Series: Razorland #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 12th 2011
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Reading Challenges: 2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge, 2016 Horror Reading Challenge, COYER Summer Vacation
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters--or Freaks--who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight--guided by Fade's long-ago memories--in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.
Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.
“In the enclave, the strong and the physically perfect survived, but if you were strong, you protected the weak until they had an opportunity to grow into their own power.”
At least that’s how things were supposed to be. Sadly, Hunters Deuce and Fade discover that the place they’ve come to call home isn’t what they thought it to be. After plague has wiped out the majority of the human population, most have moved underground to survive. Life expectancy usually ends around 25, and mutant freaks lurk the sewers scavenging for food. When Deuce and Fade discover that the previously thought to be mindless Freaks are growing intelligent and now capable of organization, they are exiled from their enclave when the Elders refuse to heed the warning. Once topside, Deuce must rely on Fade who grew up above ground if she wants to survive.
The plot of this novel is really good, and well thought out. The story progresses at a nice, steady pace, and the relationship between Deuce and Fade isn’t rushed. These two characters are reluctant partners who come to rely on each other to survive fighting against the Freaks, and their eventual exile from their Enclave. While we know Deuce is a child of the Enclave, and has been fed their philosophy, Fade originated from Topside, and is an enigma. The mystery surrounding his background slowly unfolds throughout the story, and adds dimension to his character. Along the way, Deuce and Fade meet some other characters who are just as complex, and change the dynamic of their relationship. Whether for good or bad is yet to be determined.
“There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn’t always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness.”
The characters are very multi-dimensional and complex. Deuce is a strong female character who’s trained to fight, and so readers learn about the world above through her eyes. Since we are reading from her point of view, we discover that many of her teachings are false, and that things aren’t what they seem. I thought she made a great main character. Even though she’s not soft, she’s still someone you want to root for. Besides Deuce, I also really like Fade. Aguirre sets these two characters up as possible love interests, and then introduces a bad boy named Stalker. While there is a triangle brewing, I don’t feel as if Aguirre already knows who Deuce will end up with, so I’m able to root for my favorite pairing.
I really enjoyed Enclave. It’s dark, gritty, and a bit terrifying. The scenes with the Freaks honestly scared me a bit, as the depictions of their crimes are very graphic. However, these scenes helped make this world more real and terrifying. I also think the stakes seemed pretty high as the kids are fighting against fellow beings versus something larger or vague like a corporation or government. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic novels, than you’ll definitely want to check this series out. It has a greatly detailed story, strong, complex characters, and will leave you on the edge of your seat.