Joint Review – Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publish Date: Out Now!

How we got this book: Purchased


WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups-Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear–to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.
*Blurb from Goodreads*



Has: It’s no secret that I am a huge huge fan of Ann Aguirre. I have been eagerly awaiting this book for a long time, especially when it was a dystopian YA. I was interested in Ann’s take of a dark and dangerous future, and she sure delivered!

MinnChica: I just want to say that I am not usually a fan of YA. Most YA books tend to grate on my nerves and I just can’t seem to ever get into them. But I’m a huge Ann Aguirre fan as well, so I figured if anyone can do it well, she could. I have absolutely nothing but positive and glowing things to say about this book!

Has: I think with the problem with some of the recent YA that is out now is that the world building and the characterisation sometimes has no real depth or fleshed out universes. Enclave had a believable setting and premise and well drawn out characters. I really felt that Ann Aguirre transitioned from adult fiction to YA really well, and without toning down any of the elements of her trademark gritty style. I think this is what works for me.

MinnChica: Yes! I loved the fact that I didn’t feel like I was reading a book geared towards kids. The characters were still gritty and deep, the situations were still dark and suspenseful. Even the little bit of romance was exciting without being too juvenile.

Has: I LOVED THE ROMANCE!!! It was realistic and engaging and there was no false emo wangsting. Even the hint of the prospective other suitor later in the book, which I think may progress to a love triangle, gave me tingles. This was how to do a YA romance.

MinnChica: Exactly (although I have to say if Deuce doesn’t end up with Fade, I might have to go hunt down a certain author… I’m talking to you Ann Aguirre!)

I loved how gritty and dark it was too, but still with the prospect of hope on the horizon. With the look into all the different ways humanity had found a way to survive the end of the world? It was so fabulous I got shivers throughout the entire book! It reminded me a little of Joss Ware’s Envy Chronicles series in just how complex and well done the world building was.

Has: Fade was a fantastic character! I loved how intense he was (I love intense heroes!). From the tentative beginnings of their romance to the more overt feelings at the end of the book. Deuce’s confusion about her feelings were conveyed well. Especially in contrast to how she was brought up. Her world is stark and hopeless and I loved how she had to cope with facing up to these emotions. I really like Stalker. In a lot of ways he is like Fade but a harder edged character. He has to be to survive the world he lives in.

MinnChica: I thought all four main characters were just so incredibly well done. I loved watching Deuce’s eyes open to the way things were in the Enclave, and how she really came into her own and was able to form her own ideas and opinions. Fade really was so Alpha, and I always love a good Alpha male. Stalker took awhile to grow on me, but he really had a way of getting under my skin and staying there; in a good way. Also Tegan was great. She really started coming out of her shell towards the end. She was a great balance of innocence to the other more gruff and jaded characters

Has: Yes! Each character really brought something different to the story and they all shared great chemistry. I really felt the story just got going before it ended – although so much happened in the book.

The world-building was great and I think this was the strongest highlight of the book. The underground enclaves and how Deuce’s society lived was so realistic and detailed.

MinnChica: Yes, I couldn’t agree more. And I think the only let down for me was the ending. The story was just going and going and so engaging. It ended at a great stopping point, but also a bit of a cliffy (not as bad as the Fever books, but enough…) I just wanted to keep on reading more and more! Plus, we had just gotten to another major world building point, and I was so excited for answers!

Has: Even the freaks (looks like mutated cannibalistic humans) also added a scary and creepy edge and tension to the story.

MinnChica: They really did! And I love the little tidbit we got as far as how the freaks came to be. I really hope that Aguirre goes into that more in upcoming books. Such a neat and interesting twist!

Has: Even the freaks (looks like mutated cannibalistic humans) also added a scary, creepy edge tension to the story.  I definitely agree about that the freaks will play a big role in the second book, Outpost. And I suspect that it may not be as easy as living in the Outpost than living in the Enclaves.

MinnChica: Oh I agree completely! I’m also really looking forward to how Aguirre handles the characters going from being grown up adults in the Enclaves, to having to be kids again in the Outposts. I can’t wait to see how that is handled!!

Has: I don’t think they will be regarded as kids – although they will have to face adults and their rules which is definitely going to be interesting.

MinnChica: I loved the descriptions of everything as well. With Deuce being so new to the world as we know it, having her experience everything for the first time, explain things as it was the first time she was seeing things… It was so neat! I loved trying to guess what things were too!

Has: Yes! Those little details really made the book alive for me and showed how much of the little things can lose meanings over time. I think this is one of the best dystopian books I’ve read because of those elements. I have read a few books in this genre and the details – like the ones in Enclave – were missing.
Another thing was the fact that Ann never shied away from darker subjects. I especially liked how she explored gang culture and how that evolved in a world like this.

MinnChica: Absolutely! I would even go so far as to say that this is by far the best Young Adult book I’ve ever read, along with one of the best dystopian books ever.

Exactly! That aspect of her world building was so incredible and everything about the subculture and mob type mentality was just… WOW. I don’t remember the last time I was so invested and interested in the world building in a first series book. (Oh wait, I do, The Kate Daniels Series…)

Has: For her first Dystopian YA book – I definitely concur! I loved this book and I literally inhaled it while I read the book. Everything from the characters, setting and the plot. Enclave is one of the starkest and grittiest YA stories I’ve read, but Ann really balances it out with vulnerability and fleshed out emotions. That factor is missing in a few of the dystopian books I have read – we need some soul to make things hopeful and we got this in Enclave!
I give Enclave an A+ – Its definitely made my top ten list of this year!

MinnChica: I have to agree, I think that Enclave came out of the gates swinging! Powerful and strong characters, a fast moving and exciting plot, and the right mixture of dark and gritty new world order with a sprinkle of hope everlasting. I have a feeling that Enclave with be one of the top reads of 2011!

I give Enclave an A+

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