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New 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--guided by Fade's long-ago memories--in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.

259 pages, Hardcover

First published April 12, 2011

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About the author

Ann Aguirre

73 books6,728 followers
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ann Aguirre has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in Mexico with her family. She writes all kinds of genre fiction, but she has an eternal soft spot for a happily ever after.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,233 reviews
Profile Image for Lucy.
102 reviews1,814 followers
December 4, 2013
I thought for a little bit about how to review this book, if I should go over all the weird mistakes and struggles with the world building chronologically or if I should just jump in at what bothered me most and work backwards. Generally, following the timeline of the book makes for a better review, but since I am so utterly horrified by the last third of the book I can't stomach talking about things like sewer systems, night vision, bad name choices, and human nature. All that keeps ringing in my mind when I look at the cover of this book are quotes from the main character on the subject of rape. Enclave is a YA dystopian novel about an incredibly dark world. I've read a few YA dystopians where rape came into play, but I have never encountered the subject treated as cavalier by an author and the main character. The handling of it could not have been more repulsive.

As necessary background, Deuce grew up in a small and contained underground community which she is kicked out of after confessing to a crime she didn't commit to spare an equally innocent friend. She is thrust into a new world with a guide named Fade who hasn't been a part of the above ground world for many years. The people directly above their sewer grates are hostile. When Deuce and Fade come off a second battle with a gang who call themselves 'Wolves,' Deuce is taken off to be turned into a breeder -- essentially to be raped repeatedly in attempts to reproduce with her and grow their population, and Fade is taken off to be hunted down and eaten. Deuce manages to escape with the help of Tegan, a girl who was taken by the Wolves earlier and has spent much of her young life being raped and giving birth to stillborn children. Together, Tegan and Deuce rescue Fade.

Fade, Deuce, and Tegan are hunted down by the Wolves while trying to escape the city. Stalker, the head of this gang, manages to get a hold of someone who helped them along the way so he can lure them out of hiding. Before things can come to a fight they are attacked by Freaks/Eaters/Muties who are the story's monsters. They decide to join forces with Stalker who is the sole surviving Wolf. They do this despite Tegan's vehement protests. They do this despite knowing Tegan was raped by the gang he was in charge of for years, despite the fact that he would very possibly have decided to rape Deuce and despite knowing he probably committed similar horrific acts for years.

To a point, I could have tolerated almost all of this. I can deal with a lot of ugly things in books if it makes sense with the world building -- after all, our world is sometimes a very ugly place too. What I couldn't stand was Deuce's total lack of empathy for anything Tegan went through. She legitimately looks at Tegan at one point and wonders how Tegan could let herself be raped repeatedly, how she could let them and not die fighting them off -- this from a girl who grew up terrified she would get assigned as a breeder instead of a hunter in her own tribe, this from a girl who grew up small and nameless and helpless. The lack of empathy was not only disgusting but incomprehensible.

To make matters worse, Stalker is a potential love interest for Deuce. He practices fighting with her as an excuse to touch her and eventually pushes her against a tree and kisses her. She kisses him back. I wanted to vomit in a hat. He called her "Dove" after the bird as a fucking term of endearment. He says it's because doves are vulnerable and frail looking but they can fly away from predators. This does not even make sense, seeing as Deuce does not run/fly away; she fights. The nickname takes away from everything she built herself up to be and she lets him do it. Again, I wanted to throw up.

As for the lackluster world building: As far as I know, we aren't told how old Fade and Deuce are in the text, although the jacket description says 15. I believe the author was forced to play it loose by her own world building. Living to 25 in the Enclave makes you an ancient elder so one would think children would be named and assigned jobs much older. Even if you wait until they're 13 that's more than half the maximum expectation of their lives without a name, without contributing substantially to the community. Fade and Deuce don't have a listed ages within the text of the book because they were written as older than 13, but that does not fit with the world building. As far as I'm concerned the no name until you're all grown isn't practical and goes against human nature.

Tunnel system mistakes: I don't understand how there are defensible/livable areas in a tunnel system, especially with clean running water 100 years after the world ends. I'm not sure how people could live down there with the diet described in the book: essentially rat meat, mushrooms, and fish. I guess that's why 25 is considered old. In reality they all would've been wiped out by disease long before this book could've taken place.

Sunlight problems: I'm not going to pretend I know how a cave dwelling person would adjust to sunlight after living underground all her life, but I'm going to say that I think this was all highly unrealistic. She wears sunglasses she found and gets a slight sunburn? WTF? Those miners in Chile who were trapped underground for two months had to wear special sunglasses for almost as long as they were trapped or risk going blind. I don't think the author did appropriate research on this front, but I'm not inclined to do it for her and research out what actually would've happened to Deuce and Fade.

I could go on and on here, but I don't care. All I keep doing is thinking about Stalker as a love interest and feeling sick to my stomach. I don't understand how people can find him redeemable or the storyline acceptable. A lot of reviewers I respect rated it a fair bit higher than me, all I can think is that we did not read the book the same way.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
August 4, 2018
this book has absolutely nothing in common with the hunger games. sure, there are kids who fight, but the circumstances are entirely different. most of the kids in h.g. have not been trained to fight, they are being forced to fight for the entertainment of the capitol. the main character of h.g. is not a girl who has been honed to kill monsters that attack her community, nor one who has been raised in such a sheltered and specific educational-track focused entirely on fighting that emotions are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. katniss had attachments - she loved her sister and her mother, even though she saw her mother as a disappointment - she still had a family bond. deuce has no ties to her family - in the enclave, people rarely know who sired them, so it is an irrelevant distinction.

but enough comparisons.i just got way ahead of myself. i was just peeved that this book is advertised as a "new hunger games," when they are such dissimilar books. it may very well be the case that fans of hg will also be fans of this, but they might also be fans of artichokes - it is not a given.

so - quick rundown. in this book, a twenty-five year old person is considered elderly, which should give you some idea of the state of things: danger, disease, threats, light deprivation. living in abandoned subway tunnels, after a "game over" caliber epidemic, deuce's particular community has never been topside, and spend their days surviving in one of three broad societal groupings. just so you know, i hate it when books are reductive like this - that there are only x-number of categories for people to fall into and everything else just gets willfully ignored by the author. but i can overlook it, because it is a trend that is not going away, but it really should. even in the most rigid dystopia, there should be grey areas.

builders, breeders, and hunters. surely there is more to a society. but not here! builders build, breeders breed, and hunters kick the asses of the feral humanoid monsters with the teeth and the claws and provide meat (from other sources) for their people.

and of course, there is a boy, raised outside the enclave, but adopted into it despite having ideeeeas from before. he is barely tolerated by the enclave. enter deuce, and her irresistible attraction to the bad boy and it looks like you got yourself a YA dystopian novel!

it's bleak, and there are some squidgy bits here - deuce is a character raised within a very narrow framework of possibilities. she is a warrior, with a warrior's values. fight or die, and never quit. if you are defeated, but not dead, you have done something wrong. and that can be uncomfortable for a reader, when the book kind of breezes over things like rape, which in a normal world, would maybe be treated more sensitively. pedophilia is punished - its perpetrators cut, exiled, and left in the tunnels where their blood will attract the cannibalistic tribes that also live there, but rape is mostly a means-to-an-end situation. and that's totally gross, but in this world, with people dying so young, the population does need to increase to survive. is this concept too horribly practical for YA?? too callous?? i don't know. me, i just glossed over it to get to the fighting, but i did have some reservations later it is very complicated. but it is one of those situations where we cannot place our own value system upon a different culture, even when the culture is an imaginary underground world in a YA book. and it's not like all the fighting and murdering and kill kill killing is any better than rape. this is not a pretty world.

but i did enjoy it. i liked the characters, i liked different tribes that were described, along with their different codes and methods for survival. i am always the first one to thumb my nose at science, so plenty of implausibilities i just danced around to get to the good stuff.

it's short, it's a quick read - i am looking forward to the next one. i particularly liked where this book left off, and am curious to see the direction she is going to take this baby.

2 more quick complaints. "deuce" is also slang for poo. not a great name for your badass female protagonist.

also - the author mentions the mole people in her acknowledgments, calling it "fantastic." this is incorrect. it must be a typo, because the mole people is a smug and irritating book written by someone with zero sensitivity to her subject matter. bluck.

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Profile Image for Lyndsey.
126 reviews3,188 followers
May 22, 2011
So, The Hunger Games had a baby with Fallout. Then, they broke up and The Walking Dead became the new step-parent. Giving rise to the strange child we call Enclave. Isn't she a cwute wittle one?

I had this big stupid flow chart all planned out for this review, but it seems there are like a hundred reasons why it won't work. Well, more like two. Images aren't working correctly on Goodreads at the moment AND I can't find a free site to host such a large image on AND it looks like crap small. Damn. That's four reasons. I so can't count tonight.

Girl15 lives underground in the Enclave after an as-of-yet-unknown apocalypse of some sort. Having just finished training to become a Huntress, she is given a name, Deuce (don't even start), and a parnter, so she can begin exploring the underground. Also falling to her are the jobs of hunting and trapping food and fighting off "Freaks", creatures who were formerly regular people now equipped with claws, razor sharp teeth, and cannibalistic tendencies.

Deuce has the strength of Katniss, the intuition of Buffy, AND she eats zombies for dinner. Well, not really. But wouldn't that be an intriguing twist?

I have very high requirements for kick-ass female characters. When you grow up with characters like Buffy and Princess Leia, it can set the bar pretty high to begin with and can result in a difficulty being satisfied with Bella-ish whiny girls. Then when more awesome iconic characters like River Tam and Katniss Everdeen come along, that raises the bar even higher.

Now Duece is a pretty freaking badass character on her own. The problem is that Ann Aguirre set the bar just out of reach with her first kickass chick, Sirantha Jax of Grimspace, and Duece just isn't quite tall enough to walk in her predecessor's tiny flats and still measure up. She would need 6 inch platforms to reach the level set by Jax.

