Customer Review

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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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2011 10:20:02 PM PST
while i politely disagree with a few things you wrote, i completely agree with you about the ending. i thought the first half to three fourths of the book was really good, and the last fourth was just awful. i felt like the author just gave up and couldn't figure out how to end the book, so she just wrote something. it was so rushed, it just left me confused. like a great series should, it left a lot of questions unanswered for the next book, but like a bad book, the answered questions didn't leave me wanting more, they just left me irritated.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 6:49:38 AM PDT
Von says:
Not only was the ending bland, but it didn't resolve the sexual tensions between the four end characters.

Mind you, while parts of the book were more rational than most distopian novels, the 'breeding' part was mathematically insane.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012 7:46:50 PM PDT
Cindy says:
I have to agree with you. I thought the exact same thing about the Freak scenes. It was just the same old, over and over again. I kind of wanted roll my eyes every time and say "Again??" I also just felt that the whole book was a little darker than I like. I've read plenty of dystopian novels before, and I normally love them, but this didn't have enough of the light moments in between the bad moments. Maybe that's just me. Overall, though, I actually thought the book wasn't bad. I'd give it a 3 out of 5. I won't run out and buy the next Ann Aguirre novel, but eventually I might pick one up again.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 6:39:00 PM PDT
Read the next book, Outpost.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 6:44:01 PM PDT
Von says:
Not in my library yet :) Did it fix the math?

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 10:34:13 AM PST
Reshma says:
The series will not disappoint, I urge you to keep reading till the third book which is the most epic piece of dystopian fiction I have ever read. It far surpassed the hunger games series and the divergent series. It will answer all your questions about the freaks which are a very very real threat, I guarantee you.
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