Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: Enclave

Enclave (Razorland, #1)
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enclave is a dystopian novel written by Ann Aguirre. It is in a world that has been devastated by war and disease. A large number of humans had to live underground in the sewers and tunnels because the surface of the Earth has become inhospitable.

Among the underground settlements is College where the rules are very strict. The strong survive and the weak are considered Freak-food. Freaks are meat eating mutants which will eat animals, humans and their own dead. They are vicious and, lately, have started to become smarter. In order to survive, the people of College developed a very strict system.

Residents are divided by castes -- Hunters who bring in food and protect the settlement; Builders who cook, sew, create weapons and build; and the Breeders who provide offspring and care for them. They are identified via the number of scarr on their arms.

Food is regulated and rationed in such a way that nutrition is made a priority. There is no inappropriate contact and only Breeders can have children and only when required -- this keeps the population manageable. Children are Brats and are not named until they turn 16 -- their name day.

Deuce has always wanted to become a Huntress and she had been training very hard. On her name day, she was informed that she will be working with a partner; a Hunter named Fade. Their job was to provide meat and to keep the Freaks away.

Fade was not born into College. He is the only resident who was not born within the community. He had been found within the tunnels as a starving boy. The elders of College decided he would be able to contribute well to the settlement and he was taken

Deuce and Fade do their best to perform their jobs. When they were tasked to patrol the tunnels, they heard sounds of tapping and Fade decided to investigate. They found a half-dead and almost blind young boy who claimed he had to deliver an important message from the nearest settlement to the College elders. 

Deuce and Fade took the boy back to have him speak with the elders. After the boy had given his message to the elders, he was killed because there was no point in wasting resources on keeping a blind boy. Deuce and Fade had to be punished for not following orders -- they had stepped beyond their patrol route. Their punishment was to go travel to the settlement that the blind boy came from and see how things were going. 

After making it back, life went back to normal for the pair. Things were never easy in College and, for Deuce, they were about to get much worse. In order to save a friend from being sent to exile and certain death, Deuce decided to take the blame for something no one had really done. Fade supported her and had taken some of the blame too. Rules were rules and the punishment for the alleged crime is exile.

Fade and Deuce had to leave and learn to survive on their own. Chased by Freaks, they decided it was time to go Topside and take their chances there. For Fade, it was a world he had been born in. For Deuce, it was an alien world and she felt out of place.

Enclave is a very exciting novel filled with suspense, action and lots of adventure.  The story is quite believable and I could almost imagine how humans had to go underground to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world. After generations of remaining underground, it is very possible that such a situation as that in the book becomes possible.

If you are a fan of dystopian or fantasy novels, this is one very good read. I can't wait to start on the next book in the series.

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
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