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.Like most of you, I have heard so much about this book I was itching to get to it. I had hives waiting for my chance to review it. *scratches* I finally received it and cracked it open almost immediately! Anyhoo... I will admit that it took me a while to get into the world that was created here. When Fade and Deuce were paired, I no longer had that problem. The world and the characters took off for me. I really (I hate to say this...) enjoyed the world that was utterly controlled by the "elders" of the enclave. People who rarely saw past their 20s. Everything was for the good of the Enclave so no one was allowed to question it. In one way you really could understand their thinking. In another, I know I wouldn't want to have to live in that fashion. As assignments are given, there is opportunity for Deuce, with Fade's encouragement, to see that things aren't as simple as they seem. Her world may not be all black and white after all. She begins to see the world slightly more like we might as outsiders. This is terrifying for Deuce, but she does not back away from the fear.
As things progress, Fade and Deuce are exiled to the surface which means certain death. Even though this world is extremely frightening (especially to Deuce who has never encountered anything like it) they are able to win a couple of friends and begin to look for true safety. However, Deuce is not convinced such a place exists, but is willing to give it a try. The rest of the story is left for you to uncover, but I will say one last thing... the ending is not as fulfilling as you might hope. There are questions that are left with out a conclusion. So therefore... I will *evil laugh* at myself. *sigh*
There are a few things I do feel I need to point out. Despite my love of the world and Deuce, I was not all that thrilled with some of the men in this story. Fade's character seemed oddly unbalanced. When someone basically blacks out when fighting and cannot tell the difference from a spar and the real fight, they aren't as connected to their feelings as Fade seemed to be. Granted I do believe he would be sensitive, but I don't think he would have expressed himself that well nor do I think he would be that calm. People like that tend to be quite angry. Also, we meet a character named Stalker. He was a leader but decided to travel with the party as an equal. His arrogance as a leader was absolute. I do not feel that he would as easily give up that power, even to save himself. True, it is another world than we currently live in, but I still feel that people would still be somewhat the same especially when time is spent surviving and not developing character. Despite these things I found incongruous, I still really enjoyed this book. I give it 3 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys zombie/dystopian books.
I was given this ARC as a part of the Book it Forward ARC tours and no compensation for my review was given.