I want to start my review of Enclave by talking about zombies. Or what classifies as a zombie. Or better yet: what is the zombie motive. Clearly, the zombie motive is to eat people. But these aren't normal zombies. These zombies can reason to some extent. They can form small groups and go after people.
These are also Ann Aguirre zombies. Some might not be aware of Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series--a great space-y scifi epic for adults. From those books I have learned not to trust Ann Aguirre. So what exactly are Ann Aguirre zombies? They're smelly. They're claw-y. They're known as Freaks to the characters. They're mindless wandering and endless hunger are what set the tone for Enclave.*
Deuce is our main character. A huntress from an underground clan known as an enclave. She's never been topside (above ground). Certain things (like sex, good food) are banned for her. She's a fierce warrior girl. I end my description of the plot there. Spoilers and all that funky stuff.
There are certain moments during Enclave that I thought to myself "Is this a fucking kids book, really?" It's like watching an old episode of a TV show. One that you watched as a kid and are now seeing as an adult. Except then you realize there are a lot of adult themes on that show that you never picked up on. If I were twelve and reading this? I'd be "OMG ZOMBIES". Instead, I'm an adult, and I'm thinking "Wow. That's some serious shit right there."
|How I felt while reading Enclave.|
How bad is it? It's bad. The zombies at least have a reason for the way they are, the human characters? They're actually worse. From the worst kind of complacency to murder to hinted at atrocities to almost useless hope. That's the Ann Aguirre formula for this one.**
Enclave stands out in the same way that Blood Red Road did. It's refreshing in the same way. It's meaty and dark, bloody and bold, killer and... you get the point. Just don't wander into this one expecting fluffy bunnies and rainbows. It ain't gonna happen.
*The characters also mindlessly wander around with an appetite all their own. I see what you did there, Ann.
**Really, this book is a middle finger to The Hunger Games. Please remove The Hunger Game comparison from the cover.
Note: Wander/wonder still trips me up.
Extra Note: I'm still in love with Sirantha Jax.