Catie's Reviews > Enclave

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
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's review
Jul 05, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2011, sci-fi, paranormal, ya, speculative-fiction, zombies, audio
Read from July 03 to 05, 2011

3 1/2 stars

A couple of years ago, I endured read a young adult zombie novel which it seemed might turn me away from the shambling mobs forever. But then, after two years of strict zombie literature abstinence, enter the Goodreads Zombie Advocacy Board: your friendly neighborhood support group, recommendation service, and cheerleaders for all things decomposing and reanimated. So far I’ve read three zombie books this year; a very small percentage, but I think it’s safe to say that the healing has begun.

Deuce is a teenage girl who was born in the Enclave: an underground community with strict rules and traditions. For as long as she can remember, she has wanted to become a huntress, tasked with providing meat for the Enclave and fighting back the Freaks: strange, violent, and hungry masses of mindless humanoids who appear to be getting more intelligent by the day. When the day finally arrives, she is partnered with Fade, an outcast of the community who was not born in the Enclave but has been allowed to stay because of his superior hunting abilities.

This book is a thrilling, fast paced paranormal young adult novel. As with every paranormal YA I’ve come across it contains a few elements that annoy me deeply (probably because I am an adult and shouldn’t be reading these books). But I must say that this one is a cut above the rest. I gladly picked it up each day, and I never felt uninterested. The story will keep you riveted and alert; there’s no long sections of exposition or filler here. It’s all action. That made me kind of curious for a while: I really wanted to know all the details of just how the world ended up this way. But I think that she handles it very well: just enough is revealed to give a subtly clear picture of the events, without resorting to an unrealistic scene where the heroine just happens to stumble upon a complete explanation of her planet’s history.

Deuce is a bit annoying, but in a way that I can tolerate well. She’s brash and ballsy, a little too confident in her own abilities, maybe a little too cold and calculating. Really there’s nothing that I love more than a badass, arrogant heroine so we’re all good there. Of course, as soon as she’s in the tunnels with Fade she starts to notice his chiseled cheek bones…and how surprisingly warm his hands are…and how dark his eyes are. You can see where this is going. But she’s sort of endearing, as a young woman who really has no experience with romance at all.

So, since this is paranormal YA, I know what you’re all wondering right about now. What is going to be the crazy obstacle that prevents these two from getting it on? Will it be…wrong side of the fence? Species barrier? Pre-existing relationship/commitment/betrothal? Fear of rejection and failure? Dangerous magical powers? Eugenics style breeding program? Bingo! That’s the one. Strangely, even with a very limited gene pool (which they are limiting even further by selecting only the “attractive” people to become breeders), no sunlight, and only fish and mushrooms to eat each day, these Enclave residents don’t all resemble Gollum, 100 years post ring acquisition.

In fact I didn’t find anything too annoying in this book until quite near the end, when our heroine gets desperately confused by a love triangle, and the hero goes all sullen and mopey. I also think that it’s pretty predictable where this is going for book #2. I mean, anyone who has ever read Watership Down knows that when you stumble upon utopia, you don’t stick around. You get the hell out of dodge before everything goes sideways.

The audiobook narrator is a major drama loving over-actor of the highest order. I mean, I know that there are certain situations that call for that kind of emotion. But when she’s narrating every nap, long walk, and foraging scene as if she were Scarlett O’Hara saying, “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!” there’s a problem. If you have the option, I would go with the print version.

Perfect Musical Pairing

Filter – It’s Gonna Kill Me

Because my favorite part of this book is the heroine kicking butt and taking names, so she needs a badass theme song. This is for you, Deuce!
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Reading Progress

57.0% "I just told my husband that I was going grocery shopping and then escaped the house for three hours! Best fourth of July ever." 6 comments
86.0% "Why does there always have to be a love triangle? Boo. BOO!" 21 comments
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Comments (showing 1-28)

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library) A zombie book, Catie?!? You make me proud! :P

Catie I guess this is a zombie book. The freaks are extra fast and smart...I guess they're a cut above the usual shambling mobs.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I loved Aguirre's version of zombies. This is one of my favorites, but the second half can be a little frustrating, or so I've been told. :)

Catie Oh, because you didn't think it was frustrating? Well, I am heading into the second half, and it seems fine to me. I can't wait to read all the reviews when I'm done!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) It's easier when it's an audio. Have you tried hidind to read an ebook? The woods, I tell you, that's where the salvation is.

Catie No, usually I am the only one at home with the girls, so there's no lovely woods escape for me! My husband is off work today, so....

Lyndsey Funny you should mention Gollum. I was just thinking about him.

AND you mentioned Watership Down. *sigh* I think I have a new reviewer-crush.