Well, she got the shoes. You know what kind they are? Zombie killing shoes. I guess, technically "Freak" killing shoes, but they help her measure up to Jax. With them, she kicks a hella ton of ass.

She sure reminds me of Katniss a lot. She is dry and detached, but she is a MACHINE. Killing machine, that is. I would have liked to see a bit of the spunk and snark that Jax is so blessed with, but they are two very different young women.

The society in the Enclave was infinitely interesting, and I would have enjoyed spending more time there and learning more about it. I have sooooo damn many unanswered questions. For example: They aren't supposed to have sex unless they are "Breeders". Does that mean an underpants pillowfight is out of the question? Come on, we need to know important stuff like this.

I would have liked more inner enclave espionage. Maybe to see Deuce and her partner, Fade, sneaking around a bit, being tensiony and sexual-ish and inciting rebellion. Then concentrate more on Topside in the sequel. This book is called Enclave after all.

And yes, Deuce is a strange name for a girl, or for any person for that matter, especially since I have the tact and giggle reflex of a nine year old boy. However, the name is only giggleworthy for the first few pages and a good unique name is a necessity. My dog still hasn't forgiven me for naming her after a science fiction technological masterpiece. Which one? I'll never tell. They are all good names, anyway. ;-) The Death Star... Flux Capacitor... Number Six.

Overall, I loved this! The last half is slow and arguably not as good as the first, but regardless, I'm still excited for the sequel!!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,920 followers
April 1, 2012
3/29/12 Stop by The Nocturnal Library to read our interview with Ann Aguirre and enter for a chance to win one of 3 books: Enclave, Grimspace or Blue Diablo.

I am happy. I am shocked. I still can’t believe this. Ann Aguirre just got promoted to my favorite author. Ok, maybe not favorite, but close enough. I mean, come on! She writes this fantastic SF series, starting with Grimspace, a very good (if not great) and very unusual UF series with elements of horror (the Corine Solomon series), and now she does YA dystopian as well?!?!?

I was born during the second holocaust.

That’s all it took for me to fall in love with this book, and it’s only the first sentence. I have to admit I rolled my eyes when I first read the blurb. I was rightfully afraid of another Delirium or something equally forced. I’m so glad Aguirre proved me wrong. Her story is strong if not fresh (because, let’s face it, fresh is a long way gone in this genre). Her characters are very much alive and unusually smart. But the real magic lies in Aguirre’s perfect writing. She doesn’t make mistakes. She’s even added an author’s note explaining how she did her research and what led her to those conclusions. Everything she described is quite possible.

We start following our heroine on the day of her naming ceremony – the day she stops being Girl15 and becomes Deuce, a Huntress trained to protect her Enclave and bring food for Breeders, Builders and Elders. She has spent the first 15 years of her life training incredibly hard just to be allowed to go into the tunnels with other Hunters and fight Freaks – terrible, mindless flesh-eating creatures with claws and sharp, pointy teeth. Deuce doesn’t mind risking her life every day for others – it’s a matter of pride and acceptance. But on her first day she gets partnered up with Fade, a strange and silent boy, the only outsider in the Enclave. Together they get into trouble and end up exiled with nowhere to go but Topside – where Deuce will see the sun for the very first time.

*edit: It's been a long time since I finished it, and it's still my favorite dystopia. Sometimes I get very excited about a book, but forget all about it as soon as it leaves my sight. This is not one of those books.

Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,512 followers
January 27, 2023
HOLY WOW. WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS SERIES SOONER? SO MUCH FUN!!! AMAZING PROTAGONIST. AMAZING, CREEPY WORLD. LOVE, LOVE, LOVVVVVE STALKER (even though I know he won't win!). This is SO my type of book, why did I take so long to read it?
Profile Image for Nicole.
750 reviews1,935 followers
January 11, 2021
If I knew this book is about zombies, I wouldn't have read it. And gladly I didn't. The thing is I'm not a zombie fan. It was my first book of this kind because I usually avoid anything zombie related. Disgusting. I know lots of researchers theocratically say that humans can become zombies and it would have to be caused by a very rare virus or something but although they can truly happen I still dislike to watch/read (or so I thought) anything about them. Anyway, you can guess my surprise when I discovered that Freaks are truly zombies- yes, yes, it took me a while to guess- and I'm not only I'm accepting the book, but also liking it!

Deuce was raised in an Enclave, where nobody is expected to live more than 25 years. They live in tunnels, under New York. She hasn't seen the sun. She doesn't even know that it exists. The elders kept them in ignorance. Taught them what's necessary to make sure they obey. Made them fear the world topside. But at least, the Enclave is safe or rather was. It keeps them far from the Freaks.
The Strong Only Survives

After her name day, she became a huntress. Destined to bring food to the clave. Only strong and brave brats would become hunters. So it was an honor. She was paired with Fade, the strong outsider. The only one there who has ever been in the real world. After discovering some dangerous news during a mission, they warned the elders. But they ignored them. After discovering bit by bit the corruption of the leaders, the lies and the hidden cruelty, she can't trust them anymore. Hence, she didn't hesitate to defend her friend even if that meant exile. Fade supported her and they went to the world upside. She didn't expect what she found. Not even a bit.

This book was very enjoyable, the world Ann Aguirre created was frightening, one of the worst futures that might happen. Looking forward to reading the next book. I can't find anything related here to the Hunger Games though. I also couldn't stop reading, it was fun and fast paced. And the book being less than 300 pages definitely helped the story. There was always something happening, there wasn’t much of useless talk and dialogue. I would like to see some more romance between Deuce and Fade in the next book, although it was better thatthis one was low on romance.

Profile Image for Lora.
186 reviews1,001 followers
July 1, 2011
Enclave's premise drew my attention more than a lot of the other, more hyped YA dystopias. And I believe that most of it lived up to my expectations.

Enclave starts with Deuce - or rather, at the time, Girl15 - en route to her naming ceremony. In the enclave, your name is merely your gender and an exclusive number. But if you're lucky enough to make it to the age of fifteen, you get a real name.
Six cuts, three on each forearm - these are the marks that make you a Hunter or Huntress. It has been Deuce's ambition to become a Huntress for as long as she can remember, but soon after she is inducted into the ranks of the Hunters, she begins to realize that maybe the ways of the enclave and the elders that have raised and trained her aren't what they seem; that maybe their teachings and rules are as misleading and corrupt as they are false.
And if that isn't disconcerting enough, the Freaks - the terrible monsters that lurk in the tunnels outside of the enclave, the very ones she has been trained to kill - have begun to show signs of intelligence.

Almost immediately after Deuce becomes a Huntress, she is paired up with Fade. Fade is aloof and mysterious, and because of that he is ostracized from the rest of the Hunters, and when Deuce becomes his partner she soon realizes that she will forever be treated in kind simply because of association.
Deuce's character is much more practical and level-headed than most heroines in YA lit. She reminds me of Katsa from Graceling.
It's amazing how much Aguirre doesn't focus on the romance. I don't know if it's because of the genre, or simply because the author isn't trying to cash-in on the current romance fad, but Deuce doesn't spend the majority of the novel fantasizing about Fade's physique and having fifteen-year-old hot flashes over his mere proximity. I found this fact very refreshing.
And there's no love triangle! I was very pleased that there's no love triangle. Deuce seems to have her head on her shoulders and she has a lot of strength and determination that I think a lot of authors, unfortunately, aren't adding to their heroines.
The romance is still there, but it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the story - it's just enough to add a little spice that a lot of readers (including myself) are looking for. Think of it as a perfectly seasoned pumpkin pie (and if that's not your kind of dessert, feel free to use a different analogy).

"I have your back. I didn't mean only when it's easy. All the time."

"He pushed away from the wall, skin gleaming pale in the torchlight. For a moment I wanted to put my hand over his heart so I could feel it beating, and the impluse frightened me. I took a step back."

This quote is kind of spoilery - click at your own risk.

While Enclave is Aguirre's YA debut, it isn't her first foray into writing. Aguirre has two other adult urban fantasy series - Sirantha Jax and Corine Solomon - and her experience shows.

I must say that I utterly detest zombies. And that is basically what the Freaks are. However, Aguirre doesn't describe them as moaning, relentless, brain eating stragglers - therefore they didn't bother me.
So, if you're like me and hate zombies, don't avoid this for that reason.

One of the best things I can say about Enclave - besides the writing and the characters - is the atmosphere: I didn't find it horribly depressing and/or disturbing. I tend to stray away from dystopias because of their often bleak and disquieting themes, but Enclave was anything but the aforesaid.

Sadly, Enclave - thus far - doesn't appear to be garnering the attention that a lot of other dystopias are. Especially when you compare it to the Goodreads' ratings of Matched (11.000+), Delirium (4.500+), and Wither (1.900+) - compare those to Enclave's 300+ ratings.

And with all of that said, you're probably wondering, why not five stars? Well, Aguirre does a good job of keeping the reader engaged, but there were times when I found myself wondering where exactly the plot (or, perhaps, lack thereof) was headed. Enclave is split into two parts, and the first half is considerably better than the second. And when things finally started to get interesting again in the second half, BAM - it was over.
The ending is probably one of the most annoyingly sudden I've ever read. It's what my GR friend, Tina, would call "evil cliffy".
And I wanted more of an explanation as to why all of humanity chose to move underground. Not much detail is given about what exactly happened to change the world so drastically. Deuce doesn't really know, and therefore neither does the reader.

All in all, Enclave is a great start to what will hopefully be a great dystopian series. And I'm very much looking forward to its planned sequels, Outpost (currently set to release in September of next year - which I think is a really long time to wait) and Horde (set to release sometime in 2013).

And I'd like to give a shout out to the librarian who checked this out for me, who was so enthusiastic over this novel. I hope she can read it soon. :)
Profile Image for Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker.
596 reviews377 followers
May 10, 2011
2.5 stars out of 5.


Character development (except later in the book).

