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171 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying Vision of the Future
Take every possible terrible scenario you've ever considered for the future and throw it out the window, this book will blow you away.

I'm a huge fan of dystopian fiction, I loved Hunger Games, Shipbreaker, Z for Zachariah, World War Z, The Passage, 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, but with Enclave, Ann Aguirre proves that there is still plenty of creative and...
Published on April 12, 2011 by Jennifer L. Rinehart

95 of 116 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Readable but Problematic
I'd been on the edge between 2 or 3 but finally had to give this book the Deuce.

Though there were some interesting aspects of the world created here, and I got through the book quickly enough, there were numerous crippling problems with its implementation that troubled me. It's hard for me to say which bothered me more, the way emotions were handled or the way...
Published on July 14, 2011 by Cloud

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171 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying Vision of the Future, April 12, 2011
Jennifer L. Rinehart (United States of America) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
Take every possible terrible scenario you've ever considered for the future and throw it out the window, this book will blow you away.

I'm a huge fan of dystopian fiction, I loved Hunger Games, Shipbreaker, Z for Zachariah, World War Z, The Passage, 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, but with Enclave, Ann Aguirre proves that there is still plenty of creative and terrifying stories to tell about society and how it will end (not with a bang, but with a growl of hunger in this case).

Girl15, that's her name, until the naming ceremony where she will learn whether the rest of her life (a very short life, the oldest person she knows is 25) will be spent as a Breeder, a Builder or a Hunter. She wants to be a Hunter and Girl15 gets her wish, her name is changed to Deuce and she is paired with Fade, a strange and mysterious figure who no one else wants to work with. I'll get back to Fade later.

Her dearest friends, Thimble (a builder) and Stone (a breeder because he's so handsome) are happy for her but worried. Hunters have the dangerous job of providing food for the College Enclave (that's the name of the enclave, College). Most hunters don't live very long, in fact, Fade's last partner died shortly after they started working together.

But Deuce is determined, as far as she's concerned, being a Hunter is one of the most important functions a person can have and she's proud to put her life in danger everyday to provide food and safety for the rest of the Enclave.

Fade, her new partner, is a strange combination of lethal skills and smartass defiance. He isn't from the enclave, he was born topside (above the tunnels where the land is dead and burning rain falls or so the elders say), but no one really believes him. They think he must be from a far away enclave and became lost in the tunnels (which is a miracle in and of itself because of the Freaks who roam around). Wherever he comes from, he is a great fighter and Deuce gradually begins to trust him and is glad he is her partner after they encounter increasingly dangerous stuff.

Now on to the scariest part of the story (as if the whole living in tunnels, eating rats and garbage weren't enough!) the Freaks. Scarred with lesions, their teeth long and animal like and their nails thick and claw'ish, the Freaks roam the tunnels looking for meat. Any kind of meat including human. After generations of fighting the mindless creatures, Fade and Deuce find that they are starting to work together, exhibiting sort of a pack mentality in their hunting of humans. The Freaks are getting smarter.

Now this is bad, super duper bad, like on a level with the end of all life as they know it and time is running out to make changes to the Enclave that will help it survive. Deuce and Fade will have to convince the elders of what is going on and that could turn out to be impossible.

Toss in a scary secret about the next nearest enclave, a scheming elder named Silk and Deuce's growing feelings for her partner, Fade and I don't know how I'm going to wait for book two.

Whoo, I feel strangely out of breath just typing all this, the book is a real adrenaline rush, I was flipping through the pages like a person who lives on Red Bull and smarties. Seriously, when the book was done I sat, frozen in place, my heart pounding, wondering how it could have gone by so fast, (I got the book last night!).

Now what will I do? It will probably be another year before Ann Aguirre finishes book two. Oh well, I guess I could read it again.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original. Anxiety Ridden. Zombies...a touch of romance., May 23, 2011
Parajunkee (Jefferson, LA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
This one rocked it. Original. Anxiety Ridden. Zombies...a touch of romance. What more can you ask for.

