July 19, 2013

Enclave by Ann Aguirre: Book Review

Enclave (Razorland, #1)
Rating: 3/5 stars
Summary (via goodreads):
WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

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

Review: I wasn't sure what to expect with Enclave. Prior to reading this book, I've read a lot of reviews that dished this book but I've read a lot of other reviews that made this book sound like the best dystopian novel ever written. After reading this book for myself, I can say that I am neutral towards Enclave. I neither loved nor hated this book, I just found it OK. The main characters in this book are bland. I don't really find anything interesting about any of the characters. We barely learn anything about Deuce except that she wants to be a Huntress really badly and she can only focus on being a Huntress. Nothing else except hunting really penetrates her thought bubbles. The romance in this book was also bland. Deuce had a two potential suitors but she just ignored them. She never really chose between them and she didn't even acknowledge that they liked her. Any other thing I didn't like was the setting. It was well-written but I found it so typical and bland. A disease spreads through the world and everyone either goes underground and/or creates gang-like groups. It's pretty much expected. The ending of this book was also OK. The ending doesn't answer any questions but it's not compelling enough for me to want to keep reading. If this book was any longer, I probably would have abandoned it. Overall, I felt no thrill when reading this book. The setting was well-written but typical. The characters were bland and there was no interesting romance. I probably won't pick up the sequel to this book.

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