When Deuce was underground (at the beginning of the book), the author really took her time to develop her characters. Deuce is a soldier underground. In the beginning, Deuce does what she is told, thinks what she is told and doesn’t question authority. However, it is clear to the reader that there is more to Deuce than her brutal surroundings and life. Fade, her partner, is mysterious not only to Deuce but to everyone underground. The author portrayed him as dark and dangerous but only from Deuce’s initial viewpoint. I loved how Fade’s true nature was so different and how Deuce learns this along the way. Fade really was a great character and well constructed.

The story underground.

Seriously, when the author takes her time, she writes a good story. I loved the plot when the characters were underground. The world building was great. It was simple but hey, this is a YA book.

The BAD-

The end and no climax-

The book is 259 pages, that is it. Here is my theory; the author had something else in mind- a longer, better-crafted COMPLETE story. Someone, somewhere, decided that this was going to be a series and said to the author “end this book right here since they do arrive at a location so that looks like a good ending”. On the other hand, maybe, the author was under a time crunch. I don’t know. In fact, I’m hoping my theory is correct because I cannot plausibly explain why there would be no real climax to the story. They are moving, surviving, struggling, surviving, fighting, surviving, and that is it. They go from one location to another location and so on. I'm guessing the climax is in book 2.

Character development (later in the book)-

The addition of Stalker. So at this point, I think it might be good that the author just arbitrarily cut off the end of her book. Because if she was going to lead towards the infamous YA love triangle with this character known as Stalker, I would have thrown this book in a cave and sealed the book in the cave for good. Once Stalker is in the story, the relationship between Deuce and Fade all but fades (couldn’t help myself).

Stalker was the leader of his own gang before he joined up with Fade and Deuce. Stalker forcefully made Tegan (another character in the book) be a breeder in his “gang” because well, of course, that is all she is good for. She was raped. Gang-raped. Over and over again. In fact, even though the details are sketchy, I believe Tegan gave birth three times? Don’t hold me to that fact but I think it was three times. This is the guy that Deuce, the soldier, and Fade, the survivor wants in their group? This is the guy that Deuce would risk her relationship with Fade for? Here is the really bad part. I don’t think the reader is supposed to hate Stalker. I think the author’s intentions were to make Stalker a redeemed character and in the next book (book 2 aka the 2nd half of book 1) there will be a horrible love triangle in it.


I’ve gone back and forth on the ratings for this book. I’ve gone as high as 5 for the 1st half of the book and as low as 2 for the 2nd half. Because of my dislike for the 2nd half, I’m forced to go with 2.5 stars rounded up to 3.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,635 reviews34k followers
May 4, 2011
Okay, I'm adding this note because I'm seeing some activity on this review as I'm updating my reading progress in the third book.

I need to reread this one at some point, because reading the sequel Outpost completely changed my perspective on certain issues. My mini reaction to that book is here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

But for now, my initial reaction to the first book remains below. It's fascinating to see this society that the author created.

2.5 stars I really wanted to like this book, but holy moly. I try very hard not to let my opinion be colored when fictional characters make choices I wouldn't necessarily make, but...I just can't do that in this case. The offhand way gang rape is handled, the dismissive attitude towards an abuse victim, and the sudden introduction of an inconceivable love interest (turning it into a triangle) late in the book left me cold. The action scenes and interesting premise aren't nearly enough to make up for a heroine who is physically extremely capable, but unfortunately, someone who also seems to be emotionally empty.
Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews577 followers
January 8, 2012
After receiving a copy of this book from GoodReads friend Lucy, I was immediately drawn to the Publisher’s Weekly quote declaring the book to be “for fans of The Hunger Games”. Such comparison quotes, while attention grabbing and common practice amongst publishers, immediately set up a certain level of expectations, even in the most cynical of readers. While I haven’t actually finished reading The Hunger Games yet (I’ll get round to it eventually, I swear!), I began this book with the same expectations I have for every dystopian novel – strong world-building and a real threat & sense of danger.

There are books that make me consider discarding use of the flawed star rating system for reviews. Sometimes it’s close to impossible to summarise the qualities of a book into a simple rating out of 5, 10 or however one chooses to do so. A book can be a relatively enjoyable and competently written piece of work that would otherwise deserve a solid rating, but a certain element, event, etc, can bring its rating tumbling down. This happened to me with Sarah Beth Durst’s “Ice” and it happened with “Enclave”. But before I get to why I cannot give this book anything higher than one star, I shall discuss other elements of the book that succeed and fail.

I’m sure you’re all sick of me going on and on about this but the foundations of a strong dystopian novel lie in its world-building. Unusual or disturbing events can’t just happen for shock value. They need to be rooted in the origins of the society, grounded in reason, meaning the reason of this world. This fundamental lack of reason within the world-building in “Enclave” left more than a few questions unanswered. The underground society Deuce lives in does not name its young, known as brats, until a specific age, which is never mentioned. Why? There doesn’t seem to be any specific reasoning behind this rule and seems too impractical to fit in with a world that works to prove itself as fundamentally practical. There are hints of a cult-like mentality to the ruling class of the world but it’s barely touched upon and leaves us with half-built reasoning. Children are sanctioned into one of three groups – warriors, builders or breeders – yet the reasons for specific grouping once again seem at odds with the necessary practicality & needs of this society. One breeder, Deuce’s friend, is seen as ideal for his calling because he is handsome, but I failed to see why this would be a relevant quality in a world where death & disease are rampant. Other extremely questions go unanswered – how does this enclave have clean water after generations underground? How does Deuce go from a lifetime underground to full on exposure to sunlight and only get slightly burned with no damage to her eyesight?

The writing itself is adequate, if simple, and has well-paced action scenes, although the overall pacing is erratic. Certain scenes are evident padding and clumsy plotting, which coupled with several under-developed plot points proves to be somewhat frustrating. No character other than the heroine is given adequate time to develop beyond basic tropes, although I did warm to Deuce somewhat throughout the first half of the novel. However, it is one particular character and how others react to him that soured things for me.

A little more than midway through the novel, Deuce is kidnapped by a gang who make their intentions towards her clear – they intend to use her for breeding purposes, forcefully if need be. Later we are introduced to Tegan, a fellow kidnapped woman who has been raped repeatedly and given birth to stillborn children. After altercations with the story’s main monsters, the Freaks, the head of the gang, Stalker (yes, really), decides he will go along with Deuce, Tegan and main love interest Fade in order to have a better chance of surviving. Fade and Deuce agree to this, despite Tegan’s protests that she does not feel safe around the leader of the gang of rapists who repeatedly violated her for years. Later on, Stalker pushes Deuce against a tree and kisses her.

Deuce willingly reciprocates.

I’ve made my thoughts clear on the ‘bad boy’ trope in YA; I don’t like it. I understand the fantasy behind being the one girl who changes the rebel but ultimately I think it’s a problematic trope that is all too often used as an excuse to have the love interest treat the heroine like dirt, often being rough with her and belittling her.

Patch from “Hush Hush” held his love interest against a bed and talked about how much he wanted to kill her after stalking her, harassing her and generally making her feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Stalker is the leader of a gang of rapists. It is hinted at in the book that he has raped women before. It is also implied that he may have raped Deuce during her kidnapped period.

He is presented as a potential love interest to Deuce.

The aim of a good dystopian novel is to create a sense of dread. I have seen rape mentioned in other dystopian novels and within the constraints of this world where humans die young and need to reproduce quickly, it makes sense that a patriarchy dominated society would view women in such a manner. However, I have never seen rape used so casually and tossed aside so simply by a character and an author in a YA novel. There is a cruel lack of empathy for Tegan in “Enclave”. Even within the constraints of the novel’s world, one ruled by social Darwinism, to force Tegan to interact daily with the man who stood by & let her be raped repeatedly, possibly ordering the rapes himself or even engaging in the horrific act himself, is baffling at best and disgusting at worst. As the novel progresses, Tegan grows (lazily from a characterisation point-of-view) from a victim into a ‘strong’ young woman who can fight back, but all I could think about was how her rape was used in such a cavalier fashion. Deuce, who started off with such potential (even if she did fall into the typical romantic plot tropes with mysterious bad boy Fade), does not question Stalker or his past actions. Instead, she lays some of the blame on Tegan. The dismissive attitude she has towards a victim of multiple rapes is abhorrent. At one point she asks herself how Tegan could have been so weak as to allow the events to happen. Deuce’s general attitude is that life is tough, and if she can suck it up and get on with her life, so can Tegan. Even within the context of the novel, this felt wrong on every level. Deuce, who had previously shown moments of true empathy, becomes someone who sympathises more with a rapist than the victim of rape. I shouldn’t even have to explain why this made me sick. And that’s why I can’t give this book anything more than one star.

I don’t expect every book in the world to be a beacon of social justice and feminism; that would be stupid. What I do expect is for a book to follow the rules it sets for itself. “Enclave” fails on this thanks to its inconsistent and confusing choices in its world-building, which seem to exist more for shock value than any real sense of reason. It’s a mediocre novel that becomes disgusting when something as serious, life changing and horrific as rape is used so clumsily. Rape is NEVER the woman’s fault. She’s never ‘asking for it’ and she’s certainly never deserving of pity or scorn because she was unable to fight back. Bad boys are problematic enough, but making a rapist not only a sympathetic character, one who receives a degree of sympathy from the heroine not rewarded to the victim, but a potential love interest is flat-out inexcusable.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
737 reviews1,259 followers
September 14, 2020
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com

Several months ago, I made the decision to read everything Ann Aguirre had on the market because I loved her Sirantha Jax series so much (so for all of you who visit The Obsessive Bookseller regularly, I’m sorry for being so repetitive, haha). I was particularly excited to pick up this series because I’d had it on my reading list even before I became fond of the author. I am glad to report that Enclave was every bit as enjoyable as her other books.

