I flew through this series in just a few days. Read book 1 in one day, book 2 in one day, and book 3 in 2 days (but only because I was getting sick; otherwise, I would have finished it in just a day as well). Guys, this is now one of my favorite series ever. And I’m the kind of reader who is usually slow at following up on sequels. Even if I love the first book, it’d take me months or years before I pick up the next book in the series. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because sequels can be potentially disappointing? Or maybe there’s just way too many books on my TBR list. *shrugs*
But this series? Yeah, 1,2,3, boom! And I was done. It’s a post-apocalyptic world crawling with zombie-like Freaks, and you’d think that would be so cliched by this point, but no. There’s great characterization, excellent worldbuilding (in that it’s such a believable scenario), and the writing is tight. The main character, Deuce, belongs to the Definitely Strong Female Protagonist list, but Ms. Aguirre wonderfully balances Deuce’s strengths with her weaknesses so that we don’t just have a kick-ass protagonist for the sake of being kick-ass, but a three-dimensional character who has a lot to learn.
Book #1: ENCLAVE
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.
Book #2: OUTPOST
Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.
To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.
Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.
Book #3: HORDE
Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they’re not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born. She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn’t run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade’s love.
Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn’t been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight. Unless Deuce can lead them.
This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity.
About the Author:
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes all kinds of books, emo music, action movies and Doctor Who. She writes all kind of fiction in multiple genres, both YA and for adults. (Source: Goodreads)