Enclave by Anne Aguirre

If a book could render me speechless it would be ENCLAVE. So, I sat and thought about it for about a week. I don't want to destroy it with words like amazing, wonderful, spectacular, it just doesn't convey what this book was for me. It devoured me. Everything I was went into reading ENCLAVE within a 12 hour period. I opened the first page and did not take a breath until I read the last page. The originality of this piece was fantastic. There are only so many ways you can pen a dystopian novel and I think Ms. Aguirre stepped out of the box, showed us bits and pieces that we were familiar with and then added so much more. I'm in love with some of the dystopian books that I have read lately and I can't believe I found another to add to it's ranks. It's hard being published in a world that is going to compare you to the craziness that is The Hunger Games legacy - but these books are giving THG a run for their money. ENCLAVE now joins the ranks of the amazing YA Dystopian revolution that is happening this year. I can't wait to be be devoured by book two.

In a world ravaged by war and plague, what is left of the human race has splinted off into groups and become basically separate entities. Deuce's is world is called the Enclave. In her world 20 years of age is pushing geriatric status. At her 15th birthday she is finally given a name instead of Girl and her number designation and she is also given a role. She has had only one goal for most of her life, to become a Huntress.

After her naming ceremony she is paired with Fade an enigma of a man. He came from outside to live within the enclave and has not made many friend. His former partner died and Deuce is unsure if her pairing with him is punishment or reward. She quickly labels it as punishment though because on their first hunt, Fade doesn't follow orders and lands them both in trouble. As punishment they are forced to travel to the neighboring enclave and find out why they have suddenly gone quiet. Just a few actions on both their parts will change their future entirely and everything that Deuce has known will come crumbling down around her.

This is not just another Zombie, Dystopian novel. This is so much more. The zombie, or Freak element in it just adds the intended anxiety, but the meat and bones of this novel is the break down of the world that Deuce and Fade live in. You think how could the human race get like this? But, it could, scarily it could. It would probably just take two generations. I think I might need to get off this dystopian, apocalypse kick because I'm scaring the heck out of myself. But, this is what these novels, in particularly ENCLAVE did for me.

What sets this series apart from the others?
ENCLAVE is action packed, this is not a romance. Deuce is a butt-kicking heroine, only 15 but in her world that is a mature woman.
There are so many levels to this story, which is reminiscent of THG, the Enclave, the underground, topside, the more and more of the world is revealed it becomes much more complex.
The writing is spectacular. You feel in-tune with each place, like you can almost see it.
The characterization is also well-done, Aguirre will have you liking even the most despicable of characters.
The intensity of every moment. There is no downtime. So much things are accomplished in each page that you are constantly kept on your toes.

Recommended for fans of the dystopian genre. If you like The Hunger Games, Divergent or even adult titles like The Stand you should enjoy. This is a mature novel with some controversial topics and violence so it is recommended for a more mature teen reader.
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95 of 116 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Readable but Problematic, July 14, 2011
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
I'd been on the edge between 2 or 3 but finally had to give this book the Deuce.

Though there were some interesting aspects of the world created here, and I got through the book quickly enough, there were numerous crippling problems with its implementation that troubled me. It's hard for me to say which bothered me more, the way emotions were handled or the way chapters were constructed.

The constant use of the same blunt, deadweight phrasing to express the narrator's emotions seemed pitiful and juvenile. "Disbelief blazed through me." "Horror surged through me." "Warmth curled through me." Curled? Instances of this type of phrase with mismatched emotions performing strange actions like "sparkled" occur dozens and dozens of times throughout the book and in some areas nearly on every page. Uninspired doesn't do it justice. I just don't understand why the author chose to depend so heavily on a phrase so ill-suited to do anything other than provide one-dimensional labeling. It didn't resonate with me at all. So many things went through Deuce that she was worse off than a piece of Swiss cheese by the end.

Chapter after chapter ends with a sudden appearance of freaks that are then easily vanquished in the first few paragraphs of the next chapter. Most of these attacks seem stuck in as a rudimentary way to keep the action high despite having no possible impact on the story. For readers, it's definitely a case of fool us once, shame on Ann, but fool us twice, shame on us. It gets obvious by the second time that the freaks pose no real threat no matter how many times we're told how smart they are.

Switching to the positives, I did find that this book improved as it went along and hit its peak somewhere in the middle. I was into the exploring parts, and I was interested in what was going on with Deuce and Fade. Banner was a character who seemed like she had a lot of potential too.

