What better way to celebrate Easter than reading a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction that will probably give me nightmares!  After spending the better part of the day with my family, I came home to my humble abode, and, after taking a much-needed nap, I immersed myself in the terrifying world created by Ann Aguirre in Enclave.  To call the future envisioned in this book bleak would be an understatement.  It kind of makes the world of The Hunger Games look like a romp through one of Mary Poppins’ magical paintings.  Enclave does, however, share some things with The Hunger Games.  Young people are fighting to survive, those in power will do anything to keep it, food is scarce, there’s an understated love story, and the main character, Deuce, is a strong, kick-butt female who can go toe-to-toe with any guy standing in her way.  And Deuce needs all the strength she can muster to face what’s coming her way…

Deuce was born in an enclave below the earth’s surface.  All she’s ever known is life below the ground, and all she’s ever wanted is to become a Huntress, one who protects those who live in the enclave.  She finally achieves her dream, and she’s paired with Fade, a Hunter who was born on the outside, one who is not quite trusted by those who govern the enclave.  While Deuce isn’t exactly thrilled with her new partner, she will do as she is told and work with him to hunt for food while watching out for the ferocious Freaks (half-human, half-beast, feral creatures) who roam the tunnels and kill anything that crosses their paths.

As Deuce and Fade begin to work together and trust each other, Deuce’s eyes are opened—for the first time—to what is really going on around her.  Fade has shown her that the elders of the enclave have one purpose and one purpose only—to keep the people in line and ignorant.  They don’t care that the Freaks are getting smarter and finding ways through their defenses.  They don’t care that other settlements are being wiped out.  They don’t care that there’s a bigger world that they know nothing about.  No, the elders are only concerned with keeping things as they are—ordered, controlled, and predictable.  Fade helps Deuce realize that this failure to see what’s really going on will be the end of the enclave if something is not done.  Unfortunately, Deuce may be powerless to do anything to save the only home she’s ever known.

When Deuce realizes just how corrupt the leadership of the enclave has become, she makes a shocking decision that will force her to do something she never thought possible.  What’s more shocking?  Fade decides to make the journey with her.  Where will they go?  How will they survive?  Well, these two are stronger than anyone gave them credit for, and they’re determined to find some way to stay alive…and together.

Deuce and Fade will face certain death and horrors they’ve never encountered in order to make it to a better future.  Along the way, they’ll encounter more Freaks, injury, new allies (in very unexpected places), and knowledge that they never had before.  What will they do with this new knowledge?  Can they figure out what brought the world to its current state?  Can they find some place that offers a promise of new life?  Will their journey to safety bring them closer together?  Or will it drive them so far apart they’ll never find a way back to each other?  Read Enclave, the gripping first installment in Ann Aguirre’s Razorland trilogy, to find out!

I thoroughly enjoyed Enclave (which shouldn’t surprise anyone, since I love most dystopian fiction), and I look forward to reading more about Deuce’s world in Outpost (due out on September 4, 2012) and Horde (expected sometime in 2013).  I will admit that it took me a little while to get into Enclave, but, once I did, the outside world ceased to exist.  I was totally focused on what Deuce was going through, and I couldn’t wait to see what happened to her and Fade.  I’m still anxious to see how their story plays out.

If you still want to know more about Enclave and author Ann Aguirre, visit http://www.annaguirre.com/, follow the author on Twitter @MsAnnAguirre, and check out this creeptastic book trailer for Enclave by MacmillanChildrens on YouTube.  Enjoy!

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