Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Enclave Series (Book 2)
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0312650094 (Mac Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0312650094 (Mac Teen)
Reviewed by: Kayla
Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.
To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.
Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.
Quick & Dirty: Deuce tries to find a place in a civilization that defines a girl the exact opposite of what she is.
Opening Sentence: I woke to the cold kiss of steel on my throat.
Deuce is getting used to village life. Well, as much as a warrior can get used to cooking, sewing and school. Her host family makes it easier to live in Salvation, but the other citizens still criticize and blame her and her crew for the increasing Freak attacks. With Fade ignoring her and Stalker’s ever increasing attention, Deuce wishes she could avoid the snickers behind her back at lunch and the constant stares in town. So when the opportunity to guard the spring planting comes up, Deuce jumps at the prospect, leaving behind the warm bed and roof over her head for the open skies and danger lurking at every corner. Of course this is supposed to be a simple guard shift. But the Freaks are getting smarter (if that’s possible), and they have their eyes set on the village. But Deuce will lay down her life for her new home, yet will that be enough to save everyone inside?
I’m not sure why I put off reading this book because it is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Deuce’s voice has grown since the first book: from full on warrior (or Hunter) to a softened fighter who acknowledges her emotions and accepts the kindness of others. And she may or may not understand the term “love” (or “sparks”) Momma Oaks keeps mentioning. The plot is never boring and the characters are all intriguing in their own way. Nothing about this book is simple, yet the writing conveys the most complex situations or feelings in the simplest terms (and this is not a negative.)
Yet despite the impending Freak attack arc, the characters are what makes this book a glass of water in a desert of boring books. Deuce has developed so much since the first book and she develops even more with her new environment and caring parents. Fade as usual doesn’t speak a lot, but when he does, he will make your heart melt. I have come to sympathize with Stalker. He has come a long way from the enemy in book one to a trusted ally in book two. But the love triangle! I love it because it’s not the usual heroine-can’t-decide-which-awesome-guy-to-choose. It’s always been Fade since the very beginning, yet when he’s not there, she trains with Stalker (which Fade thinks is her choice over him and encourages Stalker, but really she’s still Fade’s but he ignores her so it all comes full circle and AHHH so simple yet so complicated.)
Overall, I loved this book, beginning to end. The only thing I have to nitpick is the cover. Really, it’s terrible for the story. It makes the book so much more gruesome and unappealing than it actually is. WARNING: AWFUL, TERRIBLE, DESPICABLE CLIFFHANGER AHEAD!!!!! I just about cried how this ended. Just the (@^@(*%#^*#@)@$*% and all that stuff I can’t tell you about!!! Read the book. And you will understand the struggle.
None shall pass, I told myself. It was a vow in the silence of my own head. I shut out the external distractions, inner dread, and focused on my enemies. They were stronger than those I’d fought in the ruins, better nourished. They ate well in the wilderness, plenty of big, meaty game, which made me think they had another reason for attacking us. Certainly, we were a food source, but their hate-filled cries told me they viewed us as real enemies. It was a horrifying thought.
To them, we are the evil ones. We are the threat that must be exterminated.
The idea shook me so much that a Freak pushed me back, unbalancing my stance. Its claw racked a runnel in my stomach. I lost sight of the terrain around me and stumbled over the corpse of its fallen brethren. I landed hard, and my right dagger bounced out of my hand.
For this, I thought, I deserve to die. I’d failed in my training. Permitted my thoughts to break my concentration. The shame would kill me if this Freak failed. Nonetheless, I aimed my left dagger at its hamstring and sliced, driving it away from the killing strike.
3. Horde (October 29, 2013)
FTC Advisory: Fiewel & Freinds/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Outpost. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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