Goodreads Summary: WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE. 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 Deuce 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.
It seems that a trend in 2011 was post apocalyptic YA books with zombies, similar to how 2012 seems to be the year for post apocalyptic YA books with vampires. Since I have become a little less squeamish about reading zombie novels, I decided to try listening to Enclave, a popular book that I missed last year.
Enclave starts out well enough. Deuce is smart and strong, a formidable fighter who is extremely proud of her new status as a Huntress. She is at first wary of her new partner, Fade, but soon learns that he is very different than anybody she as ever met before. I liked Deuce during the first part of the novel, it’s in the second part that things get a little tricky.
(Spoiler Alert! Highlight if you want to read.) Secondary characters are introduced in the story: Pearl, an old friend of Fade, Stalker, the leader of a gang and Tegan, a girl that was kidnapped years before by Stalker’s gang. The thing that bothered me most about the book was Deuce’s lack of empathy about towards the situation they got Pearl into and about Tegan in general. We are told that Stalker gave his gang members permission to repeatedly rape Tegan, resulting in her giving birth to two stillborn children and at one point, Deuce blames Tegan for not fighting her rapists to her death before allowing herself to be raped. Additionally, Stalker who has undoubtedly raped girls himself and would have raped Deuce if she had not escaped from him, becomes a love interest for Deuce, effectively creating a love triangle.
These situations left a bad taste in my mouth and not even Emily Bauer’s wonderful narration could get rid of it. To be fair, Deuce’s character does mature but by that point, the author had already lost me and there was no getting me back.
Enclave has lots of action and I know a lot of people loved this book, but it was not for me. There are also some unanswered questions about the world building which I’m assuming will be answered in the sequel that comes out this year, but I probably won’t be picking it up.
Content: Kissing, references to rape and gory violence.
My Rating: Disappointing