Author: Ann Aguirre
Details: Hardcover, 259 pgs.
Published: April 12th, 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
0312650086 (ISBN13: 9780312650087)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher, for review
WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
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.
I love dystopia and I’m eager to read just about anything of the genre. But for some reason, although I wanted to read this one I think I had become a bit worried that maybe it would be more focused on the Freaks and fighting them and wouldn’t have as much of a dystopia feel. I shouldn’t have worried because this book was fabulous!
The first half or so we see what it’s like in the Enclave. How the elders (who are no older then 25) keep everyone controlled by using the fear tactic. We watch as Deuce starts to realize that this method is not so good. We also see as her and Fade get to know each other how much they trust and depend on each other. Their romance is something that develops over time through the story as they go through one thing after another. It’s sweet and realistic.
The second half is different and they have to struggle to survive, but in a different environment. They meet new challenges but Deuce is amazed at all she has been missing out on in the Enclave where they’ve lied to her her entire life.
The world that was created was easy to imagine. It was a post apocalyptic world and I was just as eager as the characters in the book to find out what had really happened to everyone.
I thought the characters were all great. I love Deuce and how what’s ingrained in her makes her strive to be stronger, to be better, and to not be burdened down by sad and tragic events. But Deuce, while she see’s her softness for other humans a bad thing, it really is a good thing. And Fade sees that and helps her realize that as well. All the side characters were great and played their roles perfectly.
The only complaint about this book is really a minor one. I hate how they call the children brats. To me that’s a word to call a child who’s bad. You don’t just call ALL children brats. It bothered me through the whole book. I didn’t really think it was necessary. They could have just been called children just as easily. But like I said, it’s just a minor thing.
This was a very fast read. Without interruptions I could have easily read it in a couple hours. It was hard to put down because it had constant action and the need to know what happens next is strong. It ended very well with a decent conclusion so no major cliffhanger. However I’m very anxious to read more about Deuce, Fade and the others. So I’m hoping the next book continues with them.