Author: Ann Aguirre
From GoodReads, "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 she 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."
I have to admit that the initial reason for picking up this book was because some of the reviews said that this was for "fans of Hunger Games." I read all three of the Hunger Games series and loved them all so I was anxiously awaiting my chance to read this book and I must say that Enclave grabbed me in the beginning in the way that Hunger Games did not. It took about ten chapters for Hunger Games to get into the action bits of the story whereas this book got into it right away.
The main character, Deuce, is a Huntress and has trained all of her life to fulfill her destiny. She is excited about the prospect of going out on her first Hunt until she finds out that she is partnered with Fade. Fade is a boy that was raised Topside, but came to the Enclave as a young child (they call them "brats" in the book) and has never really been accepted by the other society members. What follows is a story that is full of action, unlikely friendships, and survival by any means necessary.
I loved the characters of Deuce and Fade and really liked how their relationship developed throughout the story. Deuce is one kick-ass female lead character. She is strong, determined, and compassionate all at the same time. Fade is mysterious, inquisitive, and brave, but has a true heart. The way the two characters develop throughout the story is remarkable.
There were other characters in the book that were expertly written as well. Even the characters that turn out to be bad guys and gals are so masterfully written that you just enjoy hating their guts. I cannot say enough about this amazing book by Ann Aguirre. This isn't a genre I normally enjoy all that well, but with the recent books coming out being so amazing, I may have to rethink my bias on the matter. I am truly hoping that there is more to come in this story and the way that the book left off it leaves it open for more adventures to come. I can't wait to see what happens next!