Enclave (Razorland #1) by Amm Aguirre
Published April 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Reviewed from Library Copy
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.
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.
Wow, this is a much darker dystopian than many I've read before, and Deuce's life seems almost hopeless (almost). Ann Aguirre, builds a believable world suffering after the "Apocalypse" although we aren't privy to the cause other than a nameless disease. The rules Deuce must live by in her society are harsh as is their belief that "only the strong survive", weakness is not tolerated is punished by banishment which eventually leads to death.
The story paints a bleak future filled with every man for himself mentality and where 24 is considered old age. But Deuce and Fade are the glimmer of light their world needs, even if they are the only ones to see it. I love characters who don't conform because they are told they must, instead they trust their instincts and create their own path even though its often harder -actually it's always harder.
Enclave has been compared to The Hunger Games but I don't think that's necessarily accurate other than they are both in the "Dystopic" genre with strong female protagonists. I think Enclave would be better recommended to those who loved (like me) The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I'm looking forward to the next in the series. Definitely Recommended.