Postcard For Reader + Feiwel and Friends

Enclave

Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland (#1)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
How Received: publisher copy

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.
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Up until the last fourth of the book, I adored Enclave. For me, it hit just the right blend of everything - kick ass main character, interesting world, fantastic side characters, a tinge of romance.

And once we hit the last fourth of the book, the tinge of romance became the center of the book. And I didn't like that, especially as that's the only big unresolved issue by the end of the book. I know it's the first in the series, but Enclave works well as a stand alone.

[SPOILER ALERT]
The problem with the last fourth of the book is that a love triangle is brought into play between Fade, the partner who Deuce has slowly and surely been getting closer to the entire book, and Stalker, the big old gang member from Topside who nearly raped her, their new friend Tegan, and left Fade to die.

Are you having the same reaction I had to this?

I'll have a Thoughts On post about this soon, but not every story needs a love triangle, and I feel like this was shoved in simply for the sake of having a love triangle. Any potential relationship with Stalker seems out of character for Deuce to me - and the way it's set up rubs me the wrong way.
[END SPOILER ALERT]

I want to say that ignoring that, it's a good book, because it is. I think it would do better as a stand alone then as a series - even though not all of the questions are answered, it ends in a mostly resolved manner that I think would have been good for the story.

But that damn love triangle is the only thing, in my opinion, dragging out the series - and it's not like I don't know who Deuce will end up with. It's not hard to figure out. It's hard for me to really like the book because they ended it with that love triangle and that's such a sour note in the book for me...

Overall Rating & Final Comments: 6/10. I really love the world and the characters, I do. But it didn't need to be dragged out into a series and that damn love triangle is rubbing me the wrong way.

dystopia, and more:

Enclave + Feiwel and Friends