Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Summary: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.
This is another young adult dystopian novel with breakneck pacing and tons of action, but no evident depth or substance. As entertaining as Enclave is, the lack of worldbuilding and the unnecessary love triangle kept me from enjoying it as much as I wished I could have.
After a disease wipes away most of the population, the few survivors move underground to live in enclaves. Fighting off the zombie-like “Freaks” that live alongside them, life in the Enclaves is dangerous and unpredictable, many barely even surviving to 20.
When 15-year-old huntress Deuce and her hunting partner Fade are exiled from the Enclave to live aboveground, something regarded as an almost certain death sentence, Deuce begins to realize that the rulers of the Enclave have hidden secrets of their own.
Deuce is a bit typical in terms of a dystopian protagonist. She’s kickass, fierce, and sassy, but she doesn’t really have any other defining traits besides that. I would have enjoyed her more if there was something to distinguish her from all the other dystopian protagonists with her same personality – she was just a bit too unoriginal for my liking.
The worldbuilding left a lot to be desired. The history of the world Aguirre created, especially the way it was founded and how it came to be, was left largely unexplained so I had a difficult time picturing the society in my mind.
There is a love triangle here, and it is one that felt extremely unnecessary and forced. It’s obvious which boy Deuce will choose in the end, so making the romance into a love triangle seems a bit pointless.
All in all, a decent read despite its flaws. I wouldn’t say it’s a “must read,” but if you’re willing to overlook a love triangle and a severe lack of world-building, this is definitely a book to consider picking up.