Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Horde by Ann Aguirre

Hey, guys! So today we're reviewing "Horde," by Ann Aguirre. It's the last book in the Razorland Trilogy (starting with "Enclave"). It's a dystopian, post-apocalyptic book, one of my favorite kinds of YA, complete with badass protagonist, unique antagonist, a romance I shipped from day one, and an engaging, action-filled, fast-paced plot.

So, the cover: I preferred the cold dark shades of the previous books (blue and green) but the blood is a nice touch. I just wish it was maybe black with silver branches. Meh. I don't judge books that belong to awesome series by their covers.

The characters: DEUCE! I love you! Deuce grows even more during this book, although she doesn't actually get much time to, considering all the war-faring she has to do. Deuce is realistic and kick-ass at the same time, which is a feat for a YA character, especially a dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA character. She doesn't always succeed, she makes a lot of mistakes, and she's got so many flaws you can't help but admire the author for writing her. Also, the amazing parts of her character are absolutely stunning. As for Fade, I can't help but miss the Fade from the first half of "Enclave" - the Fade whose fighting skills were unmatched; the Fade who survived on his own for years and was an admired Hunter; the Fade who sometimes showed off just a little as if to say "I'm badass and I know it". He's still swoon-worthy and unwaveringly loyal and an amazing fighter, but still. I miss Fade underground. Stalker has improved a lot and shocked me a little with what he did, and Tegan has grown as well. She's independent and brave in her own way, and no longer relies on Deuce and the others to keep her safe. The surrounding character (especially the boy who carried the flag, I loved him!) were all well developed and round. The new character introduced were very impressive, like Morrow. This was some brilliant character writing.

The plot: the beginning and middle were about the same level as "Outpost," the second book. They weren't as thrilling and un-put-down-able as "Enclave," but they were engaging. I particularly loved Deuce's failures at what she was trying to achieve. She set out overconfident, but gradually and realistically achieved what their goal was. And then there was the last third of the book. It was absolutely stunning. It was chock full of action, extremely fast-paced, gripping, and I could barely stand to blink while reading it. I didn't put it down until I was done, and it reminded me why I love this series so much. And then there was the ending. It was beautiful and perfect, and I have a case of book depression (you know that feeling when a series you love is over and you don't know whether to laugh or cry?). While I was reading the epilogue, I wanted to shout (and I'll try not to spoil anything) "BELIEVE IT PEOPLE! IT'S ALL TRUE!" In any case, it was perfect. Not just the characters, this was some brilliant writing.

If you haven't started this series yet, definitely read it. Gabriel doesn't seem as impressed with this series as I am, though. It's not for everyone, but if you share the post-apocalyptic part of my taste in books, it will be worth it. What impresses me is how Ann Aguirre seems to understand how I feel about words and storied. Some of the things she said mirror my thoughts exactly. So seeing as I've been singing praises of this book, I'm sure it doesn't surprise you when I say, for this book and the series as a whole:

3.5 stars.