New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.
Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.
I read this series a couple years ago and remembered really enjoying it, so I decided to revisit it. This seems to be the year of re-reads for me, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. My original post about all these books are really spoilery (It was still the start of my blog days, I hadn’t fully figured it out yet), so I’m just going to start fresh.
I still really appreciate the originality of this dystopian, I feel it is more realistic in it’s segmented and fragile social structure. It’s twist with the “Freaks,” also gives us something not seen in much YA Dystopian with the mutated results of past issues – something I think we are seeing more in today’s entertainment in general. Aguirre also does a ton of research for her new societies and what a decimated city and its resulting occupants would look like, which I love – I’m always impressed by good research!
Aguirre’s characters are all different and interesting. Our MC Deuce is a very strong and sure character, who has always been curious. It’s interesting to watch her deal with the drastic changes she goes through, especially with her needing to learn a plethora of emotional signals and responses. Fade is a very dark character, he hides a lot under the surface and it’s hard to figure out who he really is, though it’s clear that he is very scarred emotionally from his past. Stalker and Teagan provide interesting qualities to both of our main characters, bringing out certain traits and providing windows into their personalities.
Though all the characters are intriguing, I did not love how Deuce was such a ‘teller.’ This lack of showing really annoyed me, and provided my main critique to the writer. Duce tells us how everyone feels and what they are thinking, which based on her emotional ineptitude I did not find believable. This book is also really focused on the world building aspect of the series, which I understand, but it was a bit anti-climactic for a first book. While the characters achieve their main goal, I felt like with so much going on in the background there was a better ‘cliff-hanger’ esque opportunity at the end.