The characters were realistic and relatable (as usual) and the world building was totally immersive. I can say with confidence that I’ve never read anything quite like this book… It completely takes you into a new world filled with horrifying situations that would have me crying in a corner. What I liked about the protagonist, Deuce, is that she was every bit as frightened as I was but managed to draw on her inner strength to face it anyway. I appreciated her ability to adapt to each new situation and think for herself in a society that encourages the opposite.

Overall, the book was fast-paced, creepy as hell, and retained everything I’ve come to love and appreciate about this author. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next!

Recommended Reading: this book is perfect for fans of the YA post-apocalyptic genre – especially those who love zombie stories (for the record, I think I'm good for a couple years on all things zombie). This book is also one that I would feel confident recommending to both men and women, which is a rare find in the heavily “romanced” teen section these days.
Profile Image for Angela.
675 reviews1,396 followers
November 12, 2016

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has taken to living in underground enclaves, where the life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. The main character is name Deuce, yes Deuce.... She gets this name in a naming ceremony where the towns people gather around, place a bunch of rando items in front of you, cut your arms a bunch of time, and then whatever you bleed on first is your new name. (This is really where the problem started for me.)

I wont lie the whole book I kept calling her Douche. Douche also has some interesting friends, Stone and Thimble. Stone has sex for a living and Thimble builds things. You'd think as her bff4ls that they would play an important part of this story; turns out they really don't. The story could have worked even without them.


After her naming ceremony Deuce becomes a "huntress". Basically she runs around the underground enclaves killing "freaks" and hunting down other communities. She is partnered up with the not so mysterious boy Fade. Fade just is conveniently the only person the community has ever let live with them that wasn't born into their group... Color me shocked when we discovered that he's from "topside". A place where people who break the rules are banished too... Yeah I bet you can already guess where this story's going......

*plays jeopardy music*

Yes; What is Fade and Douche are banished is the correct answer.

After being banished for the most predictable reason ever Fade and Deuce head topside. Fade pretty much remembers his way around town; which I also find very odd. I can't even remember where I park my car half the time but this kid hasn't been topside in like a decade and he just know where everything is. While topside they run into rape gangs, find a library where they do some light reading, pick up some chick, fight some gangs, find another chick that ALSO conveniently is still around from Fade's topside days, they go north to get help, run into some trouble, so on and so bored... To me this story was lacking so major bones.

Oh and a not so spoiler, spoiler the sudden introduction of an inconceivable love interest happens way too late into this book so now the story is suffering from a terrible case of the love triangle. The action scenes are lacking along with the heroine who is physically capable of kicking butt; but who lacks all emotional depth. Le Sigh this book just let me so down and had me wondering if I had even read the same book everyone else did.

Read this review and others on our blog:
Profile Image for Isa Lavinia.
604 reviews303 followers
November 14, 2013


I actually re-read this because the new one came out and I just looked at most of the reviews for this one and thought, "Damn, maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read it."

The re-reading actually made me lower the rating from 2 stars to 1.

The first time I read it I was in the middle of exams, and I wasn't really thinking about what I was reading, it was mostly to get my mind off things for a bit - and it failed even at that, since I only gave it a 2 back then.

But now that I've re-read it... I mean, what. the. fuck.
Seriously what the fuck is this bullshit? A girl is gang raped for years and spends most of her life giving birth to still-born babies only to be raped again and again, and the main character goes on and on about how weak this girl is? How she should have died fighting her rapists?
I mean are you serious with this shit?!
Victim blaming people who've been raped doesn't belong in any book EVER, but it certainly belongs even less in YA!

Then the guy who was the rapists's leader becomes a love interest for the main character...
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,096 reviews2,383 followers
February 8, 2017
This was only the second book I’ve read by Aguirre, with the first being Skin Game, which I was less than impressed with. And yes, I realize I still haven’t read the one series lauded as her best, Sirantha Jax, but I will get to it one of these days. Although Enclave had some great ideas, some very quotable passages, and some fascinating characters, I think it also fell short in a number of ways.

This book tells the story of Deuce; a girl living underground in the tunnels and sewer systems of a post-apocalyptic New York City. She lives primitively in an enclave where you’re a hunter, a builder, a breeder, or an elder. If you aren’t strong, you don’t survive. Even the lowest of the classes, the breeders, are still the ones who are good looking and intelligent. The weak, sickly, or stupid don’t live long in this community.

Deuce is one of the hunters. She brings meat back for the rest to eat and keeps them all safe from the Freaks; grotesque monsters with a never-ending appetite who live outside the enclave. Problems arise when the Freaks encroach more and more upon the enclave, and Deuce is formally teamed up with Fade and forced to find out exactly why the Freaks are attacking closer and becoming braver. Nobody likes Fade, a teen boy a few years older than Deuce who had only recently arrived at the enclave, and Deuce has to deal with enduring feeling like an outcast alongside him for the first time. Her resolve is shaken and her faith in her people and the rules she’s lived by her whole life are greatly tested. It isn’t until she’s forced out of the enclave does she finally realize that she knows nothing about the world she lives in.

Deuce was an obvious choice for my favorite character, but only because she was the most developed. She’s struggling throughout the book for answers and warring with her upbringing and the rules forced down her throat, but it gets to the point where you just want to shake her. Yes, I get it, you were a huntress and important and now you’re not. The world is not what you thought, roles can be reversed, and people grow up differently depending on their situation. This gets reiterated time and time again, up until the last few pages of the book. I understand that when comparing Deuce’s life underground with her experiences above creates an interesting juxtaposition, but there comes a time when you don’t have to tell me how different things are. I liked her nonetheless though, and she was a decidedly strong character who time and time again did what she had to do. She definitely changed from the brat who blindly followed what her elders told her to a young woman who could think for herself.

The first third of this book focused on life underground in the enclave and introduced the rigid day to day activities and methods of survival that Deuce and the rest of her people live by. It’s a harsh life with little to look forward to, and the rules and regulations are practically beaten into every child since they’re born.

I think this part of the book really set things up well; you get a sense of the dank despair the group live in and how they have their rules to keep everyone alive. If the people are allowed to breed indiscriminately then diseases can flourish, if the hunters don’t train every day then they might get killed by a Freak, if you find an artifact and keep it for yourself then you’re denying everybody what little culture they could have. It’s a very depressing existence but it’s all they know.

Fade is the disturbing force in this equilibrium and it becomes obvious that he won’t be able to go with the flow for very long. I wanted to like him more than I did though. He’s the strong rebellious bad boy, and he’s also tall, dark, and mysterious, so what’s not to love? I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like I ever really got to know him. It also didn’t help that he was barely acknowledged in the last half of the book, except to talk about how distant he had become.

I also felt like the romance between Fade and Deuce didn't evolve as organically as I would have liked. I understood that their shared experiences and the amount of time they spent together and relied on each other moved their romance along faster than it would have in real life, but I still didn't believe that they could fall in love so quickly.

Once Deuce and Fade left the underground, the novel rushed forward more than I wanted it to as well. I did enjoy it when they found a new relic or came across a new type of food – the introduction of SPAM in particular was funny – but I still didn’t feel like enough time was spent developing this section as the time she took with the underground parts.

There are two other characters introduced after they leave the enclave, and neither of them really got fleshed out enough. This book was just too short to include them and expect me to become attached. Plus, the second boy, Stalker, isn’t one I could ever like when considering the circumstances he came from. The girl, Tegan, is there to elicit an emotional response as well, but it just didn’t happen for me. I felt more for the other enclave citizens and friends that Deuce and Fade left behind than these two new characters.

It’s funny, because Fade echoed my thoughts in the end:
"Don’t leave me, Deuce. I need you. I want it to be like it was, before the others came." (251)
Me too, Fade, me too.

The ending cut the story off at a point that was not very satisfying. It’s the kind that makes you turn the page and wonder where the rest is, and then you realize, oh, I have to wait for the next book now.

Will I be continuing on with this series? That’s more than likely, but the way it ended didn’t leave me with any feeling of excitement over the next installment, it left me feeling cheated out of the full story. It’s a bit ho-hum and less than ideal, and hopefully the next book is developed better. I guess I’ll just have to wait (over a year!) to see what happens in the next book in the series, Outpost.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
May 2, 2011

Enclave was a breath a fresh air. If you are looking for a book with lots of action, a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and romance that takes a back seat, Enclave is your book.

This book is marketed towards, "Fans of The Hunger Games." Ummm...why? The only similarities I can possibly see is the strength of the main characters. Katniss and Deuce (how awesome is her name?!) are both hunters and get into a lot of fights. And both books do feature dystopian societies.

Enclave is very fast paced in the beginning. The book begins right before Girl15's naming ceremony. She finds out her name is Deuce and she officially owns the title of "Huntress." As a Huntress, it is her job to brave the dark tunnels and bring food back to the enclave. It is a very dangerous job. Why? Because there are Zombies Freaks!
The zombies in this world are rather interesting. They do not seem to infect anyone, they just want to eat you.


Deuce lives in her enclave which is underground. She has never seen the sun and no one in her enclave lives very long. They are lucky to live to be 25. No one seems to know how they ended up there and where the freaks came from. The enclave has strict rules that she firmly believes are there to protect everyone. However, after she is paired up with Fade, a boy who grew up Topside, she slowly begins to question everything she is taught. One day Deuce and Fade are exiled from their enclave and forced to live Topside where vicious gangs battle it out over territory. Add in the zombies and you have one hell of an adventure!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE strong heroines. I can not stand a damsel in distress. Thankfully, Deuce can hold her own and then some. Seriously, the girl was a badass. She had me sooo happy at parts, I found myself saying, "Oh Hells yes!" during the battle scenes.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was the question of, "What is strength or weakness?" In the beginning of the book Deuce measures that with how well a person can defend themselves. As a huntress, she was always taught showing emotion was a weakness. However, she later learns that strength can be measured with ones ability to endure. This proves especially true for the character Tegan. She is viewed as a very weak character, but IMO was the strongest of all. Deuce realizes she doesn't possess the physical strength of most fighters, but Tegan has a mental strength that keeps her pressing forward. Deuce later acknowledges that those emotions are not a weakness, and that causes her to reassess her own character.

