solaret's Reviews > Enclave

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
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's review
Oct 11, 2011

did not like it

I hate deus ex machina. Absolutely can't stand it. So, at practically the end of the book, (view spoiler) There might be an explanation in the next book, but if there is, then it's far too late.

I did like the world-building, until we got to the deus ex machina part mentioned above. It's gory and ugly and a horrible place to live, but it's fairly consistent. Except that I'm fairly sure that just wearing sunglasses does not protect you after an entire life lived underground. But okay, minor detail.

Here's a major part of the world-building I don't understand. Exactly how does the timeline work out? From what I gathered, Deuce's tiny little cult lives under New York, in a series of caves. But even their oldest member (who should be twenty to thirtyish?) does not appear to understand basic writing conventions - such as the most commonplace writings, actually. They approach magazines and scraps of paper as though the articles were from some long-ago place. Except there's still unspoiled cans of food lying around from before the disaster happened, so it couldn't have been from that long ago. From what I've Googled, canned food, at best, lasts two to five years. So how is it possible for an entire culture of cave dwellers to spring up in that interval? Also, Fade says his father has seen natural landscapes, so this would put his father either at the start of or before whatever apocalyptic occurrence made the poorer denizens of New York start burrowing underground. Assuming that Fade was born at around the start of the disaster, this still means it wasn't that long ago. And yet, even books and stories are nearly foreign to Deuce and Fade. I don't know if this was explored more fully in the book and I skimmed over those parts, but it really does not make sense.

Finally, why is everyone so focused on breeding? People in their twenties are considered old and there's nothing that seems particularly worth passing down. Why waste time on babies at all, especially when you'd be raising them in such a horrible world?
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