This may be my first intelligent post in a very long time.
Omiholywhatthegosh that was an epicgoodscarygoreycrazyomygod book.
This might be my favorite futuristic dystopia to date. What stands out about this one is that it feels so real. Possible. Like this could actually happen. That's why it's so hard-hitting. This was one of those books where the characters were on one side displaying that sense of detatchment that I hate, where they're not really characters but empty stereotypes to make the story move. These characters can be compared to those of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies because although there are some aspects of them that are completely vague, the emotions and connections between the characters go so far beyond the plot that I do feel like they are real people. I'm looking forward to Ann Aguirre's next book, Outpost, which is apparently going to come out fall 2012 and will be the sequel to Enclave. Yes! Except I'll have to wait more than a year. Darn it.
I've decided that this isn't like the Mortal Instruments Series (Cassandra Clare) which I literally would (and do) recommend to anyone over the age of twelve and under the age of thirty with no strict values or religious views that suggests that a gay romance would offend them. See, in MI, there is something for everyone--romance, action, fantasy, badassery--the list goes on. Enclave takes a certain kind of person to enjoy: someone who can read about the blood and the pain and the gore and take it, that knows that we need these warnings and wants to see them, to imagine the worst and work toward the best. The people that see history as a warning, whether it be the real Holocaust of WWII or fictional events such as the "second" one mentioned on the first page of Enclave. Some people want to know what's next. Some people want to influence it.
This is going to go a bit off topic, but I see it fitting considering that this is what this story makes me think about and I think it also relates to what Aguirre wanted to say when she wrote the book. I cannot stand it when people tell me they hate history, that they do not see the point in learning about people and governments and wars that existed a long time ago when they could just "learn about now" or "learn about the future" or some other dumb excuse for laziness and ignorance. Sure, history class can be boring and it's true that we don;t necessarily have to know the exact ways that every single republic liberated itself from the Soviet Union. But we do need to know that the Soviet Union existed, and that it failed, and why it failed, because it was a bad time and we need to make sure it does not happen again. You want to leave history to the nerds and the historians? All right. You go play Angry Birds on your iPhone and I'll go decide how the world will be run, and then you can let me dictate your life and indoctrinate your children and strip you of your rights. Without the education to know why this is bad or what could come of it, you are a helpless victim of my power. We cannot predict the future, so only knowledge of the past can help us ensure that it will be bright. We're lucky that we live in a time and place of relative peace and prosperity. If we don't think about our future, it might not be so bright, and your descendants will have no one but you to blame for it. If you think that all that matters is now, and because you are lucky enough to be a human in America in the twenty-first century, you're selfish. Your ancestors and your descendants are slapping you right now.
I may sound like a hypocrite--yes, I love history, but what am I doing to help the future other than talk? I'm speaking to myself as well when I write this.
What would make me really happy right now:
-An alternative universe generator
Next book: I'm going to take a look around my library for that now, actually.
BTW: I almost tagged this Love Triangle of Doom because there are two guys and both kiss the heroine, but really, it doesn't apply. The romance in this book was beautifully subtle and did not ever get in the way of the plot; in fact, it worked really well to strengthen the bonds between the characters and make slow action parts more interesting. Not that there are a lot of slow parts. I can honestly say that the romantic situation is actually fairly original, maybe due to its low profile, but it is well written and is probably the first good aberration from the Love Triangle of Doom that I have ever seen in a fantasy, sci-fi or dystopian novel. Congratulations, Ann Aguirre, you have somehow managed not to disappoint the Manon.