Enclave by Ann Aguirre

EnclaveNew York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known. (From Amazon.ca)

I had high hopes for this one. It had all the makings of a great book. It had all the makings of a dystopia and I liked the background setting. Deuce seems to be living in a rather tribal like society where you are classified into different groups depending on how useful you are. It was really interesting, and I liked reading this part of the book. Deuce herself is an interesting character, she’s tough and Fade is just as tough as her, so they make an good working pair. It was only inevitable where you’ll run into romance between the two, although I didn’t see the romance being so great. Yes, Deuce and Fade made a great pair when it came to survival and working together, but romantically, I don’t know, I just didn’t see it. It was flat and they just did not have that spark you’d expect in most YA couples.

The best part was the incident with the gang. That to me, was very real, and expected in a post apocalyptic setting. I was actually glad this wasn’t sugar coated to make it easy on the eyes for younger readers. They were most certainly brutal, and their behavior towards Deuce is horrible – but expected. (That being said, this book should be geared towards older teens). I did not expect Stalker to change so quickly, and I didn’t expect Fade and Deuce to be so forgiving and trusting. You’d think of all they’ve been taught and been through, they’d tie up Stalker and watch him being fed to the wild animals?

So a few things bothered me about this book. The fact that Deuce and Fade – despite their training and survival skills, end up being so nice to Stalker, and the fact that everywhere they went in this post apocalyptic world, they found food. EVERYWHERE. It was all conveniently placed. Call me cynical, or very pessimistic, but most books I’ve read that had this kind of setting, food was scarce, and few and far between. This did not sit well with me and my interest in the book started to wane. The fighting parts however, were good and well done, they were exciting and action packed. I especially liked how Tegan even was able to defend herself!

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I did like some aspects of it but other parts of it did not sit too well with me to fully appreciate the post apocalyptic story. Perhaps I’m being too picky but it just felt like some things were just a little too conveniently placed for them to take the easy way. I will be reading the next book, as the unanswered questions and the open ending got me curious. Is this the book that beats Hunger Games? definitely not. Dystopia readers could give this a try just for a look at a different type of society.

I give it a 5.5/10

Side note: no, seriously..that finding food thing REALLY SET ME OFF.