Monday, August 22, 2011


Goodreads summary:  

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.

Phew! Long summary! Sorry; I just take what goodreads has to offer and post it here. I know a lot of book bloggers who write their own summaries, but I just don't like doing it. I've tried and I just end up writing geeky-sounding cliched phrases. Anyway.

I think I am officially burnt out on the dystopians. I'm ready for a break. I might have liked this book more before I read all the other ones out there, but this one just feels like a plot repeat. Or some sort of weird cross-breeding of all the different dystopian/apocalyptic plots about there. And speaking of plot, this one had some major logic holes. Half the time I wasn't sure why characters were doing what they were doing, because I definitely was not following.

Also, I don't like violence and gore and this book is just plain gory. There are too many "freaks" (is this the most creative name she could come up with for the weird, mutant-like zombie creatures in this book?) and too much of the book is spent fighting them. I'm not into zombies. 

BUT... Deuce was a very powerful female character. I liked her and thought she was courageous (and not just in the face of danger, but because she protected her friends even when she knew it would be her ruin). The other characters were interesting and many had fascinating depth, especially Fade. There wasn't much romance, which I actually think was a good thing for this book. There was so much else going on there really wasn't time to go into that without sacrificing the plot. But maybe that would have been a good thing because I thought the plot was rather lackluster. What the plot lacked, though, the setting certainly made up for. It was so detailed and well-described. Despite being tired of the genre, I was still fascinated by the idea that our current world could turn into the world in Enclave. I could see the echoes of our modern society and that made the book feel more authentic. The world is so fleshed out and creepy. What imagination from Ann Aguirre!

So there are a lot of pros and cons in this book. I certainly didn't hate it, but I just feel a little burnt out with dystopians. Maybe by the time the sequel to this comes out I'll feel ready to give this world another go.

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