Thursday, January 16, 2014

Enclave by Ann Aguirre [Review]

Enclave (Razorland, #1) 4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1
Genre: YA Post Apocalyptic
Release: April 12, 2011
Hardcover: 259 Pages
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I'm late to the party on this one, but I've heard a lot about it and with the final book in the series newly released, I knew I wanted to delve into this series.  Enclave didn't disappoint. For someone that reads a lot of dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, I was happy to find new and interesting takes on the genre. I really liked the idea of people carving out a living underneath New York City. Based on her afterword, it was evident Ann Aguirre put a lot of thought into what would happen if a major apocalyptic event were to occur and how would society end up. It shows in her portrayals of different groups of people and how they have evolved to survive.  We are first treated to the Enclave and their way of life, but then get a broader view of how others have hones their survival tactics.  None of it is very pretty.

Enclave is definitely gritty and doesn't hold back.  While it is not incredibly graphic, it is doesn't shy away from death and violence.  Aguirre shows us a world where survival is first and foremost, even if that means at the expense of others.  Enclave asks the questions what does survival mean?  Where does compassion fit into survival?  What makes a person worthy of survival?  Where do people who aren't strong or quick or trained to fight fit in?  Deuce thinks she has all the answers, but as she meets others in the world she wonders if there is more value to a person than whether they can keep up or fight. 

As for the characters, I wasn't in love with them, but I definitely appreciated them.  I wished for a little more development on the romance that begins between Deuce and Fade.  I wasn't completely sold on their attraction to each other.  I really liked Tegan, who offers a completely different viewpoint that the other characters.  Especially when she makes the others question their strongly held beliefs about what strength really means.

Overall, I found this book to be interesting and exciting.  There were parts I wished were more fleshed out (such as the relationships between the characters), but on the flip side we did get a lot of world building.  I'm hoping to understand the characters even more in the sequel, Outpost.

Other books in this series in the order that they should be read:
1. Enclave
2. Outpost
3. Horde


  1. The dystopia part of this is AWESOME and definitely what I love about this series (especially the zombies!). The characters/romance? Not so much. I didn't find any of the characters very likeable, although they were interesting. Aguirre asks a lot of controversial questions in the novels, that made me uncomfortable but it really made me think. I still haven't made it to the third book yet, but I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually haha

    1. What did you think of Outpost? I was pretty let down by it. I felt like Ann Aguirre was trying TOO hard on the character development.

    2. Honestly, I read them back to back so I have a hard time sorting out the two of them. I just read your review of Outpost, and I think I had similar thoughts, but forgave it a lot since it soothe my upset over victim blaming and "strong female character" issues. And I liked seeing how the zombie thingies have their own society. On further thinking...I may have just skimmed over all the emotional stuff as I honestly don't remember much of it haha

    3. That was probably for the best - haha! Julia and I just finished Horde and did a joint review. Horde was better than Outpost I think. And worth reading to finish out the series. :)



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