Book Review: Enclave

Enclave (Razorland #1)
by Ann Aguirre
259 Pages - Hardcover
Published April 12th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Challenge: Dystopia Reading Challenge
Source: Bought



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’m starting to lose faith in dystopian novels. I have read three dystopia this month and the lot of them disappointed me. After Matched and Divergent, I was looking forward to Enclave. Hoping it could break the two-streak disappointment that both dystopian books brought upon me. But was I right about Enclave...?

Aguirre has created a world that is both fascinating and creepy at the same time. I like that Enclave starts straight to the plot. I thought it was a little fast, but I like it better than having the real plot start when I’m halfway done with the book. I find the characters very amusing. Deuce's ignorance about the sun, moon, rain, furniture and canned goods is really fascinating. I fell in love with Fade the moment Deuce mentioned him. But it was only short-lived. At first, he is described as a scary boy who keeps to himself. He has the blackest eyes, like bottomless pit. That said, I thought he was one mysterious, aloof guy with the darkest past.

I am one of those girls who are attracted to these types of hotties. But wrong! A couple of chapters after that, Fade is revealed to be a really soft guy who smiles and greets his friends. I’m not saying that this isn’t a good thing. I was just disappointed that he did not turn out like how he was first described. Because honestly, after picturing him as a dark, mysterious boy, it's quite hard to imagine him as a guy who smiles and greets people. Awkward!

Also, based on the author's note, Aguirre clearly put so much effort into writing this book. It's quite cool to know that the little, almost insignificant things in the book were based on facts. But like I said, I thought they were almost insignificant. I didn't even give much thought into them until she mentioned them. But still, it's really cool. Also, while I like that this starts straight to the plot, I kind of missed Deuce's back story. Like how she learned to fight or just more about her childhood.

There are a couple of WTF moments here too. Silk's appearance in Deuce's dream is very unconvincing. They are not even close to begin with. I was tempted to use google and see if Enclave also includes the paranormal genre aside from dystopia. And oh, the love triangle! At first, I was really happy because there was no love triangle. But behold! It sprouts towards the end of the book. WTF? Not only was it unconvincing. It seemed forced too.

Rating: 2.5/5 


  1. Aww, I loved this book. But I have to say, I didn't buy the love triangle, either, but I got the feeling that it was supposed to be kind of fake-y and circumstantial. I also think that it points to Deuce's ignorance regarding male/female stuff. She grew up in a society where romance was taboo, so she was used to spending lots of time with guys in a non-romantic way.

  2. I loved it (although I agree on your WTF moments!). Sorry to hear you are having a bad dystopia streak. Hope your next one is a good one!

  3. I have to agree with Rubita that I loved this book. Although, I totally have to agree with your WTF moment with Deuce's dream about Silk. That seemed rather misplaced in the novel. I wasn't sure why Aguirre threw that in...

    Jessi @ Reading in the Corner

  4. I haven't read Enclave yet but all the reviews I've seen for it are very positive. So, thanks for bringing up some of its flaws so that I'll be less disappointed when reading it. It does sound weird that an aloof guy becomes super friendly; I'd have a hard time picturing it too. It's also a shame that the dreaded love triangle appears and isn't very convincing.


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