by Ann Aguirre
4 of 5 stars
New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.
Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.
Deuce: Part of a tribe of survivors living underground in subway tunnels. She is a Huntress, 15 years old, and considered an adult since everyone dies in their early 20s. A very skilled fighter.
Fade: Born topside and came underground after the death of his father. He became nearly feral, trying to survive alone for years. Hunters found him and brought him to the Enclave.
Ann Aguirre has a gift for world building. There is always a fine line when creating a unique setting. Too much detail is boring and can’t really be accomplished without an information dump. Too little information and the whole story falls flat because the reader is spending too much time trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Aguirre nailed it.
If people were removed from civilization for a few generations, we would be boiled down to our most basic roles like they did in the Enclave. Breeders, Builders, Hunters and 1 academic. Deuce is so fierce and she doesn’t really know much about the world beyond being a hunter and a member of the Enclave.
Here in the enclave, one didn’t prosper by demonstrating too much independent thought.
I re-read all of the books in the series whenever a new one came out, and still I did not get sick of them. Even though it is narrated by a 15 years, the story does not feel juvenile.
I lived in an enclave in which our oldest had seen twenty-five years. His face was withered, and his fingers shook when he attempted the smallest tasks. Some whispered it would be a kindness to kill him, but they meant they didn’t want to see their futures written in his skin.
I love that Deuce is so knowledgeable about some things but so naive when it comes to the “extras” in life. You know what I mean, right? Anything not required for survival.
“My body was a machine, plain and simple. I worked it to stay strong; I fed it to keep it running.”
The romance is innocent and subtle even sweet at times.
If you like the post-apocalyptic genre, this is a must read.
Point of View: First person POV, Deuce
Length: 252 pages
Price: $7.12 on Amazon
Foundation (Razorland, #0.5) 2 of 5 stars
Enclave (Razorland, #1) 4 of 5 stars
Endurance (Razorland, #1.5) 4 of 5 stars
Outpost (Razorland, #2) 4 of 5 stars
Restoration (Razorland, #2.5)
Horde (Razorland, #3) 5 of 5 stars