Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: Enclave


By:  Ann Aguirre

Publisher:  Feiwel and Friends, An Imprint of Macmillan

Publish Date:  April 2011

Format:  Hardcover 259pgs

Genre:  YA Dystopian

Series:  1st book in Razorland series

Recommendation:  B (my boy):  Yes,for teens & Young Adults who like books with action and fighting and exploring a destroyed world.  M (me):  Yes!  Keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next with action leading the way and discovering our world so long in the future.

Book Synopsis:
In Deuce's world, an enclave deep underground, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years.  By that point, each unnamed "brat" has trained to join 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 the ferocious monsters known as Freaks.  She's worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing is going to stop her, not even a brooding Hunter named Fade.  When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce's troubles are just beginning.

Fade doesn't like following orders.  Deuce has never known a boy like him before, someone as likely to touch her gently as use his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce's perception shifts, so does the balance in the battle for survival.  The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat due to their sheer numbers, now show signs of cunning and even strategy... but the elders refuse to heed any warnings.  No matter how hard she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she's ever known.

First Sentence:
I was born during the second holocaust.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Deuce got her name and her three scars, signifying she is a Huntress, in her Enclave.  She is the one to protect and feed them.  The Enclave, a home in the tunnels underground where children don't always make it and no one lives to 40.  The rules are strict and harsh for a reason, to survive.  Deuce is paired with Fade a Hunter slightly older than her, the one found outside the enclave yet taken in as he's strong.  Fade has troubles following the rules.  But when Deuce and Fade notice something different with the Freaks, the flesh eating humanoid monsters hunting people, and adjust to save themselves and others it brings heartache and more with it.  Deuce and Fade find themselves trying to survive in places unknown to them, above ground.

As many of you know I read this book with my son.  So I sat with him and talked about a few things in and of the book.  But do keep in mind he is 12 years old, so the thoughts might be a little rough around the edges, but I was rather proud of his thoughts.  Here are a few of his thoughts as we talked....

This is a dystopian setting...
B – How many people are actually alive? I wouldn’t think many. Because most of the enclaves seem to be dying off because of sickness and the freaks are getting smarter and no way to find ways around them to protect themselves {the people in the Enclaves}. There may not be many people around in the city and area we started in, above and below ground, but how many are actually alive out of the area?

M – Something big happened to break up the population of people and cause everyone to go different ways to survive. I think the separation of the towns people live in along with sickness has limited people and gives us a feel of smaller living towns and not as many people. I’m curious to hear in the future books what had happened in the world to bring these ways of living on. And how many people are really left!

Let’s talk about the Freaks…
M – Where do they come from? This is one question we still are curious about. But they are very dangerous to EVERYONE, above & below ground.

B – They are getting much smarter and I’m surprised they aren’t learning more things humans know. Like weapons.

M – Did you like the Freaks?

B – I didn’t exactly like them but they made the story and without the Freaks there would be no real story. I thought they were like people that where contaminated by something and changed.

M – They really aren't the ones made to be likable that's for sure.  To me they had a “zombie” feel but were not zombies. They grew smarter. Like a rabid animalized person. They are definitely a great way of putting the evil feel out there and the scare of not knowing when we’ll bump into them again.

The Characters…
M – The main characters are a girl, Deuce, and a boy, Fade. What do you think of this book from a boys view being mostly from a girl’s mind?

B – I do think the girls the main character. The book was not girly. It had things a guy could like, like fighting and action. She was a Huntress.

M - I liked Deuce as she was a character that grew from knowing the rules, yet was curious and smart enough to know things weren’t always right and took the steps to do right, no matter what happened to her.

M – What about Fade? What did you think of him?

B – People misunderstand him. He was a nice guy. I don’t think they really wanted to know him because they were scared of him. Because he was a top hunter and no one really talked to him so they didn’t know who he was because he was an outsider.

M – I liked Fade. He was kind of a wild card in actions and what he knew. Did you like him? Was he your favorite?

B – Yeah I liked him. He tied with Deuce.

The feeling while reading…
M - I was always worried in this dangerous would wondering what would show up or where the Freaks were. Worried for Deuce & Fade that they wouldn’t make it.

B - It kept me on my toes. Wondering why things were happening.

M - Did you get your answers?

B - Some of them yes, some no. Just a few things that were barely talked about in the Enclave, that we may not ever find out about.

The End…
M – I felt the story ended, but there was still a feel that there was more to come. Something wasn’t completely finished for me, leaving me wanting another book. Not a cliffhanger, but wanting more stories here. What about you?

B – I felt like the freak attacks were just beginning and I have a feeling if the author does make another book the Freaks will be back stronger and smarter with a larger population.

M – Do you want another book?

B - Yeah, I want another book!

I have to say in the end my son enjoyed this process of reviewing the book and thought it was a good way to prepare for his test.  I was glad to hear that.  And thought moments were a little hard as he wasn't making any sense, it turned out rather well.  He had moments where he kept going on and I just couldn't share those here as they would have been spoilerish, but he really seemed to enjoy this one.  I think he did a wonderful job!

This review qualifies for Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books and YA Reading Challenge.

I read this book for my own enjoyment.


Anachronist said...

A great review - thanks for including your son! I would like to read this one!

Colleen Connally said...

I think your son did an awesome job! Made me want to read it! Keep up the good work!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Anachronist - Thank you! :) I wanted to try and find a way for him to review the book before his test, and this sounded like a good idea. And I was hoping for a fun chat, fun for me and him to share something. :) Thank you!

Jerri Hines - Thank you! I'm looking forward to sharing all the comments with my son to let him know. :) I hope it will keep him wanting to read to know others liked his thoughts too. Thank you!

Melliane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melliane said...

It sounds intriguing. I haven't read a lot of dystopia, books but I really need to ! It's really nice to have ta review like that.

Mel said...

I love that you and your son read this together - definitely good to get them into books when they're young! And great review as well - I need to pick this up from my tbr pile! :-)

Blodeuedd said...

I do want to read this one :D I like Aguirre, and I really like dystopia. Freaky scary worlds rock

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

ACK! Third time is the charm? I hope?

I loved this dual review! I say you need to up his allowance! He deserved it. I think his thoughts were well done!

Oh and I enjoyed this one too!

Michelle Flick said...

I wasn't tooo crazy about this book. I think a B is a good grade. I actually was more intrigued by Fade.

Loved the dual review!!

Cherry said...

A new way of looking at things :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Melliane - I haven't gotten into many myself, but the ones I do read I've been enjoying very much. I do hope you get a chance to give this one a try sometime. :)

Mel - Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it. I know he was thinking I was crazy when I suggested doing this. :) Thank you and hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

Blodeuedd - hee hee. You might like this one then! :D Hope you get a chance to give it a go.

Melissa (Books&Things) - Thank you!! lol. I don't know about uping the allowance... er, that will cramp my book buying money. ;D Thank you!

Michelle @ Oh! For the Loveof Books - Hi! I was really surprised when he said the characters tied for him. I think because Deuce was a huntress and more active that it helped her. I really thought he would all be for Fade and Stalker, but I'm glad to hear he liked both.

Cherry - :) Thank you. I figured why not let him join me in this one. :) Thank you for stopping by.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Oh, fun review style. It's not often I get to read book thoughts from a preteen! I think he made a lot of great points I probably wouldn't have considered, like the observation of the weapons. Very cool.

Thanks for making this review so entertaining.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Missie - Thank you! I really thought it would be nice to have his thoughts on this one as well. I don't hear many ideas from the young kids views, so thought it would be a nice addition. :) Thank you and so glad you enjoyed it.