I really liked how this book moved fast. It is a quick read, but the way Ann Aguirre writes it, it feels longer. There were a lot of unanswered questions about the world they live in and I expect it will be answered in the next book based on how this one ended. I can't wait!

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
778 reviews519 followers
February 22, 2022
*** Read first and reviewed in 2011 *** Post-plague, underground, dystopian fiction set in a smallish, harsh, survival-of-the-fittest society, a deserted, crumbling New York City, unexpected friendship, a hint of romance and super-gory zombies!

"Enclave" turned out to be extremely engrossing. Although, sometimes, I was a little chicken to turn the page and find out what happened next, I craved to return to the story with a feverish intensity each time I decided to shut down my Kindle, since nourishing my body, working for my living and catching the minimum amount of sleep seemed to be a sensible thing to do, but felt oh so annoying. Do you realize how lucky I am to have once again experienced that kind of addicted rush that turned me into someone who reads on a daily basis in the first place? If you glance at my current average rating of 3.1something you maybe do. I admit, I tend to forget again and again the huge emotional difference between reading a book I like and devouring a book with zest - sticky bones, minor flaws and all. Right now I am in the middle of an unquestionably clever, worthwhile book (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms), and I eventually want to find out how it ends, but in comparison to spending time with the "Enclave" consuming it feels only marginally entertaining (to me).

When I wrote my original review yesterday - right on my Kindle - I thought I had to be fair and reduce my enthusiastic rating by half a star at least because of the completely unnecessary beginning of a love-triangle subplot and certain vagueness concerning the survival of a person who got dear to the socially already very deprived heroine - and certainly to me. Mainly because other books I have read would have suffered the same "punishment". Yet after Maya supplied me with a blog entry by the author in which she addresses the love-triangle-accusation and other reader complaints (http://www.annaguirre.cm/archives/201...) my fear for a "Who-on-dystopian-earth-should-I-love-now" sequel did not wholly subside, but turned into something wholesomely optimistic and made me wonder whether having a book which I enjoyed as much as "Enclave" really deserved to anonymously drown in the crowd of four-star-worthy books on my "read" shelf. My rating system is heavily depending on gut feeling and my personal enjoyment. Being fair is to my books would be a ridiculous endeavour. Another thing that helped me understand were the author's notes at the end of the book. I had been wondering how the community in the "College" Enclave had lost and forgotten so much of our culture and of former "Topside" life after a mere half century maybe. Deuce does not know about the moon, about rivers and snow, or what a zipper is, what a wedding invitation might be for, and what the material plastic is called. Aguirre explains that in her imagination only the the rich and powerful had the means to flee the cities when the catastrophe happened. So the people who survived and made the survival of the next generation possible by forming topside gangs and underground enclaves had been the underpriviledged and poor. People who - at least in the beginning - did not care about written material or about handing their offspring a sense of their species' history. It made sense to me. And the information about the long shelf-life of canned food smoothed my skeptical frown. What I still do not get is how the underground clans make do without carbonhydrates. Apart from rare finds (tinned fruit etc.) Deuce's community lives on meat, fish and mushrooms only. I know that the Enclave's ancient-looking eldests are only 25, but is the human brain able to function without glucose? I am not sure, but in the end I find I do not really care.

"Enclave" just offered a mix that was strangely irresistable to me – personally:
- A fifteen year-old girl, a huntress who takes pride in what she does, who sees the facade of her safe and perfect worlds crumble and starts to question the infinite authority of her community’s cruel and insincere elders.
- She gradually falls in love with her topside-born mysterious partner although she had been taught that romance was reserved for the weak and pretty, namely the chosen breeders.
- Part of the book’s charm is her open-eyed wonder about the sky, the moon, the buildings and the rest of our civilizations remains.
- Part of the book’s thrill is that she and Fade are admirably tough fighters and kill countless foul-smelling zombies out for their flesh in perfect choreography.
- This likable pair acts in front of two very bleak, but interesting settings: The dark metro tunnels in which you reach the neighboring enclave only by running three days through zombie-infested territory and the toppled ghost-town of New York ruled by raping, murdering teenage boys who will die young in a fight over their territories.
- The move to Topside presents Deuce unexpectedly with a real friend and with a deadly enemy turned into a valued companion.

Well. That somehow does not sound convincing, I know. But how should I talk with my guts? Can you tell me?
Profile Image for Justine.
1,155 reviews311 followers
July 5, 2017
There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn’t always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness.

I thought this was really good. It is an identity story wrapped in a devastated world survival/adventure tale, and it is surprisingly insightful. It was engrossing enough that I started the next book immediately.
Profile Image for Steph Su.
960 reviews450 followers
May 16, 2011
This book reminded me of why I sometimes HATE when writers for adults attempt to write for younger audiences. People, how many times do I have to remind you that having a good premise and combining that with sloppy worldbuilding, a teenaged protagonist, and a love triangle does NOT automatically qualify a book as YA? I managed to finish ENCLAVE, but only because the whole time I kept on expecting it to get better, for it to eventually blow me away. Well, there was definitely no blowing away: my butt remained firmly in my chair, my forehead practically glued to my desk in frustration.

Good things first, I guess. I like Deuce. She belongs in the new, Katniss-esque camp of female protagonists: resourceful, emotionally reserved, tough on the outside, vulnerable and endearing on the inside.

Now for the litany of issues I had with this book, i.e. Why Poor Deuce Deserved a Better Story. Where do I begin? The writing was mediocre. I felt like no sooner was a character or detail introduced then he/she/it either died, got destroyed, or became Significant, rendering all of those introduced characters and details glaringly device-y. Changes in Deuce and Fade’s lives occurred with little regard for logistical backstory: when Deuce is in danger of death by Freak, a random group of dwarf-people who—surprise!—have been secretly living within the tunnels all along come out to save her. Deuce and Fade are cast to the surface for a tradition that, in essence, should make sense as a way that the elders enforced obedience, but, when it actually happens, feels so contrived.

And that’s the problem I continued to have throughout this book. Despite the promising premise, I feel like ENCLAVE only scratched at the surface of its world’s possibilities. For me, a story’s world has to feel like it can exist without an author’s interference: the book has to read like, say, contemporary YA reads to us, which is to say that all the complexities and possibilities of the world have to feel natural. ENCLAVE’s world did not feel natural to me. It felt like the author was writing in aspects of the world as the story went along, and I was left with too many logistical questions and an utter lack of investment. For example, I’m aware that I was supposed to see Deuce’s enclave as a stifling, cruel, and totalitarian governing system, but I never felt stifled on Deuce’s behalf. Everything in this book was begging me to consider it as dangerous, as suspenseful, as intense—which did not allow me to feel anything naturally, except perhaps boredom. It was just not credible.

Deuce was about the only character in this book that I felt like was even remotely well developed, and I’m beginning to suspect that that’s just a trick of the first-person narration. Fade I felt was trying so hard to fit the mysterious-hot-love-interest quota that he ended up being very uninteresting. And OH GOD CAN I JUST RANT HERE ABOUT THE TRANSPARENCY OF THE LOVE TRIANGLE? So Deuce and Fade get into an altercation with a gang. The gang leader, who displays sociopathic tendencies towards homicide, randomly has a change of heart and joins them on their journey to find utopia, or whatever else is a better word for what they’re looking for. He and Deuce hook up when she’s busy agonizing over Fade. Yawn. The obviousness of the romantic elements of ENCLAVE didn’t help dissuade my snarky notion that the author was trying to fulfill some checklist for How to Write Bestselling YA or something.

I also think ENCLAVE took a big (and ultimately unsuccessful) risk in incorporating “idea-dropping” into its narration. “Idea-dropping” is my just-made-up term for a concept similar to name-dropping. It involves describing common modern items in such a way as to make it clear to us what the characters are describing without actually naming it, since, obviously, the characters don’t know the name for it. The one other time I’ve seen idea-dropping used was in another YA dystopian that ultimately didn’t agree with me. I think it’s a literary technique that panders to readers and doesn’t add anything to the world or the characters. I don’t freaking care that they’re eating Spam. All I needed to know was that they were eating long expired canned food. Spam only has implications for us readers, not the characters. Thus, idea-dropping spoon-feeds the dystopian aspect of a story, but I personally find the spoon-feeding offensive to my readerly intellect. There are better ways to write a dystopian than to idea-drop.

And what is up with the Freaks? Are they supposed to be flesh-eating zombies, or a mutation gone terribly wrong, or something else? Why wasn’t there more of an explanation for their existence so that they would also be less device-y? And are you SERIOUS about the disembodied voice that “speaks” to Deuce (or comes to her in a dream, I couldn’t figure out which) and convinces her to make the right decision, etc etc? I didn’t realize that deus ex machinas were so easily accepted! And don’t even get me started on how Tegan is an expendable ninny who inspires no empathy and is like a girl trying desperately not to be TSTL (“too stupid to live”) but, due to shoddy writing, ends up fitting exactly that expendable role.

My problem with ENCLAVE wasn’t that it read like a setup for the rest of the series. Rather, I just cannot respect a story that skimps so heavily on plot, characterization, and worldbuilding. As far as the trilogy is concerned, this is the end of the road for me. I wish all brave travelers who wish to journey beyond this point the best of luck. I’m going to spend my time on more well written books.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
August 30, 2012
This book, you love it, or you hate it. And then there's me.

