsis gives a very good description of the book; actually, I think it gives TOO much away. I mean, some of the major plot points of the book are already spilled in the synopsis, which is kind of frustrating. I like a nice vague overview of what the book is about, not giving too much away. But don't let that stop you from reading the book because it is very good.I liked the characters in this book, I just didn't connect with them as much as I wanted to. Why? I'm not sure...I mean I did connect with them some but not as much as I would have liked to. And I do have to say, toward the end of the book I really started to care more about them, so I have super high hopes for the next book! Deuce is a touch chick who knows what she wants to do in life. All she's ever wanted to be is a Hunter and she's very good at it. She's loyal and brave, but as a result of growing up in the enclave she is entirely too trusting of their leaders, accepting everything they say as the ultimate truth. At least until she meets Fade, who doesn't really fit in with everyone else. They really begin to get close as they are paired up to go hunt together. At first Deuce is mad that she is paired up with Fade, seeing it as a punishment because she views him as being slightly unstable. As she gets to know him, however, she finds out what an excellent Hunter he is and how dedicated/loyal he is as a partner. Fade is very mysterious at first, but throughout the book you really learn a lot about him and what happened Topside that drove him underground. I really enjoyed two of the people they meet along the way: Tegan and Stalker. I'm not going to say too much about what the second half of the story holds because I don't want to give away too much. Let's just say, I could see myself begin Team Stalker. Yeah, I know, he's a LOT rough around the edges (he's pretty much raised himself Topside and it's basically a "dog eat dog" world), but ok so I like the bad boys! :)Life expectancy underground in the Enclave is poor. The oldest, Whitewall, being 25 which they liken to being pretty much ancient. And it's no wonder: without proper medicine it's hard enough to fight of illnesses. But then you have to add in the threat of the Freaks. The Freaks are basically like zombies, feasting on the flesh of living beings, and occasionally their own dead. Unlike zombies however, their bites and scratches do not appear to turn people into the undead; in fact, it's kind of a mystery as to where they came from. One theory being that it was the result of an illness, but maybe we will get answers in the next book! I love zombies so it was a nice addition to this dystopian story, made for a lot more suspense and fight scenes (which I of course love!).That's really about all I'm going to include in my review for this book. Like I said, I don't want to risk giving too much away because you really should read it for yourself! It's a great addition to the young adult dystopian genre and I am very much looking forward to what the next book in the series has in store!My rating: 4/5 stars
  • (5/5)
    I've read quite a few dystopians lately, but none that have truly blown me away... not since I read The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins). That is, until I read Enclave. Aguirre's Enclave is a breath of fresh air in a world full of romantic dystopia. While there is a slight romantic tone at points throughout the story, that is not at all the main focus - unlike most books nowadays, like Delirium and Matched.Enclave follows two very strong characters, whom I absolutely loved. Deuce is a fighter. She is strong and tough. Being raised in the Enclave, their way of life is all she has known and being a Huntress in all she has ever dreamed of. Fade is an outcast. He's strong and silent. Not born to the Enclave, he came from the outside as a child and was recruited to the Enclave's forces. Being partnered with Fade, Deuce discovers many new things - about herself, her partner and her way of life - while they both discover new feelings. Deuce and Fade were so flesh and blood to me. They were amazingly written and had wonderful depth and character. Tegan and Stalker were wonderful additions to the group later on in the book.The world these characters live in is so real. I can close my eyes and clearly see the tunnels and the debris that these people live in. It's grim and disturbing, but I loved it.The story was fast-paced and incredibly written. Aguirre sucked me right in and unfortunately, spit me back out. I did not want to story to end, but it did. Now I'm left pining, wringing my hands in anticipation of Outpost. I can not wait to read the next installment and follow these characters that I love so much!One of my favorite quotes from Fade: He stroked my cheek very lightly. "I have your back. I didn't mean only when it's easy. All the time." (page 76 of ARC, subject to change) *SIGH*