Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
You know how it’s easier to discuss a topic you’re passionate about rather than one you really don’t care about? I feel that way when I write book reviews. It’s not difficult to express my thoughts on five-star books I love or even two-star books I didn’t like so much, but certain books that fall in the middle trouble me. Enclave is one of those books. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t really care..
The idea of an underground enclave working to survive against monsters/zombies (referred to as “freaks”) is interesting, but not mind-blowing when compared to the inundation of young-adult dystopian novels released recently. In fact, the world-building in Enclave is one of its weakest points. Just like the enclave does to Deuce, Ann Aguirre keeps readers in the dark regarding the details of the setting, so everything feels strangely distant. There was no explanation, no elucidation, and I expected more from such an intriguing premise.
I also couldn’t connect to the characters. I hate to reiterate, but I really didn’t care about them. The only character that showed some depth was Deuce, the reserved, strong-willed protagonist. The rest were too one-dimensional and fit into common character caricatures: the reformed bad boy, the weak girl in need of rescue, etc.
If after reading the book jacket of Enclave you find yourself interested in the story, I would recommend giving it a try. Perhaps borrow it from the library first, though.