Enclave starts out as a very captivating, very exciting read. The world building is terrifying; we've got society living underground, talk of barren wastelands and acid rain "Topside", beasts are roaming the tunnels which, let's face it, are zombies. These "Freaks" eat human flesh, they smell and look like death, and they are taking over! I was lost and absorbed by this dreary desolation. Though what makes it the most compelling is the plausibility of this post-apocalyptic world. Society would separate, and there are apparently already people living in the underground NYC tunnels (as per the author's notes). These types of post-apocalyptic settings are my favorites, the possibility makes it horrifying, and you all know by now that I'm a masochist. In the big picture, the world is brilliantly imagined, sharply described, and I loved it. I also loved the slow telling of its history. We don't know what happened to bring about this future from page one, we learn it as our characters do. When you look at the world closer, however, mostly in regards to the underground living, I was a bit less convinced. How have they been getting drinkable running water for a century? Or I guess the best question to ask would be: How exactly have they survived? If you tell me you lived under the earth for over a century, you will need to give me the full lowdown to make me believe it. I wanted it to be more fleshed out.

The transition from underground to Topside is also a part I wish would have been done differently. Someone who has never been exposed to the sun would not so easily adapt to it. Sunglasses, conveniently found might I add, would not nearly be enough protection. I was expecting a bigger reaction overall, not just physically, but mentally as well. Nonetheless, I will say that the world we do get Topside is very well described in all its ravaged glory. The planet is destroyed and the author depicts its bleak nature very vividly.

On to the most controversial aspect of the novel. The characters in Enclave are very particular. They have an extremely different upbringing; Deuce was brought up as a fighter, a warrior, with "the strong survive" as her biggest value, so she lacks social skills including, and especially, empathy. The way she reacts to situations and other people's distress is a source of complaint from many other reviewers and I can easily understand these reactions. Personally, I was able to do away with my own values to understand a culture that is completely unlike my own, but it does bring about harsh topics, such as rapes, that could very well leave a bad taste in your mouth. What I certainly could not stomach was when the arrow started pointing at an nauseating future love triangle - which I was confirmed does come about in the sequel. It's not the triangle that I have the problem with, but the love interest involved in it. This is a guy who let his people gang-rape a girl continually, and who most probably raped girls himself even though it's not specifically mentioned. He is a sick, vile man. While I understand the reasoning behind wanting him on board to help them survive until they reach their intended destination, I do not see myself garner anything but disgust in the possibility of a romance between our protagonist and this dirty, rotten fella. I just can't. Will I still read the sequel knowing this? Certainly. The world building and overall premise is very enticing and I was thoroughly entertained from page 1. But it will also likely annoy and disgust me. I guess we can't win em all.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Anagha Uppal.
185 reviews57 followers
September 18, 2012
"He'd said the sun could burn me. It certainly looked angry enough, all orange and glowing mad."

"There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn't always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness."

"You could miss someone, but it did no good to fixate on loss. I wished I had the ready words of a Breeder or the ability to comfort with a soft touch. I didn't. Instead I had daggers and determination.
That would have to do."

"Before he bent his head, I knew what he was going to do. Touch his lips to mine. Oh, and I wanted him to... I stilled, hardly daring to breathe. The old refrain of cant and shouldn't sank beneath the weight of new worlds like please and yes."

"We stood back-to-back, blocking and striking in harmony; sometimes it felt like his arms and legs were an extension of me. I could count on him to keep them off me from behind."

This was actually my second time reading Enclave. Mind you, I RARELY re-read books - once I know the ending, it's very hard for me to truly enjoy it again. The only books I can think off the top of my head that I have ever re-read are Great Expectations (3 times), Pride and Prejudice (4 times), The Kite Runner (2 times). As you can see, only the best classics go in my rereading pile. So how did Enclave get there? Easy - it's AWESOME. I had just received Outpost and it had been over a year since I read Enclave and I didn't remember enough details to be able to read the sequel. When this happens, I usually take an hour to skim through the pages of the novel and that's enough for me. Except when I opened up to the first page of Enclave, it had an invisible magnet that drew me to the page and didn't let go. So off I went into a fantastic world with my favorite characters!

Now I'm going to gripe at my friend here. This is off-topic so feel free to skip. This particular friend was also super excited for Outpost, so I offered to lend it to her. I was in the middle of a book and I still hadn't gotten to Enclave (the skim-turned-reread) and I wanted to get Endurance (Enclave #1.5) read. Here I am all done with Enclave, starting Endurance, ready and pumped for Book 2... and Taylor has not finished it yet! I have to wait until Friday! I don't think I have that kind of endurance! (Taylor, if you just so happen to be reading this, I mean this in the most friendly way - READ FAST OR ELSE!) Now onto the review.

The Plot -
The biggest things Deuce has to worry about while living in the underground College Enclave is earning the respect of the other Hunters, fighting hungry Freaks (big, ugly monsters), and bagging meat for her community. But after she is paired with Fade for a partner, everything goes awry. Suddenly, her support for her partner is only earning her potentially-fatal jobs, she's having compassionate feelings no Hunter should feel, and why is she starting to doubt her leaders have everyone's best interest in mind? Finding herself exiled after standing up to authority, she must rely on her partner to find a new life Topside - where she must face other dangers she hasn't even imagined.

What can I say? This book has fight scenes and other enthralling moments left and right - which is PERFECT for me. It's exactly what a good post-apocalyptic should be - the quest to survive despite all the hardships thrown your way. Pure, unadulterated fun, this one!
P.S. I second Rachel's motion: Kill off characters - it really works!

The Setting -
What sets Enclave apart from other dystopians is the amount of detail that has gone into the book, which can only come from tons of research (Aguirre mentions some of the places she took ideas from at the back of the book). Without a doubt, the setting and the people and their actions is extremely believable - I was completely immersed in this novel for this reason. Whether it's the Freaks (I'd really like to know where they come from by the way) or the way a person who has never been on ground before might view specific objects or common occurrences, every moment takes you further into the intricacies of this story and personalities of the characters.

The Characters -
Some of my favorite characters from dystopian stories come from Enclave. Unlike most dystopians, each character here is equal parts strong, smart and determined - that's why they've survived and so many others haven't. There are times when characters rely on their baser instincts to get them through a situation, which exposes the raw, emotional, and often grim reality of a survivalist attitude. Each character's views change and develop - they all grow to accept that they are valuable for some things and others, they are inexperienced at, and they work together as a unit to get things done. Overall, very well-crafted and compelling characters - I just can't wait to see more of them!

Romanciness -
I thank my stars Enclave isn't yet another one of those books that stress how much the guy is omg-hawt and how they just can't keep their hands off each other. They carry on a conversation like normal human beings, they fight back-to-back trusting each other completely, and just relying on each other for strength and comfort. That is what real love is; authors should just discover that already. There's no insta-love, no love triangle, no constantly hungering for affection - which makes the snatches of alone moments all the more beautiful. You know Fade and Deuce are made for each other and they are completely in love - not because they're always resting their heads against each other or having outbursts of emotion - no, Aguirre is much more subtle than that. You know Fade is jealous of how much time Deuce and Stalker are spending together by the way he turns away, by the way he starts taking Tegan on hunting trips. And it's all so quietly nobody notices... except us readers who are just waiting for the ultimate "AW" moment.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
May 8, 2019
More interesting than I thought it was going to be.

Enclave is about a group of people living in a post-apocalyptic world. They don't have names but they are called girl or boy and then given a number. Enter Girl 15, well now she's known as Deuce. Did I forget to mention that when they get a job, they get a new name. When I first heard this, I didn't know how I felt about it. The naming thing kind of intrigued me and reminded me of Divergent and how if they went to a new faction they could pick a new name.

Well, back to Deuce, she's a hunter and she goes out to get food and basically protect people form the diseased. Which, unfortunately, it gets harder day by day because the diseased humans are getting smarter now. So dealing with smarter zombies was intriguing. I had a couple of theories as to where things might head but I am terrible at guessing. So, yeah, I failed.

Deuce was an okay kind of character. I kind of just kept flip-flopping from liking to not liking her. Besides her, then there's Fade and Stalker. Plus other people that I don't really remember about. Each character was a nice addition to the story and kept me engaged. The one thing I did like about this was the romance - mostly because there was nothing really insta to me and it didn't feel forced. It was nice to just sit back and see how things were going to play out.

Overall, I can't wait to dive into the next book of this series. I want more from these people and the zombies!
Profile Image for Kyle.
66 reviews28 followers
September 1, 2011
Review from BookBranch.
Phewf. Glad that one is done. I REALLY didn't enjoy it. I wanted to give up at around %50, but it cost $9 and I was desperately hoping that it would get better. It didn't. This review is full of minor spoilers, but there's really nothing you won't have predicted once you're in a couple chapters.

While planning this novel, I'm assuming the author visited the TVTropes page for every dystopian novel written up to this point and decided to integrate every cliche she could find. Seriously, find an idea in here that's original and I'll bake you a cake. The main character, Deuce, is a huntress, and has pretty much all the same personality traits as Katniss from the Hunger Games, except written badly. Fade is the usual distant, mysterious bad boy, and that's basically all the personality you're going to find here. Zombies have been conveniently renamed Freaks to make them seem more original, and basically every other part of the plot here has been done many times before.

Then, there's the plot holes. Deuce lives in an underground civilization called an Enclave that's on the same level as the subway system. What's never explained is how this convenient massive underground hole came to be. Did they just stumble upon it? "Ooh, here's a large hollowed out cave in the middle of the subway system that no one noticed before. What a perfect place for a post apocalyptic society to live." Even if it had been built purposely, I doubt you could make such a big cave under a city before you had skyscrapers falling through your roof.

Also, no one in this society has any knowledge of life outside of the Enclave, at all. Seriously, they don't even know what the subway system is for. How would this happen? The original inhabitants would have explained it to their children, who would explain it to their children, etc. I could see how knowledge could be lost this way, but what I don't get is no one wrote it down. Or at least brought a freaking encyclopedia into the Enclave. They don't even know what caused the apocalypse. Seriously?

Another minor part that bothered me is when Deuce and Fade are hiding in the completely intact subway car and the zombies manage to "smash a window". We've all seen zombies in movies, no? Well, the average zombie isn't that strong, and a starving zombie living underground would be even weaker. But somehow, these zombies managed to break through a subway car window. Have you seen windows on trains? They're an inch of tempered glass. Train windows are serious business. Most healthy people would have a hard time breaking through one of those windows with a baseball bat, but somehow a weak zombie manages to push something through in around 30 seconds.

