Title: Enclave (Razorland #1) (Amazon)
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: 2011
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. (Goodreads)
Kim’s Take – First of all, this book was excellent. Second, it went by WAY too fast! I was definitely hungry for more and can’t wait for the second in the series! What intrigued me to start with was the quote on the cover that the book was “For Fans of the Hunger Games”, which is one of my all time favorite series.
The dystopian world created by Aguirre is very bleak, depressing, and primal. Deuce (formerly Girl15) lives underground in old subway tunnels. Life is only about service to the enclave in the capacity of being a hunter, breeder, or builder. Deuce fulfills her dream of becoming a huntress and is paired with Fade, who has always been stand-offish and seemingly secretive. Their job is to go out into the tunnels to bring back meat for the enclave. In order to do this, they must fight the “Freaks”, seemingly similar to zombies.
Through Fade, Deuce learns that life, and what she was taught, is not always what it seems in the enclave. When they are both banished, for crimes they did not commit, they only have each other to rely on for survival. They have no choice but to go “topside”, an apocalyptic world that Deuce has been made to fear her entire life.
It is so interesting to read about Deuce being introduced to and discovering things she never knew existed, such as the sun. Deuce was a very believable character for someone who has never been above ground. And it was interesting to see the soft side start to appear in Fade, who had always seemed like such a tough, bad boy. That only made him that much hotter! I really liked the way Deuce and Fade’s relationship gradually changed as they developed the ability to trust each other.
I think one of my favorite aspects of the book was how Deuce was an equally strong fighter to Fade. I’ve always hated the whole “damsel in distress” idea. I think that’s where a lot of the comparison of this book to “The Hunger Games” comes in to play.
If you loved “The Hunger Games” series, I could not recommend this book more. Definitely a must read.
Kim’s Rating – 5/5