There were gray area things that made me wonder. For even basic communication purposes, could Deuce have really avoided learning the word "river"? Considering summers in New York, would tinned meat really last that long? (Yes, there's the authors note at the end about how long things last.) So whether or not you think it's likely, the book raises some questions worth thinking about.

This star rating is also the result of an ending that was a letdown. When they started hanging around with rapists, I thought I had a good handle on an explosive ending, but the story peters out into a pretty bland ending. Not a bad book, necessarily, but it suffered greatly from a few odd choices.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Premise Disappoints with Shoddy Worldbuilding and YA Cliches, July 19, 2011
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
This book reminded me of why I sometimes HATE when writers for adults attempt to write for younger audiences. People, how many times do I have to remind you that having a good premise and combining that with sloppy worldbuilding, a teenaged protagonist, and a love triangle does NOT automatically qualify a book as YA? I managed to finish ENCLAVE, but only because the whole time I kept on expecting it to get better, for it to eventually blow me away. Well, there was definitely no blowing away: my butt remained firmly in my chair, my forehead practically glued to my desk in frustration.

In the future New York City, society has moved underground, and residents receive a name on their sixteenth birthday. After receiving her name, Deuce is marked as a Hunter. Her job is to patrol the extensive underground tunnels to protect her society of Breeders, Builders, brats, elders, and others from flesh-eating Freaks. Deuce and her Hunter partner, Fade, the only person in their enclave to be born aboveground, discover a rising threat to the enclave, but no one will listen to them. But other problems arise as Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, and they must face the dangerous unknowns of life aboveground.

Good things first, I guess. I like Deuce. She belongs in the new, Katniss-esque camp of female protagonists: resourceful, emotionally reserved, tough on the outside, vulnerable and endearing on the inside.

Now for the litany of issues I had with this book, i.e. Why Poor Deuce Deserved a Better Story. Where do I begin? The writing was mediocre. I felt like no sooner was a character or detail introduced then he/she/it either died, got destroyed, or became Significant, rendering all of those introduced characters and details glaringly device-y. Changes in Deuce and Fade's lives occurred with little regard for logistical backstory: when Deuce is in danger of death by Freak, a random group of dwarf-people who--surprise!--have been secretly living within the tunnels all along come out to save her. Deuce and Fade are cast to the surface for a tradition that, in essence, should make sense as a way that the elders enforced obedience, but, when it actually happens, feels so contrived.

And that's the problem I continued to have throughout this book. Despite the promising premise, I feel like ENCLAVE only scratched at the surface of its world's possibilities. For me, a story's world has to feel like it can exist without an author's interference: the book has to read like, say, contemporary YA reads to us, which is to say that all the complexities and possibilities of the world have to feel natural. ENCLAVE's world did not feel natural to me. It felt like the author was writing in aspects of the world as the story went along, and I was left with too many logistical questions and an utter lack of investment. For example, I'm aware that I was supposed to see Deuce's enclave as a stifling, cruel, and totalitarian governing system, but I never felt stifled on Deuce's behalf. Everything in this book was begging me to consider it as dangerous, as suspenseful, as intense--which did not allow me to feel anything naturally, except perhaps boredom. It was just not credible.

Deuce was about the only character in this book that I felt like was even remotely well developed, and I'm beginning to suspect that that's just a trick of the first-person narration. Fade I felt was trying so hard to fit the mysterious-hot-love-interest quota that he ended up being very uninteresting. And OH GOD CAN I JUST RANT HERE ABOUT THE TRANSPARENCY OF THE LOVE TRIANGLE? So Deuce and Fade get into an altercation with a gang. The gang leader, who displays sociopathic tendencies towards homicide, randomly has a change of heart and joins them on their journey to find utopia, or whatever else is a better word for what they're looking for. He and Deuce hook up when she's busy agonizing over Fade. Yawn. The obviousness of the romantic elements of ENCLAVE didn't help dissuade my snarky notion that the author was trying to fulfill some checklist for How to Write Bestselling YA or something.

