Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Review: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
259 Pages


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.


Guys, Ann Aguirre really knows what she's doing. Her Razorland series is a scary view into a futuristic society, where some people live underground hiding from the horrors of the outside world.

Enclave is a terrifying novel about a young girl who was born in an underground society. Girl15 is now Deuce, the Huntress. In College Enclave, she helps the other hunters get food and kill threats that linger in the tunnels. Growing up, she was made to believe that her enclave and those like it were the only places that were safe and going Topside would immediately result in death. That doesn't keep her from questioning how Fade, a fellow enclave member, made it safely inside. No one trusts Fade. He may be Deuce's partner, now that she's a Huntress, but she's not sure if she can trust him either. When circumstances in the enclave change, Fade and Deuce will be fighting for their lives against more than just what lurks in the tunnels.

My only really issue with the book was the way gang rape was discussed and handled. I understand that for the world that Ms. Aguirre makes, it is a common occurrence, but the main character's acceptance of it disturbed me. I can understand it, but I wish that the main character, Deuce, would've had a bit more sympathy and the situation would've been handled with a bit more grace. The whole scene just made me uncomfortable.

Besides that one issue, this book was excellent. I'm a big fan of dystopian young adult fiction, especially novels with zombies. While the creatures in this series are called zombies, but "freaks" "eaters" and "muties," they are just as deadly and just as horrifying. The action in Enclave is addicting. I couldn't get my eyes to leave the page as Deuce, Fade and their companions took on the Freaks and other threats. I almost wished that I could be Deuce for a bit and have her mad fighting skills. See "almost." I'd probably die in a few seconds.

I, overall, really liked the characters. Fade and Deuce are great as partners, though at times the relationship seemed a bit forced on Deuce's side. She has never been allowed to love before, so her reluctance is understandable, but sometimes, I wanted to shove her and be like, "FADE. AND. YOU. NEED. TO. GET. TOGETHER. NOW." The tension was obvious, even if Deuce didn't understand it. The minor characters are likable, but I didn't really love any of them - until I read the novella, Endurance, which takes place later in the novel Enclave, but from the perspectives of Stone and Thimble, Deuce's bratmates. I would love to see more of those characters!

Speaking of bratmates, the language in this novel is a bit different. Stick with it. The longer you read, the more you understand and the less it confuses you. Bratmates, in Deuce's enclave, are the people you grow up with, your peers.

Luckily, this novel doesn't end on a cliffhanger. Ms. Aguirre ties up the novel to the point where you will be happy with the ending, but desperate for the next book. It's a relief since many books that have been released lately leave you on a cliffhanger that would make you want to sell your soul for the next book. (I know I'm not alone in that feeling!) If you haven't already, you should definitely read this book. It is full of heart-pounding adventure, a strong female protagonist and a brooding, protective love interest. There are three books in the series and a novella. The novella, considered book one and a half, is called Endurance. It stars Stone and Thimble, Deuce's closest bratmates and was released in July. Book two, Outpost, was released earlier this month. The final book, Horde is due to be released in 2013.



  1. this is a very good dystopian novel...i gave 4 stars on goodreads... :)

  2. I'm dying to read it!! I love how so many dystopian books started to appear, it's definitely my favorite genre.


  3. One of my favorite dystopian/zombie books ever! Loved book 2 as well! I need MORE!


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