I know there are more dystopian or post-apocalyptic YA series out there than you could shake a stick at, but if you haven’t tried this series before, now is the time. It’s dark and gritty, with great worldbuilding and solid character development. It’s engaging and moves quickly. I didn’t want to put it down and devoured it in one sitting.
Our lead character is Deuce, a 15 year-old girl, raised in an underground enclave after some kind of apocalypse. Life expectancy is short. 25 is considered ancient. And rules are inviolate. They exist to keep you alive. If you question them, you die.
Deuce has devoted her young life to becoming a Huntress for her people. Everyone has a job –unless they are a Breeder, a job she has no interest in. She is so good, she is paired with Fade, an older Hunter who came from outside the group. He doesn’t fit in, but he is strong and as she works with him, she realizes he is nothing like he seems. In fact, he helps her realize nothing is as it seems. When the only truths she’s ever known begin to topple around her, he becomes her lifeline to a world she is unprepared to face. They face Topside, together.
This is really well done, from the isolated world and rules of the enclave, to the flesh hungry Freaks that hunt them. We see everything through Deuce’s eyes, so what’s real to the reader changes along with her perspective. It’s fascinating to see how subjective truth is –and how fluid morality is as well.
I loved the bond that grew between Deuce and Fade. These two fill a space in each other that no one else ever has. I’m anxious about how things are left between. I worry about where the new members of their party fit in. –And speaking of which, that fluid morality thing really applies to Stalker, a gang leader who joins them later in the book. His history is a hard pill to swallow, as are hints that he could be a second love interest for our heroine. He’s been party to some terrible things that he accepted as part of his reality. So has Deuce. So where do we draw the line? That’s a question only you can answer for yourself. But it’s not a simple one.
This story has a definite ending, but there is clearly more story to come. I don’t think anyone would be satisfied stopping here. I know I’m not. I’m anxious to see what happens next.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Fewell & Friends