Book Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre
I’ve glimpsed the future, and it kind of sucks. Enclave by Ann Aguirre envisions a post apocalyptic world where people live underground and zombie-like genetic mutations called freaks run rampant through the tunnels. Deuce, a teen girl, begins the story by going through a naming ceremony where she receives six scars to mark being a huntress, meaning she is awesome with a pair of knives, brings home the bacon, and keeps the enclave safe from freaks.
Of course, with any dystopian/post-apocalyptic book worth their salt, something is rotten in the state of Denmark. You see, there are these elders that run the enclave and when imminent danger looks them in the face, oh hai evolved Freaks, they bury their heads in the proverbial sand. Yeah, this is one of those books where the elders are fuddy-duddies and the youngins are right. Anyways, Deuce and her hunting partner, Fade (male, strong, silent, etc) are kicked out to wonder the tunnels, and potentially go topside.
GUYZ, just as I am down for a good dystopia, I am also down for a good piece of post-apocalyptic fiction. Seriously, world endings BRING IT ON. I will not lie, I was hesitant about beginning Enclave. The cover was scary, the font tiny. I was nervous it wouldn’t hold my attention. Well, Enclave is definitely different from other books I have read. The whole underground thing was awesome, although, maybe I am not as well read as I think I am. Anyways, I just had this image first of the ROUSes from The Princess Bride as the tunnel Freaks for some odd reason. Then my image shifted when they started evolving into those people from I Am Legend. You know, when the one gets smart. SCARY SHIZZLE.
Deuce is pretty neat too. I mean, she’s the character who has a limited worldview. And then, that limited worldview gets expanded. Kids, I like that storyline. I like when characters come to NEW and INTERESTING revelations. It’s like being a teenager and you become interested in something beyond facebook and relationships. I.e. I got interested in anti-tobacco campaigns. Or, maybe, not. Maybe it’s like when you discover that authority is not infallible. For some of us this discovery takes longer. Plus, she is one of those tough chicks, which again, I like that trope. I don’t care that you may not like it, because you are not me and this is my retrospective of my reading experience with Enclave and I love a girl who can work a knife well.
Then there is Fade, like I said before he is all strong and silent. AND he can fight really well too. Plus he isn’t all, oh hay Deuce you are a girl therefore you are weak and suck at fighting. Oh no. He’s all o hayy girlll let’s fight back to back and kick monster freak butt. If you have seen the trailer for Enclave, let me tell you that is not how I picture Fade. The guy in the trailer is kind of doofy-looking and well, I don’t picture him like that.
As for the writing it’s intense and claustrophobic. I mean, picture damp underground dark tunnels, that are silent save for the occasional noise. It’s freaking SCARY. I mean, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. I didn’t know if they were going to be eaten by a freak or not, or if there’s zero hope at all, like in The Road by Cormac McCarthy. My heartstrings were tugged by certain tragedies. Then we got these characters who turn out to surprise in a variety of ways. In some characters strength comes from a hidden well. In others, you think they will be a double crossing douche, but they aren’t. THEN, there’s one you think will be chill, but oh hell no.
Ok, so, that’s a lot of word vomit from me. I think you definitely should give Ann Aguirre and her YA debut Enclave a chance, because it is AWESOME.
Disclosure: Received for review.
Purchase Enclave here.
You can check out the book trailer below: