Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Review: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher

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.
I read Eleni of La Femme Reader’s review of this book and when I was asked to review it, I jumped at the chance. It sounded like such a fantastic book! But it wasn’t fantastic. It was MORE. Like, a lot, lot more. I just can’t get the world out of my head…and is it weird for me to say that I’m actually a little scared of the world that Ms. Aguirre introduced me to?

When we begin this story, we are introduced to Duce, who went from being a brat to a huntress. Ms. Aguirre starts building her post-apocalypse world from the very beginning with such vivid descriptions of the world and the people and how it’s all set. And she introduces her to “freaks” who if I’m correct, are zombies (who can die…), which are the reason I was scared of this book…the way that Ms. Aguirre describes the fighting scenes with the “freaks” (as well as others), they came alive in my head. I have to also give her HUGE props for her world building skills. Though it’s like post-apocalypse and all, holy moly was her world awesome. We see the world through Duce’s eyes and like Duce (who has lived under ground her whole life) we’re amazed and scared at what the world has turned into.

From the very beginning, the way Ms. Aguirre characterized Duce was so awesome. Her determination to be a Huntress (and to be good at it) showed so much about it. It’s when she’s partnered with the slightly intimidating, broody Fade that her true character is revealed: she’s a girl who wants to do the right thing, she wants to protect the people she loves and she’s doing it the only way she knows how! I just loved Duce so much and I connected with her, though after a few pages. ALSO, I loved the relationship between Duce and Fade. It’s really when he enters her life that her journey really takes off. I also loved Tegan and Stalker (who I actually hated in the beginning and if you’ve read the book, then I think you can understand why) but as the story progressed, I loved reading about them. Seeing the four of them, so completely different from each other but fitting together so perfectly, their journey to safety was just…awesome, for lack of a better word.

Overall: 5/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—I'm not sure how I feel about this cover. While I like the color, the swords (knives?) and the sewer door, and the significance to the story, it still seems a little boring.


  1. So glad you fell in love with this one! Its a favorite read of the year of mine for sure :) I really enjoyed the characters and the plot was so packed full of action by the end I felt like I had to sit for a while and think about everything that happened.

    Fantastic review!

  2. I really haven't heard too much about this one, but I have to say that it sounds fabulous, and I love that it's action-packed and a bit dark. Fab review! :)

  3. This book is awesome!! Like you, I love how Aguirre portrays Duce. =) Can't wait for more!!