I also think ENCLAVE took a big (and ultimately unsuccessful) risk in incorporating "idea-dropping" into its narration. "Idea-dropping" is my just-made-up term for a concept similar to name-dropping. It involves describing common modern items in such a way as to make it clear to us what the characters are describing without actually naming it, since, obviously, the characters don't know the name for it. The one other time I've seen idea-dropping used was in another YA dystopian that ultimately didn't agree with me. I think it's a literary technique that panders to readers and doesn't add anything to the world or the characters. I don't freaking care that they're eating Spam. All I needed to know was that they were eating long expired canned food. Spam only has implications for us readers, not the characters. Thus, idea-dropping spoon-feeds the dystopian aspect of a story, but I personally find the spoon-feeding offensive to my readerly intellect. There are better ways to write a dystopian than to idea-drop.

And what is up with the Freaks? Are they supposed to be flesh-eating zombies, or a mutation gone terribly wrong, or something else? Why wasn't there more of an explanation for their existence so that they would also be less device-y? And are you SERIOUS about the disembodied voice that "speaks" to Deuce (or comes to her in a dream, I couldn't figure out which) and convinces her to make the right decision, etc etc? I didn't realize that deus ex machinas were so easily accepted! And don't even get me started on how Tegan is an expendable ninny who inspires no empathy and is like a girl trying desperately not to be TSTL ("too stupid to live") but, due to shoddy writing, ends up fitting exactly that expendable role.

My problem with ENCLAVE wasn't that it read like a setup for the rest of the series. Rather, I just cannot respect a story that skimps so heavily on plot, characterization, and worldbuilding. As far as the trilogy is concerned, this is the end of the road for me. I wish all brave travelers who wish to journey beyond this point the best of luck. I'm going to spend my time on more well written books.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enclave reviewed by The Book Vixen, April 12, 2011
Why I Read this Book: As soon as I heard Ann Aguirre had a YA novel coming out, a dystopian one at that, I knew I had to read it. True, I've only read one of her books so far but that one book got me hooked!

What I Liked: The world building was a-maz-ing. Enclave had a cinematic feel to it; it read like a movie playing in my mind. It's told in 1st person narrative from Deuce's POV yet I wasn't overwhelmed with over-processed thoughts. She's a strong, fierce and loyal young woman trying to survive in a dark, gritty and bleak post-apocalyptic world. And although romance isn't a big factor in Enclave, there is a bit of a love triangle. I love the tension that comes along with most love triangles.

At first, when I first found out there was a title change and a cover change, I wasn't 100% on board. Razorland sounded so cool and I loved the cover with Deuce and Fade. But after reading the book, I totally get how Enclave is a more suitable title. I'm glad Razorland was kept as the title of the series. I still prefer the original cover but I understand wanting it to be a gender neutral cover. And the final cover is creepy!

What I Didn't Like: I'm sad that I don't have the next book in my hands right this very second. Seriously, what's not to like?

Overall Impression: I welcome Ann Aguirre to the world of YA with open arms. If Enclave turns out to be your first read by this author, you'll have found yourself a new author. If you are an `adult' reader, you should check out her novels, including the ones under the pseudonym Ava Gray and Ellen Conner. Cancel any plans because you'll be staying up all night, if need be, to finish Enclave. It definitely earned a spot on my top ten reads of this year. I see that some people have compared Enclave to The Hunger Games (which I have not read yet). I truly believe that this book, Enclave, will be the one people will start comparing other YA dystopian novels to. It's going to be a hard one to beat.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Reading But with Weak Second Half (B- Grade), May 14, 2011
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
I've really got to hand it to Ann Aguirre for writing a fascinating post-apocalyptic YA that I was able to finish without rolling my eyes. To be honest, the amount of Dystopian YA's being published bores me. Every one of these YA's are being courted as the next Hunger Games just like a few years ago with every single YA with vampires, fairies or fallen emo angels was the next Twilight. Ann takes some interesting chances with Enclave, and this is not for the weak of heart. Nothing is sugar coated here. The first half of the book gave me a claustrophobic feeling while reading. Unfortunately the second half faltered because the action wasn't as intense and Ann falls back to an all too familiar trope found in present day YA- the evolution of a love triangle that will most like appear in Outpost, the second book in this series.

