[Review #51] Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave
Series: Razorland
Book one
Author: Ann Aguirre
Published: 12th April, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Dystopian
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]


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.


One thing I have to say about this book is: I have not read anything like it. Ever. Therefore, this was one epic read! Granted, I have never read any dystopian/apocalyptic books with a zombie apocalypse (Sort of at least).

The Apocalypse? Check!
Deuce lives in the Enclave, which is one of the village’s tunnels underground. The Enclave is surrounded by barricades used to protect the people from the Freaks, the Hunters guard it day and night. The Freaks are mindless creatures that are driven to madness by starvation, they only eat flesh. They resemble humans yet they have rows of sharp teeth used to tear meat and flesh apart and their eyes aren’t quite right. They eat any meat they can get their hands on, including their own kind. They hunt  by smelling blood, they are drawn into it and go into a crazy frenzy when they come near fresh meat.

The Enclave is lucky, their settlement includes a constant small stream of fresh water, the only light is the light from their wooden torches which cause the air to continuously be smoky, the hunters set traps for their food and they are the only ones allowed to venture out into the blackness. Whether it be to do their rounds of traps for food or to take a trading party to Nassau, one of the other underground villages three days trek away.

No one else is allowed to leave beyond the barricades for their own safety from the Freaks. No one dares to go Topside which is said to have water and light that burns flesh off of bone. But those that break the strict rules of law that have been set for everyone’s safety are banished from the Enclave and forced to protect their own.

Deuce has been training to be a hunter all her life, on her naming day she’s proud to get the six burn marks that represent she is a huntress. As her hunting partner she ends up being paired with Fade, the outsider that was found alone out in the tunnel’s a few years back. Fending off Freaks by himself. The Enclave brought him in but he never truly ever tried to belong, and so he has mostly been treated like an outsider. Deuce is a little disappointed at the turn out but doesn’t question it. She is finally a hunter after all, now she will be respected just like all the other hunters.

Originality? Check!
I loved that names of things weren’t names that we call them, in the enclave children were called brats, ‘children’ wasn’t even a word. Sex was called breeding: “They will try and breed you.” were said. Then there was the fact that these words were only used for the people of the Enclave. Other words were used for the different branches of people.

I loved that there were different ‘branches’ of humans that looked different or lived different because they were brought up in a completely different way. Yet they spoke English except, perhaps with an accent. I even loved that there were different evolutions of Freaks. It made everything so much more interesting and layered.

I loved this whole plot.

Fast-paced action? Check!
I loved how excited I felt when I read this book. The freaks scared me, in a really thrilling and exciting way. The fighting scenes had me holding my breath. The must-know-what-happens-next train of thought kept me awake till the early hours of the morning every night until I was able to finish this book. There was so much going on but it was extremely exciting getting to see the vastly different world through Deuce’s eyes.

Must read next books now? CHECK!
Outpost has just been released recently, which means I am waiting impatiently for it to arrive at my library. But that means that Horde (Book 3) is a whole year away… A. Whole. Year. A whole freaking year! That’s so far away. One thing I hate about awesome series’ is that the books are nearly always released at least a year a part. I’m too impatient for this! Way too impatient.

Overall I really loved this book, although I do have to say that it took me a large portion of the book to get used to the minimalist style of writing.

Enclave had me wanting more, more, more. It was exciting, thrilling and had me holding my breath from beginning to end! 

I definitely recommend this book if you like dystopian. Although even if you don’t I still recommend it because this dystopian is outside of the box.

I seriously think my next ‘craving’ is going to be anything along the lines of:
Post Apocalyptic,
Apocalypse caused by Zombies, and,
Post Apocalypse with hybrid Zombie mutations.
Do you know of any awesome books that falls under any of these categories? I would love to learn about them!

If you liked Divergent, Legend and The Hunger Games you’ll like this!

Miss J


12 thoughts on “[Review #51] Enclave by Ann Aguirre

  1. Try Rot & Ruin (if you search on goodreads you have to use the stupid “and” symbol for some reason or book won’t show up) by Jonathan Maberry… I haven’t read it and I actually have a copy sitting in my room…

    Heh you enjoyed this much more than me. I had issues of Deuce’s personality because of the romance aspect, which I also was not a fan of the romance/lust/crush/whatever-it-was-trying-to-past-itself-as …


    I’m not a tolerant love guy and I will agree that the plot was interesting and the set up of the plot and details were interesting. Enough so that I want to read the next books.

    • Ohh I have heard of Rot & Ruin, but for some reason I haven’t looked it up.

      Yeahh I think I loved this so much because it was nothing like I expected. And I seem to love the idea of what the world is going to be way after I die. How I wish I would be able to see how it turns out! I find it so fascinating.

  2. Great review! I have had this book on my Ipad for the longest time but still haven’t read it. I’ll have to fix that real soon. It sounds awesome.

    As for recommendations, I would try This Is Not a Test if you haven’t read it already. And Hollowland which I have yet to read but it might still be free for kindle on amazon.

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