Catie Aw, I love you too Lynsdey. And now that I've finished this book, I can finally read your review!

Lyndsey Yay! I was more of a 3.5 as well, but for Ann Aguirre - I round up. I kinda wish they would do half stars on GR.

Catie Yeah, who doesn't? I think that we all use half stars already anyway...get with the program goodreads!

So, did anyone else think that this book was sorta similar to Watership Down? Especially with the prophetic dream near the end...

It's like Enclave - Zombies + Bunnies (instead of humans) = Watership Down.

Lyndsey I didn't realize until now! Oh man, have you seen the animated movie? It makes me laugh because it is so obviously a product of the 70s. It is TRIPPY.

Catie Yeah! Actually, I think that I missed out on a perfect musical pairing here. Why didn't I think of this before?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I think that is the best name yet: Goodreads Zombie Advocacy board. I like it. We might just keep it. :P

Catie Ya know, I was trying to think of one that would produce a good acronym but I failed. ZAB? It's not that awesome.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) If you think of one, we'll make you our press secretary. :P

message 13: by Tatiana (new) - added it

Tatiana I am sad to say, I don't think I have read even one (1) zombie book that I liked. There is something very wrong with me...

Great comment on audio, Catie. The reader of A Wizard of Earthsea is sort of like that too.

Regina Tatiana, I wonder if the narrator for Wizard of Earthsea effected your liking that book (yes I feel the need for everyone to love everything by LeGuin).

Good to know about the audio version, although I planned to read the print of this one. I had no idea this invovled zombies!

Isn't isn't it interesting how many zombie books are out right now? I have never read Watership Down, is that something I need to read? I do have it on my kindle, but for some reason in my life I have just never read it.

Catie Watership Down is one of my all time favorites - it's okay for maybe age 10/11 and up as well I would say. It's also just wonderful on audio. I made my husband listen to it while we were painting our house last year and he loved it.

I actually didn't know that this was a zombie book either. The "Freaks" don't play a super big role in this first book.

Zombies is the new trend, I think. As with vampires, werewolves, witches, psychics, and ghosts there will be good books and there will be all the others that are just jumping on the bandwagon.

Tatiana, you should petition the ZAB for a (view spoiler), well written, with just a touch of romance zombie book recommendation :) I believe Michelle R is the Queen of the group.

I just got Gifts, and I already have A Wizard of Earthsea at home so there will be more Leguin in my future. Good to know about the audiobook. I guess it's yet another one of my narrator pet peeves!

message 10: by Chichipio (new)

Chichipio Ugh, I hate over-the-top narrators. Especially when they're almost sobbing over a stubbed toe and all I can think is "I get it. You're in pain. Now cut it out!" Sometimes, playing the audio faster helps a little, but some of them are like cockroaches… immune to any tricks.

Catie Yeah, I like speeding it up sometimes too, but when it's a female over-actor in particular, I find that that just makes her sound even more squeaky and dramatic.

Regina I am in the middle of this book, lol at this -- this is so true, it too me an hour to get used to her voice: "The audiobook narrator is a major drama loving over-actor of the highest order".

A love triangle?!! Seriously? I am not there yet, but that will be dissapointing.

Catie Yes, unfortunately there is one.

Haha, I'm glad you agree about the narrator. It's fine for when they're running for their lives or battling zombies...but when they're just hanging seems excessive.

Regina Her narraton over Deuce's thrill of finding a hoodie on the back of her sweatshirt brought tears to my eyes. :)

Catie LOL!

message 4: by Kathrine (new)

Kathrine I have a 12 year old wanting to read this book......appropriate? Any sexual content?

Catie In the main character's society, some of the people are assigned to be breeders, essentially, but we don't see it happening. Then later, the main character is captured by a gang of boys who plan to rape her and who have raped another girl. It doesn't happen, but there's a weird romance possibility between the mc and the gang leader that evolves later. I didn't continue with the series, so I don't know if anything comes of it but it's there in this book. That's all I can remember! Good luck!

message 2: by Kathrine (new)

Kathrine Ok, thx for the info. Will probably skip until she is older due to the whole rape thing.

Kasey Andrews Ok so please don't hate me for this review however.... all your reasons are very true and by no means am I saying rape is ok. The book enclave for me was good yes there where some things I disagreed with and teagens rape was one of them but it was a book that I personally thought was good. I really enjoyed the whole series yes there are zombie like creatures. Yes there's a boy named stalker who raped people. (Im not saying it was right) but I thought it was a good book. It captured my attention and I'm about to start reading it again for the 3rd time in a few seconds. I like the book that much.

Ps I agree with all of u about Dr Phil I've probably watched one or two episodes and did not like him at all.

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