Have you ever seen the movie, 12 Monkeys? Enclave (Razorland #1) is a YA version of that film. Enclave takes place sometimes after the second holocaust of the Earth. Humanity has suffered immensely from some unknown catastrophe that has occurred. (Most likely an atomic World War III). We're introduced to this world through the eyes of Girl15 who becomes Deuce on her naming day, her birthday. Deuce lives underground and has never gone up to the above. Upon further reading, I would say Deuce lives in the former subways of New York City. Everyone has a role in the enclave and Deuce's role is to become a Huntress. She will hunt for food in the tunnels. Deuce lives in a dark and dank world both literally and figuratively. Disease is rampant and hygiene is not the best. Some women are solely used to breed children, known as brats, while others keep their fortress strong and safe from the Freaks. Freaks are monsters who feed on the flesh of the living and even themselves. They roam the tunnels looking for their next meal. Hunting for food can be dangerous, but Deuce is strong and fast. She is partnered up with Fade, an older boy who came from the above when he was a small child. Fade is not well liked by the elders because of where he has come from and has the makings of being a troublemaker. The elders make sure the rules are followed with an iron fist. If not followed, they have no qualms in exiling those who don't behave. Exile means certain death.

Deuce and Fade soon figure out that the Freaks are not the mindless creatures that only exist to eat that the elders think them to be. And because of that everyone is in danger. Fade is more than willing to break away from this near like prison community and move on, but Deuce is scared because the enclave is all she has known. But then Deuce something unselfish to save one of her friends, and she is exiled. Fade goes along with her and they go up to the above where a new fascinating world of danger awaits them. Deuce and Fade don't only have to worry about the Freaks, but roaming gangs that will kill without warning and use women as their own playthings. And when Stalker, the leader of one of the gangs, targets Deuce and takes her, Fade will put his life on the line to save Deuce. They'll try to find a place where they can be safe without the fear of starvation and targets of the flesh hungry Freaks.

Enclave has a great atmospheric feel to it. I was right alongside Deuce as she fights for her own survival. The sounds, scents and mind numbing fear are strong. Fade is a great partner for Deuce and they both bounce off of each other very well. These two are the strongest and most well rounded and dimensional characters here. That became one of my main problems while reading. Characters come and go without any real meaning of substance. Because the story is so centralized on Deuce and Fade, everyone else pales in comparison. I couldn't connect or sympathize with anyone else because they came across very flat as the paper they were written on.

When Deuce and Face go up above, that's where things go downhill. In the enclave, everything was wonderfully descriptive. In the above, we're given a quick overview. Deuce and Fade spend most of their time running and finding food and shelter. That is until a gang right out of Mad Max (done YA style) finds them. They meet an abused rape victim named Tegan, who has been at the mercy of the gang run by Stalker, a nasty piece of work. But then at one point either Ann or her editor came to the conclusion, we can't have Deuce happy with just Fade and we'll make Stalker a bit ambiguous in his actions so he can be redeemable and a possible future love interest for Deuce. That is where I grew weary of the story. We're told from Tegan that Stalker is a killer and most likely a possible rapist who may have raped her time and again. But then at one point Tegan changes her story and says Stalker only handed her over to the other men and never touched her. So, Stalker, who again is most likely going to be a love interest for Deuce in the next book, isn't such a bad guy because he didn't actually rape Tegan, but only gave her untouched to his men to share. Sorry, this doesn't make him redeemable in anyway and I would hope Deuce will realize this and stick with Fade. Or perhaps in Outpost, Stalker will become the ultimate villain Deuce or Fade must battle. If so, I'd be very interested in seeing how that goes down and hope Ann doesn't fall back on the classic, let's redeem the near psycho and amoral bad boy so we can see that the world can be a wonderful place again because love from the heroine has set everyone free.

Enclave should appeal to those looking for something different with their Dystopian YA's they've read. If the first half of Enclave continued that way to the very last page, then I would have considered Enclave one of the best books I read this year. Overall, it's a solid read that could have been so much better.

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39 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One particular detail disturbed me so much, I had to give it ONE star., June 26, 2012
Jovana J (Kansas City, KS) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
I wont go into descriptive details because I can tell the book has been summarized many times by many excellent reviewers. This had great potential. I really liked Deuce for the most part, although I wish her name was not a slang for poop. She is tough and strong, but lacked empathy and was emotionally disconnected, but due to World she is living in, its easy to see why thats the case. Im mostly here to discuss another character, Stalker. MAJOR MAJOR Spoilers ahead.

