April 12, 2011
Feiwel & Friends
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.
Enclave is one of the most depressing dystopian novels that I have ever read, yet I have to say that it is by far one of my favorites. This book is so good that I almost missed my hair appointment just so I could stay home to finish it. I know that sounds crazy but it is soo true! The descriptions of the world that Enclave is centered around are so vivid and powerful that I could practically taste the horrid smells of the tunnels and see how dark it was away from the enclave. The characters are so realistic and wonderful that I started thinking like them after only a few chapters in. This is not a safe world and all moves have to be carefully calculated. After finishing, all I wanted to do was run to my nearest bookstore and tell everyone there to pick up Enclave!
Deuce is bound and determined to become a Huntress for her enclave. She is rough, tough, and the strongest Huntress out of her group. I took a liking to her immediately! I love heroines who can kick some serious booty! I also appreciated that she had an underlying vulnerability that she wasn't afraid to show once in awhile. Then there was Fade, with whom I fell in love with. He is the strong, silent type who made me swoon. He is protective of Deuce, even from the start when they barely know each other. Fade also has a mysterious past that I enjoyed finding out about. Like Deuce, he wasn't afraid to show his soft side, but only when they weren't in immediate danger, which isn't often mind you. These two are absolutely perfect for each other, but I loved how the romance was slow and steady.
The world in the story is so complicated and raw. Below the surface is a dark and depressing world where people live in settlements or enclaves. In these enclaves, the people are generally organized and given specific duties when they come of age (15). There are the Builders, Breeders, and Hunters (and Huntresses). The children are born as brats and given a number to make them unique. The names come at their naming ceremony, where they also choose what "job" they will carry out for the short remainder of their life. The Hunters and Huntresses definitely have the most dangerous job of scavenging for food and defending the enclave from Freaks. Of course our heroine Deuce makes the decision to become a Huntress, so I was biting my nails throughout most of the book!
I really could go on and on about how AMAZING Enclave is, but I think you all get the point. ;) I have fallen in love with the world and its characters! And in the words of Rachel from Parajunkee Enclave is "so good that you want to just make little Enclave necklaces and t-shirts and jump around..."