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Friday, April 22, 2011

ARC Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Ah Deuce. Just when I thought I wouldn't see another strong female protagonist, here you are. Fierce and loyal, definitely a Huntress.

Title: Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Pages: 259
Release Date: April 12th 2011
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher (thanks Feiwel & Friends!)
Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.
Deuce has been born in the dark. The life she knew has always been with the Enclave, and all she wanted was to earn the respect and the right to be a Huntress. She did, but as she spends her life being one, fighting Freaks and helping the Enclave survive, Deuce was starting to realize that the Enclave has been keeping things from all of them. Important things needed for survival. Were they kept ignorant on purpose? Only she and Fade, her partner, are the only ones who are brave enough to tell the truth. Exiled to the "topside", Deuce had to brave this strange new world, defying everything she believed in, all that was taught to her at the Enclave, and the overwhelming threat of the Freaks with the help of Fade and search for a new beginning.

What I love most about this book, aside from the fact that Deuce is a strong and great female protagonist, was that Fade, the main guy lead, is just as strong as she is. I've been noticing that in a book, one character has to be weak and the other strong, but in Enclave both Fade and Deuce are tough characters. They support each other and they have each others backs. Though they are not without weaknesses, their perseverance and willingness to continue even when all seems without hope were admirable.

Zombies are generally portrayed as scary, but the Freaks on Enclave just gives me the goosebumps. They are smart, thinking, undead creatures out for human flesh. They're everyone's worst nightmares. And fighting them in the dark? There's no wonder Deuce and Fade were tough. They had to be or they will not survive one encounter with these flesh eating creatures.

Like Deuce when she went topside, I was grasping for familiarity in Enclave's world. There were Breeders who were there solely for the purpose of, well, breeding and procreation. There were Builders who crafted things. Hunters and Huntresses, responsible for finding food and defending the Enclave, the Wordkeeper and the Elders, all of which are new to me. Deuce doesn't even know how to read, having books or even something trivial as a tin of powder is punishable by Exile because it's considered as hoarding. It's a fascinating world with twisted rules.

Deuce's and Fade's experiences "topside" were action-packed and this time the threat includes the living, with gangs scattered, left alone in a city where no one expects them to live. Along the way they found unlikely allies and their journey to safety were marked with Freaks, intelligent ones who made their way topside, and feelings threatening to break the friendship Deuce and Fade had.

Though filled with a healthy amount of heart stopping encounters and fighting scenes, Enclave doesn't disappoint even in the romance department. Deuce still had a lot to learn when it comes to a lot of things topside, and that includes a lesson or two about love. Back at the Enclave, she wasn't allowed to feel anything as a Huntress. But I relish on every moment she has with Fade, sweet and short, but beautiful nonetheless. Ann Aguirre knows how to tickle the readers with occasional showing of Fade and Deuce's emotions. The attraction is definitely there, but Deuce needs to be a little more perceptive and Fade a bit more straightforward if they want their relationship to get anywhere.

One of the most action-packed read of this year, Enclave draws a fascinating picture of a fallen New York, with strong and steady characters and a whole lot of adrenalin pumping action. With bone-chilling adversaries and conflicts that brings life to an exceptional story, Enclave is a read you shouldn't miss!

My only complain is that the book was cut short on the most crucial time. I felt like I was missing something and it was already the end. I was expecting more resolution and more plot development, but all of it felt like it was just the calm before the storm, and that Deuce was in for a bigger, more difficult adventure. Still, there's no mistake that there will be a sequel to this wonderful book!

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

It makes sense when you read the book. I'm assuming those are Deuce's daggers and the cover of a manhole? Gorgeous!

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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