Series: Razorland #1
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: April 12, 2011
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.
Before I even start my review I need to get my thoughts out of the way concerning the lead character Deuce. I can't even vocalize how much I hated the name. I literally almost DNF'ed and deleted the story off my Nook because of it. I don't know about you but whenever I hear the word Deuce my mind instantly thinks of poop. So essentially it was like the Author was telling me she'd written a shitty character. Not a great way to begin a story if you ask me. Thankfully, despite my misgivings I trudged on and was rewarded with quite a unique Zombie/Post Apocalyptic story.
One of the things I really liked about Enclave was the world building. Not only did the Author create this completely archaic underground world in which Deuce lives with its bizarre rules and rituals concerning everything from breeding to naming offspring but the different communities that we meet living in it were also fleshed out nicely and given unique properties all their own.
Another thing that was nice to see were the Zombies. The Author didn't just follow the same formula of every other book concerning Zombies (slow, rotting corpses, looking for brains). Instead, she made them all her own. If I was to describe them as accurately as possible I'd say they were a cross between the Feral Vampires from Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series and the Zombies from a book I read recently whose name eludes me at the moment. The only downside with them was that for me personally they weren't really scary. Were told time and again that they were dangerous but when it came down to seeing any real gore it was kept to a minimum. I hate saying it but they were sort of PG-13 for my tastes.
Lastly, I really liked Deuce. Yes, yes I know I said I hated her name and I do but as a character she was well rounded. She had the perfect amount of naivety to keep her charming while her Huntress background gave her strength and bravery. Deuce had a good head on her shoulders and saw the best in everyone even those whom didn't rightly deserve it. I can't wait to see what path her character takes in the next book now that she's had time to adjust to her new surroundings.
Now even though I really liked Enclave it did have a couple flaws that kept me from rating it higher.
First off, I wanted to see more of Stone & Thimble whom were Deuce's friends from College. I really liked three of them together and was sad when they didn't decide to join Deuce and Fade in exile because I knew it was probably the last time I'd see them for a good long while. Although I guess I understand why they chose to stay behind rather than follow her.
Secondly, I hated the term Brats to describe all the young kids. The word brats made it feel like nobody really cared about them. What's the point of populating the Enclave if the kids are nothing more than an annoyance to everyone until adulthood? Even the parents of the kids had nothing to do with them after birth. It just felt so cold and pointless.
I also didn't like how easy everything sort of happened for Deuce and Fade. Sure, they had to deal with the Ferals and the gangs but it never really felt like they were in much danger even when they supposedly were. Again I think it has something to do with the book reading very PG-13 to me.
However, my biggest gripe with the story was Stalker. He's literally set up as a rapist, murderer and abuser yet within just a few short pages it's clear him and Fade are being set up as a love triangle for Deuce. Like what?!? I'm all for redeeming the broken down bad boy but usually those guys are just misunderstood not rapists, abusers and murderers. It just feels wrong having him around Deuce and Fade at all. But here's the worst part, having Deuce tell the girl whose been victimized by Stalker for years to just get over it. I wanted to smack Deuce silly for that comment. No she shouldn't have to get over it. I cannot understand at all why the about face from Deuce when just a few pages before she's talking about how the Enclave would never put up with someone treating a female like that. It was disgusting and honestly it made me feel uncomfortable not just for the characters but readers who might stumble upon the book and read that conversation. It's Victim shaming plain and simple and I didn't like it.
In the end despite its faults I really enjoyed Enclave. It was a solid story with decent writing and likeable enough characters. Would I recommend Enclave? Yep. Am I glad I finally read it? You bet. With that being said, I'll be rating Enclave by Ann Aguirre ★★★★.
*Copy purchased. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.
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Out of curiosity, Have you read Enclave?
If so, What did you think of it?
Would you be able to live underground like Deuce and Fade?
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