According to the book, the only food available in the Enclave is "fresh meat, dried meat, and mushrooms." That's nowhere near a balanced diet. Notably, they're missing vitamin C. Why don't they all have scurvy yet?

When Deuce and Fade make it to the surface, it's Deuce first time above ground, and her grand parents (at least) probably never saw the sun either. Her eyes can't handle it and she has to put on sun glasses, but even though she doesn't put on any sunscreen, she never gets sun burnt, just "a little red".

Throughout this book, the term breeder/breed is used in place of the word sex, because upon reading this word innocent teenagers would have immediately been scarred for life.

This book is full of impossible or badly researched facts, ranging from Fade, who can kill birds by throwing rocks at them, or how people in the Enclave live to 20 yet never get facial hair.

What I really don't understand is what caused this whole apocalypse in the first place. The book seems to lean towards disease, which doesn't really make sense because there is no remnants of government whatsoever. It's never explained why the people who are alive are immune, or why moving underground would help in the first place. Just another part of this book that isn't really thought out all that well.

My personal favourite part of the book was the author's note, which described Ann Aguirre's "research" for the novel, which included reading a couple of articles and watching a History Channel documentary. Wow Ann, you really went all out for this book.

The only thing that saved this book from one star is the writing style. The writing is easy to read, dialogue is enjoyable and it would have been easy to read if it wasn't for the terrible plot holes. If Ann Aguirre got some original ideas, she would probably have some good books.
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,815 reviews536 followers
May 15, 2011
I’ve really got to hand it to Ann Aguirre for writing a fascinating post-apocalyptic YA that I was able to finish without rolling my eyes. To be honest, the amount of Dystopian YA’s being published bores me. Every one of these YA’s are being courted as the next Hunger Games just like a few years ago with every single YA with vampires, fairies or fallen emo angels was the next Twilight. Ann takes some interesting chances with Enclave, and this is not for the weak of heart. Nothing is sugar coated here. The first half of the book gave me a claustrophobic feeling while reading. Unfortunately the second half faltered because the action wasn’t as intense and Ann falls back to an all too familiar trope found in present day YA- the evolution of a love triangle that will most like appear in Outpost, the second book in this series.

Have you ever seen the movie, 12 Monkeys? Enclave (Razorland #1) is a YA version of that film. Enclave takes place sometimes after the second holocaust of the Earth. Humanity has suffered immensely from some unknown catastrophe that has occurred. (Most likely an atomic World War III). We’re introduced to this world through the eyes of Girl15 who becomes Deuce on her naming day, her birthday. Deuce lives underground and has never gone up to the above. Upon further reading, I would say Deuce lives in the former subways of New York City. Everyone has a role in the enclave and Deuce’s role is to become a Huntress. She will hunt for food in the tunnels. Deuce lives in a dark and dank world both literally and figuratively. Disease is rampant and hygiene is not the best. Some women are solely used to breed children, known as brats, while others keep their fortress strong and safe from the Freaks. Freaks are monsters who feed on the flesh of the living and even themselves. They roam the tunnels looking for their next meal. Hunting for food can be dangerous, but Deuce is strong and fast. She is partnered up with Fade, an older boy who came from the above when he was a small child. Fade is not well liked by the elders because of where he has come from and has the makings of being a troublemaker. The elders make sure the rules are followed with an iron fist. If not followed, they have no qualms in exiling those who don’t behave. Exile means certain death.

Deuce and Fade soon figure out that the Freaks are not the mindless creatures that only exist to eat that the elders think them to be. And because of that everyone is in danger. Fade is more than willing to break away from this near like prison community and move on, but Deuce is scared because the enclave is all she has known. But then Deuce something unselfish to save one of her friends, and she is exiled. Fade goes along with her and they go up to the above where a new fascinating world of danger awaits them. Deuce and Fade don’t only have to worry about the Freaks, but roaming gangs that will kill without warning and use women as their own playthings. And when Stalker, the leader of one of the gangs, targets Deuce and takes her, Fade will put his life on the line to save Deuce. They’ll try to find a place where they can be safe without the fear of starvation and targets of the flesh hungry Freaks.

Enclave has a great atmospheric feel to it. I was right alongside Deuce as she fights for her own survival. The sounds, scents and mind numbing fear are strong. Fade is a great partner for Deuce and they both bounce off of each other very well. These two are the strongest and most well rounded and dimensional characters here. That became one of my main problems while reading. Characters come and go without any real meaning of substance. Because the story is so centralized on Deuce and Fade, everyone else pales in comparison. I couldn’t connect or sympathize with anyone else because they came across very flat as the paper they were written on.

When Deuce and Face go up above, that’s where things go downhill. In the enclave, everything was wonderfully descriptive. In the above, we’re given a quick overview. Deuce and Fade spend most of their time running and finding food and shelter. That is until a gang right out of Mad Max (done YA style) finds them. They meet an abused rape victim named Tegan, who has been at the mercy of the gang run by Stalker, a nasty piece of work. But then at one point either Ann or her editor came to the conclusion, we can’t have Deuce happy with just Fade and we’ll make Stalker a bit ambiguous in his actions so he can be redeemable and a possible future love interest for Deuce. That is where I grew weary of the story. We’re told from Tegan that Stalker is a killer and most likely a possible rapist who may have raped her time and again. But then at one point Tegan changes her story and says Stalker only handed her over to the other men and never touched her. So, Stalker, who again is most likely going to be a love interest for Deuce in the next book, isn’t such a bad guy because he didn��t actually rape Tegan, but only gave her untouched to his men to share. Sorry, this doesn’t make him redeemable in anyway and I would hope Deuce will realize this and stick with Fade. Or perhaps in Outpost, Stalker will become the ultimate villain Deuce or Fade must battle. If so, I’d be very interested in seeing how that goes down and hope Ann doesn’t fall back on the classic, let’s redeem the near psycho and amoral bad boy so we can see that the world can be a wonderful place again because love from the heroine has set everyone free.

Enclave should appeal to those looking for something different with their Dystopian YA’s they’ve read. If the first half of Enclave continued that way to the very last page, then I would have considered Enclave one of the best books I read this year. Overall, it’s a solid read that could have been so much better.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,172 followers
December 2, 2012
Enclave is amongst the few dystopian novels that has actually received a level amount of praise from practically everyone. As far as I know, there are no “haters” of Enclave, although there are those that feel simply ambivalent towards the novel, and as such, I went into it fully expecting to love it. Much to my disappointment, however, not only did I not fall in love with this novel, I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it. I was less than hundred pages from the end when I came to sudden realization that I simply did not care. Thus, this book is sadly joining my pile of DNF novels.

In theory, Enclave is a book I should have loved. We have a kick-ass heroine, an enigmatic young hero/romantic interest, and a unique dystopian world. Yet, everything was simply lacking in some manner or the other. What struck me first about the story was its lack of world-building. I’ve already mentioned that Aguirre has imagined a fantastic new realm, only we don’t know all that much about it. Of course, we are given details of the inner workings of this utopian society and are introduced to the “Freaks,” or zombies, but we are left completely in the dark as to the origins of this world. It isn’t a huge qualm as far as world-building qualms go and while our protagonist herself didn’t know the answer, a few theories as to how the Freaks came to exist or the manner in which the utopian society was formed would have been enriching to say the least.

Nevertheless, my true qualm took place in the shape of our protagonist, Deuce. Deuce is kick-ass, sweet when it comes to young love, fierce when it comes to fighting, and loyal when it comes to her job, but that’s all she is. Either than a couple of adjectives – strong, brave, kind – Deuce isn’t made up of much. In my eyes, she never had any real substance and I was unable to understand or connect with her as there wasn’t a person there to understand in the first place. It’s difficult to put into words, but more than just a lack of connection with Deuce, I couldn’t care for her or see her perspective on certain issues. Furthermore, this extended into her romance as well, making it all just fall flat for me.

Yet, the last straw in this novel was the love triangle. I thankfully didn’t make it to the point where this issue became an obvious forefront, but from skimming through other reviews, I can tell that it’s distasteful at best. Not only does it continue on in the sequel (turn-off much?), but it also centers on a former rapist. (I have no right to judge in this instance, however, since I haven’t seen how Aguirre deals with this issue and it CAN be dealt with very effectively, as can be seen with Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles.)

Nevertheless, with any mention of a love triangle, I am usually running in the opposite direction and that, combined with the lackluster romance already present and my lack of feeling for the characters or their world simply resulted in a novel I couldn’t bring myself to continue. Yet, I haven’t quite given up on Ann Aguirre. I hope to read (and love!) her adult Sirantha Jax Series soon for as an author, Aguirre’s writing leaves little to be desired. Unfortunately, I simply seem to be the black sheep when it comes to this novel and, considering I’ve read too many dystopians, utopians, and zombie-related novels lately, I’m just hard to impress.

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,000 reviews1,207 followers
June 9, 2015
2.5 to 3 stars, I'm okay with this book and I'm surprised the story isn't as awful and ridiculous as I've recently experienced with the other Young Adult dystopian novels (Legend trilogy by Marie Lu, I'm looking right at you).

Well, the world building does leave many things to be desired, we only know civilization as we know it had broken down sometime ago (a couple of decades ago, or within the last 100 years, I guess?) and now humans are living underground in different 'enclaves' to avoid the dangerous flesh-eating mutants. Supposedly there had once been some serious plague outbreak in the past, leaving small groups of survivors (no one seems to be able to live to age 30 anymore, mind you) in the dark and struggling to survive.

