Enclave by Ann Aguirre
EnclaveDeuce is a new huntress for the Enclave. She turned 14 and is an adult in her world, no longer a Brat with a number. She is now responsible for the safety and food of the Enclave. Along with the other hunters, she hunts the underground tunnels of their home for meat and fights off the freaks that seek to kill and eat her and her people.
She is partnered with Fade. He had just appeared in the tunnels a few years earlier. The Enclave Elders took him in but he never really became one of them. Although trusted as a Hunter, Fade is still an outsider. Deuce is wary of Fade at first, but quickly learns that she can trust him to have her back.
They hear some disturbing news of a nearby group with whom they occasionally trade. Deuce and Fade are sent to check it out. They discover that the freaks are getting smarter and the other colony has been wiped out. They report their news back to disbelief. Soon after, Fade and Deuce are banished from the Enclave. Now they must make their way to the world above ground, Topside, and try to survive.
Ann Aguirre’s Enclave is an apocalyptic future after plague has killed off most humans. Each small group that lives underground has to fend for itself. Deuce’s Enclave has rules to govern its young people and for the community to continue despite the dangers and constant threat of death that hangs over them.
Aguirre tells the story from Deuce’s first person point of view. So Enclave is not just a story of survival, but of emotional and intellectual growth. Deuce has to learn about the world outside of her insular community and understand that the rules that work well for one group do not apply to another.
I was not pulled in by the first half of Enclave and nearly put the book down a couple times. But I stayed with it – especially because it’s a shorter novel. Enclave comes together in the second half as Deuce goes beyond her structured world and learns about life and herself. The lessons of Deuce’s self discovery apply to anyone in that age group no matter what their world around them is life.
Notice: Graphic violence