Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Format/pages: Hardcover 259 pages
Format read/Source: Audiobook, completed June 28 2011
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
I listened to the audiobook version of Enclave, written by Ann Aguirre in her first foray into writing for young adults. I wanted to read this book due to the mainly favorable reviews, and my continued interest in dystopian and post apocalyptic books. I took a chance on the audiobook and I’m not sure this was the best decision. While I liked the story, I didn’t love the audiobook narration. Overall I think the premise is good and the fast paced, action packed story seems to be heading down an interesting path. Enclave paints a bleak world, with evolved “freaks” and hidden dangers lurking around. The protagonist Deuce is a brave huntress trying to find the right path in an uncertain world.
In this post apocalyptic world the remaining survivors are living in underground tunnels. The human life span is now very short, and only if the children (called “Brats”) make it to age fifteen do they even get an official name. Once they are named, they can then choose the title of breeder, builder or hunter. Deuce has just completed the naming ceremony and has chosen the huntress path. She now must hunt for food and fight any flesh eating zombie like “Freaks” that get in her way. Deuce is paired up with Fade, a boy who grew up topside. Once she starts exploring on her hunting missions, Deuce finds that the stories she has been told about life outside the enclave may not be as true as she thought.
The story is mysterious and suspenseful, and since Deuce has been in the dark so is the reader. There is not a lot of information about Deuce’s world and how things got to be so bad. I would expect more of the blanks to be filled in with future installments. Deuce and the others in the enclave have grown up believing they won’t live long, they have to stay underground and away from the dangers above ground. No one seems to question this before Deuce becomes a huntress.
The protagonist Deuce is the character I felt most connected to. She is a brave huntress, curious, and strong. Her life has changed overnight and she is trying to adjust with each new challenge thrown at her. It’s interesting seeing the world outside the underground through her eyes because she is like a fish out of water; everything is new to her. Fade is her friend and potential love interest. He has more knowledge of the topside world since he was born there and can fill in some of the blanks for Deuce. Fade seems to have some competition for Deuce as another suitor is introduced.
Fade and Deuce meet many new characters on their mission, and it’s hard to know who can be trusted. The freaks are another mysterious element in the story. I think they are supposed to be zombies, and some of them are smarter and evolved so they are more difficult to stop.
As I listened to this story and envisioned the Deuce character, I imagined she would sound like a brave huntress, and sound similar to the narrator of Divergent or even the narrator of Delirium. The narrator of Enclave sounds younger and more innocent than I expected for the character. I understand she does need to sound naive due to her age and experience but for me the voice doesn’t match up to how I thought the character would sound.
Overall, the story has potential and should appeal to fans of darker post apocalyptic and action-oriented YA books. It’s not my favorite audiobook, so I recommend reading the book version. Enclave is the first book in the Razorland trilogy. The second book, Outpost, is due out in September 2012.
For more information:
- Book Review of Enclave by Ann Aguirre (abookwormshaven.com)
- Enclave by Ann Aguirre (mylibrarycardworeout.wordpress.com)
- Enclave Book Review (thespottedmushroom.wordpress.com)