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Monday, December 10, 2012

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Format Acquired: Hardcover 
Publication Date: April 12, 2011
Publishing House: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9780312650087
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


In Deuce's world, an enclave runs deep underground, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed "brat" has trained to join 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 the ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She's worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing's going to stop he, not even a brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce's troubles are just beginning.

Fade doesn't like following orders. Deuce has never known a boy like him before, someone as likely to touch her gently as use his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce's perception shifts, so does he balance in the battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat due to their sheer numbers, now show signs of cunning and even strategy...but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. No matter how hard she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide carries her far from the only world she's ever known.

         (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book) 


In Enclave, we are introduced to Deuce, a 15 year-old girl just about to have her naming ceremony. At that time she was known as Girl 15. Living underground, Deuce and her tribe struggle to survive, what with the Freaks at their gates and the difficulty of finding food and water. Deuce has always wanted to be a Huntress, but after she finally becomes one, she starts to realize that the enclave's system and teachings are flawed, the elders are corrupt, and that their society was built on lies and deceit. 

What I liked about Enclave were the characters. I enjoyed Deuce's narration; she's naive but at the same time she's not, matters of the heart are alien to her and she struggles to understand the feelings that Fade manages to stir up inside her. Deuce is strong-willed, a fighter; self-assured and intelligent and I'm happy to say that she isn't one of those whiny, insipid, damsel-in-distress type of lead females; she's level-headed and doesn't instantly swoon at the sight of well defined muscles. Even if Fade is decidedly swoon-worthy. And he is, really. Fade starts off mysterious and aloof, a loner, but as the story progresses I got to realize that Fade isn't as haughty or as distant as he portrays himself. I loved his character development. Aguirre's cast of characters were struggling to survive in this harsh world where one wrong move, as cliche as it may sound, makes the difference between life and death.

I also enjoyed the world building, Aguirre managed to build a world that was undeniably broken, bleak, and dark. It wasn't hard to imagine the Freaks, I thought they were zombies but they seem to be something else entirely. Scarier still was when Deuce realized that they weren't just dumb, hungry monsters out to satisfy their hunger - they were smart and displayed a level of intelligence that you wouldn't expect.

I think it's obvious that I enjoyed Enclave. I'm awarding bonus points to how Aguirre didn't focus on the romance. There was just enough to satisfy any cravings that readers would have. So why only a 3.5? Probably because of how things changed in the second half of the book and how Stalker's introduction to the gang seemed to put a stopper on Fade and Deuce's growing relationship. 

Enclave is wonderful book, it's got great atmosphere, nicely developed characters, creepy monsters and equal parts action, suspense and romance. It's also got a strong, level-headed heroine who's self-assured and practical, and a guy who's definitely swoon-worthy but does not follow the whole perfect-male-love-interest theme. You should definitely pick up this book. Its sequel, Outpost, is out as well.



  1. I enjoyed this book and I love zombies. But I'm not a fan of love triangles. :D I agree on what you feel about Stalker :D


    1. Same, but it doesn't mean I didn't like Stalker. I did. :> It's just that I didn't like how he caused the distance between Fade and Deuce. >:

  2. Good likable characters and favorite things! A love triangle..i love them and hate them ya know.

    1. I agree, I have the same relationship with love triangles.