Obviously the setting is nothing original, but at least I can appreciate the main characters for being down-to-earth survivors trying to find their way out of bad situations instead of heroes who is going to save the human race. I can only hope the author would keep up her work instead of turning her story into silly teenagers' romance/love triangle like so many others before her, I can tell there's a romance underway, but still I hope Ms. Aguirre won't do that to us all. *sighs*

Plus I'm not okay with how the character Stalker and his behaviors are treated in the book, although I understand the world is in bad shape now and rape and viewing women as 'breeders'/sex slaves might be brushed off as 'survival of the fittest' by the men (e.g. Stalker and his gang) who lived above ground, but the heroine Deuce......she's from an underground small society in which raping women Is Not Okay, so it's disappointing to see her just brushing the rape issue off as well (especially after she befriends an enslaved girl and nearly got raped herself). And then...Stalker, the gang leader who obviously doesn't mind raping and enslaving women when he sees fit, just...reforms himself later? That's no good.
Profile Image for kris.
943 reviews193 followers
January 31, 2012
Let me be frank: I wanted to like this book. The premise sounded interesting, even though it's yet another dystopic young adult novel.

Halfway into this book, I was tempted to give it up, but I kept pressing on. A bit farther, and I thought I could see the light at the end of the tunnel--the situation was getting more interesting.

By the end of the book, however, I was livid, disgusted, and annoyed.

Ignoring all the poor world-building, the horribly card-board-like characters, the handling of sex and violence--all the things that would make this just another subpar ya dystopia--let's focus on the really disgusting bits.

Namely, the love triangle (and subsequent handling of rape).

How do I put this mildly? Deuce, the main character, cannot decide between Fade, the soulful loner who gets himself exiled to help protect her, and Stalker, the "former" gang-leader / rapist of the fourth member of their party. How is this even a real decision.

The fact that it's left nebulous and up in the air is horrifying. The fact that Deuce views said fourth member of their party--Tegan--as a weakling who "let" herself be raped is even more disgusting. The fact that any of this is presented as "okay" is just sickening.

I could go on (and on) about all the other poor choices made in this fad-hopping book, but I will leave it. I don't think I can stomach any additional thoughts about it.
Profile Image for Lou.
879 reviews864 followers
September 23, 2011
We had Hunger Games to keep us entertained in dystopian adventures and now I think Enclave is a rightfully successor of a story. The main protagonist is a Hunter and all her life she has been breed to Hunt, hunting is all she knows. Equipped with basic tools of killing she kills Freaks amongst other things. She knows not much at all of the upside world, for she has lived underground has not tasted the Sunlight or seen, cars or guns. The Enclave are a gang who consist of Brats, Hunters, Breeders and Elders. Enjoyable action packed read.

Profile Image for Peep (Pop! Pop!).
418 reviews49 followers
July 28, 2011
Looks like I'm going to rate this one a little lower than the majority! To be honest, I really liked the way it started out. In fact, throughout the whole book I loved how they reacted when they discovered some of the things we take for granted today. Things like watches, metal spoons, weddings, books.

Doors blocked off tiny rooms, except for the one, where the metal hung askew, revealing a squat chair with a hole in it. Curiosity got the best of me, then overwhelming disgust.


I liked that the book isn't based on shock value. It seems real. It's not ridiculously depressing where everybody dies from starvation or fighting to survive or stuff like that. Well, at least not at first.

I liked Deuce’s voice because it just sounded real. I didn't get the robot feeling like I got from Divergent. Deuce is happy with her community and was proud to be a Hunter and not a Breeder. Apparently, being a Breeder would suck. All you do is make babies. Though I'm guessing you'd be introduced to the tunnels if you were ugly, couldn't build and had a physical defect. Only the good looking ones free of physical defect get to be the Breeders. Looks like I'm out!

There are: evil community leaders, old good guy, a really odd and pointless murder straight out of left field, ZOMBIES! (apparently, and sadly, that name was lost after the big whatever happened. They're just called Freaks), girl who's good at everything she does, girl who has a heart, mysterious and hot love interest, not so mysterious and not so hot love interest, gangs, corn, etc.

Maybe I totally missed it but I was unable to determine how long everything had been going on. When did things get so bad? And to top it off, I wasn't even clear on how they got that way in the first place. It wasn't until I read the authors note at the end did it become semi-clear.

Why was life expectancy underground so low? Why were people so quick to turn their backs on each other? Why did they move underground in the first place? I know there were gangs, but they seemed to be mainly comprised of kids. What was up with that freaky deaky revealing dream? Talk about unexpected! Nothing else in the book pointed at the supernatural. At that point I was surprised a Sprite didn't pop out and lead them on their journey.

I felt like this could have easily been one book. Surprise, surprise it's a trilogy. Some parts were breezed through and then other parts were drastically drowned out. I didn't think the first half of the book connected with the first half.

What the heck was up with the love triangle?? Was that even necessary? Oh wait, can't be YA if we don't make it a trilogy with two boys vying for the same girl. It just adds that extra spice. Blurg! Really, it's old and lame. It really is! Oh, and let's not forget that the girl must excel at everything. Because you can't earn it, you have to be born with it... or something like that. It's like, why can't you fail? .

Wait, let me get this straight – a guy rapes girls (because they don't fight he doesn't have any respect for them), let's his boys rape the girls (repeatedly), abuses them and it's ok to hang out with him? Oh, because that's what happened yesterday and you said you wanted to forget the past. You know, the past few hours where his boys beat you and he planned to rape and “breed” with you. But it's okay because those were yesterday's plans. Umm, why wasn't he dealt with immediately? Oh, it's because he's fast with the knives and beneath all those scars, he's kind of cute. Meanwhile, the girl that was repeatedly abused and raped by him and his boys is expected to get over it, like yesterday, because that's when it happened! Shut up or leave. Wow.

I started to dislike the book in the second half. It started to get too angsty and too drowned out. Let's just move on. I don't need to know what your walk was like especially since before you skipped days at a time.

After a while, Fade just sorta got brushed under the rug. You're old news Fade, get over it! :(

I swear if she mentioned being trained by Silk one more time I was going to scream!

Overall, I did like it. Up until the last half I was prepared to give it four stars, but I just don't think it played out as well as it could have.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,665 reviews1,231 followers
June 26, 2017
If someone had told me that there was a possibility of zombies in this novel, I would have read it much sooner. As it stands, I downloaded the audiobook from Audible and listened to it while performing the most mundane tasks at work. Audiobooks are awesome for making a dull girl’s life a little less dull. The audio for Enclave was great. The narrator (Emily Bauer) wasn't too boisterous but neither was she timid in her delivery. At first, I thought she sounded a little young and maybe a bit chipper, considering the type of story this is, but her narration really grew on me as the story unfolded.

The novel was plainly awesome. However, it was never out right touted as a zombie novel, and it is never expressly stated that the unnatural monsters roaming the remnants of a doomed Earth are zombies. But, after a few chapters, it’s pretty obvious that this is yet another Earth ravaged by a debilitating disease that somehow allows the dead to continue to walk the planet, feasting on the flesh of humans. Gross, yeah?

But the story focuses on those that fled this disease, the ones that live underground, and have created their own little world, below the plague-ridden surface. There’s the strong heroine, the huntress. And, of course, her strong male-counterpart, who challenges her every move. They are partners in the hunt, to provide for their Enclave and to protect it. And this works for them. Until they are forced to question the actions and motives of the elders in the Enclave.

I like the story. I like not being explicitly told what led to this devastation, these horrible circumstances. I like not having the whole plot spelled out for me. It’s hard not to note the similarities between dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, but there’s something about this one. Normally, I just passively dismiss how the post-apocalyptic setting came about. But with this novel, I want to see the prequel…the events that led up to the separation, the ones who fled underground and those that stuck it out on the surface.

I’m intrigued by Fade and fascinated by Deuce. I want to know more of their story. They’ve got a lot of discovery left in their futures, and I can’t wait to read more about it. I’ve never read anything by Ann Aguirre before, but I’m definitely a fan now.
Profile Image for Saimi Vasquez.
1,429 reviews68 followers
June 23, 2023
En el enclave donde vivia Duece todos tenian un proposito, pero solo se les asignaba una vez que cumplieran 15 anos y despues de ver de que eran capaces. Asi se dividian todos en Cazadores, Constructores o Criadores. Deuce siempre quiso ser una Cazadora y aprendio a luchar desde que tiene memoria, y el dia que le dieron su nombramiento fue el mas feliz del mundo. Asi que sabia que para mentenerlo tenia que seguir las reglas, y asi mantener a su enclave protegido de los Freaks. Ahora, su nuevo companero, Fade, no era lo que ella esperaba, pero ella sentia que podia confiarle su vida. Asi que cuando un castigo los obliga a abandonar el Enclave y dirigirse a la superficie, sabe que deben darlo todo para sobrevivir. Pero ahora, sobrevivir no es solo lo importante, sino tambien salir de la ciudad y llegar a lo que podria ser un asentamiento seguro.

Es una distopia interesante, llena de extranas formas de ver el mundo, pero sobre todo nos muestra de lo que son capaces los seres humanos para sobrevivir cuando se les ve privado de todo. Vemos la crueldad de algunos lideres y aunque entedemos las razones de lo que hacen, realmente los hace parecer mas animales que humanos. Vemos tambien, como los mas jovenes pueden ser "adoctrinados" desde el nacimiento y lo dificil que es para ellos entender que lo que les ensenaron no es necesariamente cierto.
Ahora, senti que habia muchos temas repetitivos en la historia, tambien senti que le falto un poco de continudad. Hubo momentos que no habia forma de que entendiera que pasaba con Fade, aunque Deuce lo adivinaba del aire, y senti que realmente no nos explicaron nada sobre Tegan y Stalker, o porque todavia (despues de tanto tiempo) habia tanta comida en los supermercados y porque las "bandas" no la habian tomado, o como Stalker logro sacar a Pearl de su escondite si tenia tanta puertas blindadas.
En fin, senti que quedaban muchas cosas sin explicacion, pero espero que en el proximo libro se aclaren y nos muestren que futuro les depara a estos "jovenes" que han vivido tanto en este nuevo asentamiento.
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