Sunday, September 18, 2011

Audiobook Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Sunday, September 18, 2011 with 1 comment
Enclave (Razorland, #1)Title:  Enclave
Author:  Ann Aguirre
Series:  Razorland
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date:  April 12, 2011
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

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.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of dystopia/post-apocalyptic novels. I don’t love every one I read, but I do enjoy them all, for the most part. Enclave was no different. It falls in the middle of the spectrum for me. As such:  like-->really like-->love…, i.e. 3, 4 or 5 stars – I don’t think it’s possible for me to rate a dystopian novel less than three stars. Maybe I should have a separate key for this genre. I’m rambling now. I can’t help it. I love, Love, *LOVE* futuristic, science-fictiony, thriller-esque novels. Look at me…I’ve created my own vocabulary because of my devotion to this genre.
I digress.

If someone had told me that there was a possibility of zombies in this novel, I would have read it much sooner. As it stands, I downloaded the audiobook from Audible and listened to it while performing the most mundane tasks at work. Audiobooks are awesome for making a dull girl’s life a little less dull. The audio for Enclave was great. The narrator (Emily Bauer) wasn't too boisterous but neither was she timid in her delivery. At first, I thought she sounded a little young and maybe a bit chipper, considering the type of story this is, but her narration really grew on me as the story unfolded.

The novel was plainly awesome. However, it was never out right touted as a zombie novel, and it is never expressly stated that the unnatural monsters roaming the remnants of a doomed Earth are zombies. But, after a few chapters, it’s pretty obvious that this is yet another Earth ravaged by a debilitating disease that somehow allows the dead to continue to walk the planet, feasting on the flesh of humans. Gross, yeah?

But the story focuses on those that fled this disease, the ones that live underground, and have created their own little world, below the plague-ridden surface. There’s the strong heroine, the huntress. And, of course, her strong male-counterpart, who challenges her every move. They are partners in the hunt, to provide for their Enclave and to protect it. And this works for them. Until they are forced to question the actions and motives of the elders in the Enclave.

I like the story. I like not being explicitly told what led to this devastation, these horrible circumstances. I like not having the whole plot spelled out for me. It’s hard not to note the similarities between dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, but there’s something about this one. Normally, I just passively dismiss how the post-apocalyptic setting came about. But with this novel, I want to see the prequel…the events that led up to the separation, the ones who fled underground and those that stuck it out on the surface.

I’m intrigued by Fade and fascinated by Deuce. I want to know more of their story. They’ve got a lot of discovery left in their futures, and I can’t wait to read more about it. I’ve never read anything by Ann Aguirre before, but I’m definitely a fan now.

If this trailer doesn't make you want to read it, I don't know what will...

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