I get that sometimes YA books will include SENSITIVE topics to their story, especially when it involves dark and cruel world but Ann Agurre's treatment of rape and rape victims is absolutely insane, dangerous & irresponsible. Deuce and Fade do not have a problem consorting with a rapist or rape enabler, even when his victim (Tegan) shows clear discomfort at the idea. Tegan was repeatedly raped by Stalker's gang and possibly Stalker himself. Even when Deuce was kidnapped herself, Stalker suggested she would be used as a "breeder" whether she likes it or not? UMMMM WHAT. THATS RAPE. At one point, Deuce ACTUALLY blames Tegan for her own rape because "how can someone be so weak to allow that to themselves". RAPE VICTIM IS NEVER GUILTY OF HER OWN RAPE. Deuces' complete lack of empathy for Tegan was disturbing. How to make it even more disturbing? Lets suggest Stalker as a potential love interest who refers to Deuce as a "dove" because "they fly away easily when scared" (which is completely opposite of our heroine) and NOT ONCE does she correct him. The bad-boy trope is annoying as it is, but the rapist subplot is what makes it bonfire worthy. No matter what happens in the next book, (I know this is a trilogy) which I'm sure will explore Stalker as a "teddy bear" behind the whole rapist thing, the fact remains: he raped or enabled other rapists, threatened to rape Deuce and was a total POS, and Aguire is trying to turn him into a potential love interest for the ever painful love triangle that plagues most YA fiction out there. And Deuce is a rape apologist. Im done.

This book made me physically angry and disgusted. One star is too much.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Chick Loves Lit, July 22, 2011
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This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
Enclave is an odd book for me to review, because I really enjoyed myself when reading, but in thinking about it afterwards had a few things I didn't much like. So I'm going to give you both perspectives the best I can, though keep in mind I'm not reading it now so those feelings are a little off.

Action, adventure? Tons. Lots. It keeps you reading, and you're more enthralled because it's a different world and you're wanting to learn more. I'm actually not huge into fights and action, but it does keep me reading (Steve is the action reader of the family... and when he saw the cover of Enclave he said it looked good so you may get his perspective on this one soon as well).

While I was reading, I also really enjoyed the different characters we meet - and this is something that changed for me after the fact. I liked the different populations, but in my reflection I did not like that they weren't entirely woven into the story. Some people appeared, served one purpose, and then we did not hear from them again - seems like the easy way to keep the plot moving. I much prefer characters that end up having a purpose, even if it ends up being 100 pages or 200 pages later. Enclave is part of a series (which I didn't know going in), so my harshness may not be fair, if the author plans on reincorporating some later... but I doubt it.

A lot happens in this book, and the title doesn't seem quite as fitting to me now that I've read it, since it has a lot happening nowhere near the Enclave. It actually could have been broken into two books - one dealing with the Enclave (and getting us more invested in that environment) and one dealing with the other things.

So, overall, I enjoyed myself while reading because it is fast paced, lots of action, many things happening. Afterwards I found myself not enjoying how some elements were not fleshed out and how the world wasn't built very deep. If the second book ends up on my bookshelf I would probably give it a try to see what happens.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chock-Full of Action and Heart-Rendering Characters, September 18, 2012
"He'd said the sun could burn me. It certainly looked angry enough, all orange and glowing mad."

"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 compassion and forgiveness."

"You could miss someone, but it did no good to fixate on loss. I wished I had the ready words of a Breeder or the ability to comfort with a soft touch. I didn't. Instead I had daggers and determination.
That would have to do."

"Before he bent his head, I knew what he was going to do. Touch his lips to mine. Oh, and I wanted him to... I stilled, hardly daring to breathe. The old refrain of cant and shouldn't sank beneath the weight of new worlds like please and yes."

"We stood back-to-back, blocking and striking in harmony; sometimes it felt like his arms and legs were an extension of me. I could count on him to keep them off me from behind."

