Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: April 2011
Series/Standalone: Book 1 in the Razorland series
Cover Artist: Susan Walsh
Who/What/Why/Where/How: I’d like to thank Ash over at Smash Attack Reads! for book bullying me into reading this book.
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 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 the ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s 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 using 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 only due to their sheer numbers, now show signs of cunning and even strategy...but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.
Before we start, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Jen (a.k.a. Rain Maiden). I believe we met on the blog where I do my True Blood Recaps a while back and over time we’ve gotten to know each other and have become friends (at least I like to think so). As I mentioned above, Ash book bullied the hell out of me to read Enclave and I of course agreed (because you DO NOT say no to Ash). I didn’t want to undertake the journey by myself so I kept my eyes peeled for someone who was looking to the read the book too. I’m not sure how I found out that Jen had the book in her TBR pile but, when I did I was determined to
take someone down with me see if she’d be willing to not only read Deuce's story with me but, also do a joint review with me. Thankfully she said yes without me having to plead, beg and bribe her. And yes, I totally would’ve done all three. So now that you’ve got the back story let’s dive into the review. (For the sake of not confusing the shit out of everyone, I’m Jen D. and Jen is Rain Maiden)
Jen D.: Okay so the first thing that grabbed my attention was the atmosphere in the tunnels. Hearing Deuce describe her world made me feel gloomy and claustrophobic. *shivers*
Rain Maiden: Can you imagine how white the people were who lived in the tunnels? I could see why at the age of 25 you were considered a wise senior citizen in need of a tan. If I lived down there I would have gone bat shit crazy. Ohhh How did feel about how the kids got their name at the naming ceremony? I know If I was there, knowing my luck I would have been named "Kotex with Wings". Seriously, I thought that was original and cool on the author's part.
Jen D.: I'm pretty pasty so I think I'd fit right in. ;-) I feel you on the bat shit crazy part. There’s no way I could live in those type of cramped conditions and not lose my damn mind. LMFAO! Jeebus woman! Had I been drinking something I would’ve hosed down everything in my immediate vicinity! I also thought it was original and I’m not going to lie a bit masochistic. What did you think about Deuce and her development throughout the story?
Rain Maiden: I loved how strong and determined she was. She is a huntress. She can survive. She grew up really fast and I guess living in that world you had to.
Jen D.: I agree with you 100%. There were moments where I would start to get aggravated with her but, then I'd stop and realize that she didn't know how else to behave or react. Sooo what did ya think about Fade? *wiggles eyebrows*
Rain Maiden: Fade was a hottie with the whole being mysterious and hard. Love those bad boys with heart. I love how Fade and Deuce were awesome as partners. Ooooo and when Fade had that moment with Deuce...what a bad boy, breaking the rules like that. Do tell your thoughts on Fade???
Jen D.: Oh Fade. *sigh* I wouldn't call him a bad boy per say. He definitely has an edge to him but I think it has to do more with his lack of trust in the elders and the way they're running the show. It must have been hard for him to feel like a constant outsider. Loooved that moment and how it left Deuce all flabbergasted. I'd let Fade have my back any day. *ahem* As tunnel partners, people! Sheesh. Minds out of the gutter. Anywho, I loved how easy they came together as partners too. Who were some of your favorite and least favorite side characters?
Rain Maiden: I enjoyed the character of Banner and, believe it or not, Silk. Banner just seemed warm and a character I cared about...like a sister. Now Silk was a bitch like no other and she seemed so devoid of feelings that I loved to hate her. But I can say that Silk was awesome at her job. Silk did come through for Deuce in the end, right? Don't even get me started on Shade or Pearl. I had to laugh when I got your DM about Pearl. I knew that hag had it coming and I sooo wanted to tell you. So speaking of Shade, I never saw that twist coming.....
Jen D.: I also liked Banner. Her joy despite being in her bleak surroundings was heart warming. I could not stand Silk! She was a huge bitch and I get that she was really good at her job but, I felt she was as an ass to anyone who threatened her position. I suppose you're right about her coming through in the end. Pearl was friggin' trifling! Shade and his crew were down right terrifying. I was totally shocked with both twists. ;-) I'm not 100% sure how I feel about Tegan. I'll be keeping an eye on her. Okay so I have to ask...what's the one thing you'd miss if you got stuck in this type of world?
Rain Maiden: Well If I had to live in the Enclave..I would say sunlight and freedom. The folks who live in the Enclave are completely left in the dark and governed with an iron fist. The Enclave was a prison. Can we talk about the freaks now? :)
Jen D.: Good picks. I'm going with showers. I think I can deal with the Enclave's rules if I was able to have a clean patoot. I was hoping you wouldn't notice that I hadn't brought them up. *sigh* Oh alright we can talk about the Freaks. *shivers* The floor's all yours.
Rain Maiden: So we have Freaks running around and they’re loose in the dark tunnels. That’s very freaky. Ann Aguirre did a fabulous job in her setting and description where I felt like I was in those tunnels. I'm a big baby when it comes to the dark. When Deuce and Fade would stop to rest, I was like, ‘keep moving or you will be Freak food!’ The Freaks especially freaked me out when they seemed to be evolving. I would love to have read more details as to what happened and why there were Freaks. I loved the Freak scenes! I about bit my nails off.
Jen D.: The Freaks freaked me out! Anytime there was a fight scene I could feel their nasty Freak breath on my neck. I'm also a tad bit scared of the dark and I know for sure I would've peed my pants if I had to patrol those tunnels. OMG I would get super anxious when they would rest too. I damn near fell off my coach a few times. I agree 110% with you that Ann Aguirre did a fantastic job. Gosh there's so much I want to talk about but, I don't want to give anything away! Ack! So for the sake of not spoiling the book I think we’re going to end the review there.
Who would we recommend this book to?
Jen D.: I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s into a story that leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat and obviously anyone who loves post-apocalyptic subject matter.
Rain Maiden: I would recommend Enclave to anyone in a reading slump. LOL! It brought everything to the table that I love in a good paranormal story. Characters who fight to survive, action and freaks with claws. Ann's a great story teller and I'll be adding Ann's other work to my damn TBR pile.
What were some of our favorite lines?
Jen D.: ‘Eventually, my gaze found Fade again. His nose was sharp, like his chin and his jaw. Likewise, I could cut myself on his cheekbones. His mouth offered the only softness, and even then, only when he slept. I didn’t like how I felt, strange and prickly.’ Deuce describing Fade, page 50.
Rain Maiden: You know I didn't have any favorite lines, but my favorite scene was when they decided to rest in what they thought was a safe place in the tunnel and ended up surrounded by Freaks like they were a buffet. My first thought was, ‘Ding, ding, ding! Come and get it!!!!’
Jen D.: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Rain Maiden: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Outpost (September 2012)
On a side note: That’s waaay too friggin’ far away!!
Also Reviewed By:
Just want to give a BIG THANK YOU to Jen for being such a good sport. She’s the bees knees I tell ya. So make sure you give her some love so I won’t have to con her into doing another one of these with me. ;-)