Published: April 2011
Publisher: Feiwel and 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.
First off, I have to say I LOVED this book. I really haven't heard much about it, so I was going in blind, so to speak, but I love the cover and the blurb hooked me from the get-go. Enclave is not a book that starts slowly and builds up to the action - just the opposite in fact. It starts with bang, albeit a small one, and the excitement never lets up. It is a story of survival, the breakdown of society and the fact that no matter how bad the odds are, humans will fight to live, in whatever way they can.
' There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn't always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compasion and forgiveness.' (page 244)
There really are no weak characters in the story. Deuce has incredible willpower and skills as a hunter. Fade is a true hunter with a soft core that he keeps well hidden from everyone. Stalker, well he's just fierce, but you can see that he just does what has to be done to survive. Tegan, weak on the outside but with an incredible inner strength. They are brought together through a bizarre set of circumstances and their journey is a continual fight to live.
The bad guys, well they are a sort of mutant scavenger/cannibal type, that are slightly reminiscent of zombies, but they are not dead. Strange, deadly and very, very frightening. There are lots of dark tunnels and ruins and strange noises, and lots of nasty fights full of blood and gore. Lots of fun, right? I read Enclave pretty much in one sitting and really enjoyed it. It's one of those books where I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Is there a love interest? Well, perhaps the beginnings of one. I must admit I am really pleased to see that there will be more books to follow this one. Apparently Enclave is 'Razorland #1' and I personally can't wait to see what happens next to this intrepid band of adventurers.
Anyone who enjoyed Maze Runner, Hunger Games, Incarceron, Rot and Ruin etc will love this one I'm sure, so run out and get yourself a copy and sit back and get lost in the story.