This was actually my second time reading Enclave. Mind you, I RARELY re-read books - once I know the ending, it's very hard for me to truly enjoy it again. The only books I can think off the top of my head that I have ever re-read are Great Expectations (3 times), Pride and Prejudice (4 times), The Kite Runner (2 times). As you can see, only the best classics go in my rereading pile. So how did Enclave get there? Easy - it's AWESOME. I had just received Outpost and it had been over a year since I read Enclave and I didn't remember enough details to be able to read the sequel. When this happens, I usually take an hour to skim through the pages of the novel and that's enough for me. Except when I opened up to the first page of Enclave, it had an invisible magnet that drew me to the page and didn't let go. So off I went into a fantastic world with my favorite characters!

Now I'm going to gripe at my friend here. This is off-topic so feel free to skip. This particular friend was also super excited for Outpost, so I offered to lend it to her. I was in the middle of a book and I still hadn't gotten to Enclave (the skim-turned-reread) and I wanted to get Endurance (Enclave #1.5) read. Here I am all done with Enclave, starting Endurance, ready and pumped for Book 2... and Taylor has not finished it yet! I have to wait until Friday! I don't think I have that kind of endurance! (Taylor, if you just so happen to be reading this, I mean this in the most friendly way - READ FAST OR ELSE!) Now onto the review.

The Plot -
The biggest things Deuce has to worry about while living in the underground College Enclave is earning the respect of the other Hunters, fighting hungry Freaks (big, ugly monsters), and bagging meat for her community. But after she is paired with Fade for a partner, everything goes awry. Suddenly, her support for her partner is only earning her potentially-fatal jobs, she's having compassionate feelings no Hunter should feel, and why is she starting to doubt her leaders have everyone's best interest in mind? Finding herself exiled after standing up to authority, she must rely on her partner to find a new life Topside - where she must face other dangers she hasn't even imagined.

What can I say? This book has fight scenes and other enthralling moments left and right - which is PERFECT for me. It's exactly what a good post-apocalyptic should be - the quest to survive despite all the hardships thrown your way. Pure, unadulterated fun, this one!
P.S. I second Rachel's motion: Kill off characters - it really works!

The Setting -
What sets Enclave apart from other dystopians is the amount of detail that has gone into the book, which can only come from tons of research (Aguirre mentions some of the places she took ideas from at the back of the book). Without a doubt, the setting and the people and their actions is extremely believable - I was completely immersed in this novel for this reason. Whether it's the Freaks (I'd really like to know where they come from by the way) or the way a person who has never been on ground before might view specific objects or common occurrences, every moment takes you further into the intricacies of this story and personalities of the characters.

The Characters -
Some of my favorite characters from dystopian stories come from Enclave. Unlike most dystopians, each character here is equal parts strong, smart and determined - that's why they've survived and so many others haven't. There are times when characters rely on their baser instincts to get them through a situation, which exposes the raw, emotional, and often grim reality of a survivalist attitude. Each character's views change and develop - they all grow to accept that they are valuable for some things and others, they are inexperienced at, and they work together as a unit to get things done. Overall, very well-crafted and compelling characters - I just can't wait to see more of them!

Romanciness -
I thank my stars Enclave isn't yet another one of those books that stress how much the guy is omg-hawt and how they just can't keep their hands off each other. They carry on a conversation like normal human beings, they fight back-to-back trusting each other completely, and just relying on each other for strength and comfort. That is what real love is; authors should just discover that already. There's no insta-love, no love triangle, no constantly hungering for affection - which makes the snatches of alone moments all the more beautiful. You know Fade and Deuce are made for each other and they are completely in love - not because they're always resting their heads against each other or having outbursts of emotion - no, Aguirre is much more subtle than that. You know Fade is jealous of how much time Deuce and Stalker are spending together by the way he turns away, by the way he starts taking Tegan on hunting trips. And it's all so quietly nobody notices... except us readers who are just waiting for the ultimate "AW" moment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not too original, September 22, 2011
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
This book is like a mockup of what the movie "I Am Legend" would have been like with teenagers instead of Will Smith. Still not a bad story, but minus three stars for a lack of originality. Between Hollywood and past books (Hunger Games, etc), the author seems to have tossed established popular plot lines in a blender and then published the result.
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Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Hardcover - April 12, 2011)
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