by Ann Aguirre
Razorland series, book I
I've been meaning to read this for ages! I think the buzz has passed me by, but I was having trouble just sitting my butt down and reading :p
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 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.
My Expectations: Somewhere in the middle, I've read both positive and negative reviews (a while ago, so they weren't too fresh in my head)
Put-down-ability: 9/10, I think I fell asleep 6 times reading this, in between taking naps and actually sleeping... haha
Enclave was just not the book for me. In fact, I think I fell asleep at least 6 times (unfortunately, I’m not kidding) while trying to read this book. Granted, many times I was exhausted but still… it did not keep me engaged at all.
Starting with the characters: the were just okay. I thought Deuce was interesting and joins the cast of kick-ass female heroines, but from there most character fell flat. I thought her interactions with Fade were incredibly forced which ended up coming off as awkward and just.. weird. As if it were placed there with the intention of “oh, here is where a swoon moment should be” instead of letting the story flow.
I’ll bring up a comparison (which I usually try to avoid) but when comparing Enclave to Heist Society, Hale's and Fade’s actions are similar. There are small glances, touches, and smiles that are littered throughout the book and while in Heist Society, I’m completely swooning and going HALE!, in Enclave, I was just like… “man, that’s weak.” Just didn’t feel the chemistry, you know?
I wish we could have learned more about the Freaks, they reminded me of the zombies from I Am Legend and when they made an appearance, the book became more exciting. Aguirre definitely knows how to write her fight scenes! That said, the writing was a lot of tell, not enough show. Deuce spelled out her feelings and thoughts one too many times, which distanced myself from her.
Another thing that impeded my urge to read this book was that I lacked the motivation to want to figure out what happens. I didn’t really care for the characters, but more importantly, I never wondered what would happen next—not a good sign. But I realize that this is a fault of the reader (my) end because just looking at the book, it’s a good book. There’s a ton of action, there’s an interesting premise and a great post-apocalyptic world… it just didn’t capture me.
Rating in HP Terms: Poor
Recommended for: people looking for a more action-packed dystopian, it's I Am Legend-esque
6.8/10 – because I didn’t really feel it. As a reading experience, it was slow and I slogged through it. I couldn’t connect with the writing or the characters, despite recognizing that Deuce and Fade are pretty cool. I can’t really say much about it, but I would say if you think dystopian/post-apocalyptic zombies and action are your thing, go for it.
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