I finished this book last night. Many times when I read a book and I know there is a sequel I gauge how much I liked the book based on my desire to read the next in the series. I can’t say that I’m waiting on edge for the sequel of this book. However, I will read it when it comes out.
Enclave is about life in the future. Another post-apocalyptic saga about a girl trying to survive. Deuce is a young girl trying to prove herself in her enclave as a fighter and hunter. The enclave is all that she’s known. Born and raised in a small group of underground dwellers, full of rules that she was indoctrinated in from birth.
The Enclave is broken up into three groups. Hunters; in charge of protecting the Enclave and procuring food. Builders; makers of all things needed for the enclave, beds, bags, clothing, etc. Breeders; well, as the name implies, they were given the task of continuing the human race and raising the young.
When children are born they are not given names. The reason is the high infant mortality rate. So, children were named Boy and Girl with a respective number. When they reach a certain age they have a Naming Ceremony. During this time they are given their name and assigned to their group. Our main character started out as Girl15 and received the name Deuce during her naming ceremony.
However, due to a string of strange occurrences, Deuce starts to question the leadership of her Enclave. When protecting a close from from a wrongful accusation, Deuce was cast out of the Enclave. Exiled to the ‘topside’. Her hunting partner, Fade, was also exiled along with her.
What I liked about the book:
The research the author did to write this book is impressive. It is obvious she consulted many different sources to get an idea of what our environment may be like after the fall of the civilization. The idea of living underground is not far fetched, in my opinion.
The writing was very good. I did not find any instances that bugged me. Things like repetition or ill-used large words.
I also liked how Deuce was conflicted when her beliefs were questioned. All she had known was what the Enclave had taught her. However, Fade introduces her to a completely different way of thinking and living. She struggles with what she was taught was the right way, and what may actually be the right way.
The different types of social structures that were introduced in the book were fascinating. The Enclaves, who live by strict rules. The Burrowers; a peaceful people who have evolved to handle underground living. The Freaks; a humanoid race that may have been the result of an infectious disease, they are cannibalistic and hungry for live meat. The gangs; groups of young boys that roam ‘topside’ and have an anarchistic ideology.
What I disliked about the book:
It seems that all young adult novels these days insist on love triangles. I don’t understand this trend. Enclave is another victim of this sub-plot, and it would have been near perfect without it.
I feel like the book moved very fast. Maybe a bit too fast. I understand the need for them to run and keep moving, but I wanted to know more about the gangs, more about the Burrowers, more about the Freaks.
Perhaps the author wanted to keep some of it back to make way for the next book in the series. I hope so, because this book left me with a lot of unanswered questions.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.