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. 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 and battling the ferocious, zombie-like Freaks.
Down below, breaking the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade–her new hunting partner–doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary and secrets begin to uncover, it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best and Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth.
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.
Again with the first sentence, guys. I was born during the second holocaust. That got my attention. I immediately whipped out my phone, tapped the Dictionary.com app and favorited the word holocaust right after I figured out what it meant. I mean, it’s an awesome word. Holocaust. Love it. It’s an awesome, cool sounding word. Ultimatum, salubrious, mome, savvy, rebound and haptics are also those kinds of words.
Anyways, awesome book. Five stars. I was obsessed with this book for months after I read it. It just had that certain…charisma, you know? I love strong heroines, strong and sensitive. Kind and loyal. Brave and clever. Deuce had a chance to be all of these things. In some points in time, Ann Aguirre kind of dissapointed me by not using a situation to it’s full advantage, but it was okay. She pulled this off.
There were lots of strong characters in this book. I liked the design of the Freaks, a little zombie, a little brain, a little horror and a little science fiction all mixed together in a big bag to create a Freak. Not only that, but Tegan, Stalker, Fade and Deuce all gave me a reason to respect and love them, though I really didn’t like Stalker at first. Tegan is not necessarily the strongest physically, but she has a mental strength that keeps her moving forward. One of the things I love about this book is throughout the entire thing, Deuce is struggling with the question, what is strength and weakness? As a character, she changes a lot by this question.
“There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn’t always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness.”
A new world and lots of action. These were also reasons why I loved this book. Discovering a new world, a world on the surface where buildings lie abandoned, there’s something called a sun and the world is there for you. Seeing the ocean for the first time, could you just imagine that? I’ve seen it a million times, and still I’m in awe every single time I realize how amazing it would be to see it again–through fresh eyes. This book is heart-pounding and awesome. There’s clever notes to it and a smart narration. Loved it. For people who need instant satisfaction definitely. If you still want more zombies, there’s a review on Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry to come.
If you think Hunger Games, Walking Dead and Fallout, you’ve got this book in your head perfectly. Five stars. Remember. This book is worth giving a shot.
pg count for the hardback: 259