Don’t we all wish we had the strength, tenacity, and drive to be a huntress? In Ann Aguiree’s new Young Adult novel, Enclave, a young girl named Deuce is brought up in the tunnels of a post-apocalyptic city whose only dream in life is to be a huntress and fight the freaks, zombie-like hellions hungry for human flesh. This would give her honor and dignity within her underground world, which is literally turned upside down when she meets her new partner, Fade, a veteran hunter who wasn’t born in the Enclave but was found in the tunnels and raised among them.
This book was an adventure. I was initially taken aback at first glance because the story is told in third person. Aren’t all dystopian novels written in first person these days? It was refreshing to see something different. Like I was saying, I didn’t know what to think at first but it certainly didn’t slow down the action. In fact, it made it easier to make small jumps in time without the book dragging along.
I was immediately engulfed into Deuce’s underground world and bewitched by the mysteries of Fade. Like all dystopian novels, Deuce’s world is controlled and dangerous. Aguiree did a great job of leading the reader along with Deuce in the beginning when she was nothing but obedient, and throughout the rest of the novel, when she begins to question everything she has ever known.
I was caught up in the majesty of Deuce’s fighting style. Aguiree described it almost like a passionate dance where Deuce is everything she ever wanted to be in the moment, and freaks are dropping like flies around her in slow motion. I also love that she is small and underestimated, and proves herself to everyone she meets especially Stalker, a ganger from topside. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? You’ll have to read it to find out!)
This book has a bit of a love triangle, however, it is a little frustrating. It’s a bit like Hunger Games in this way because the boys OBVIOUSLY like her, and she is entirely clueless to it all. But to her credit, she’s never expected to be a breeder (those who procreate in her world); she is a huntress and therefore, never thought she’d be involved in a relationship. (I LOVE IT!…so hardcore, no time for smooching, more bloodletting!) The romance in the book is subtle, which I like. It’s not pouring with declarations of love after only knowing each other one day. It’s very realistic and the romance just comes out of nowhere in a heart-thumping, drawn intake of breath.
The characters are very memorable; I’ll be lying awake for days thinking about them. This novel has a sense of hope that drives the reader to fight as fiercely as a Huntress alongside Deuce to the very end. With Aguiree’s seemingly effortless writing, this novel is a treat. One series I will definitely follow. The next addition to the series, Outpost, is due in Fall 2012. I can’t wait!!