Author: Ann Aguirre
Publication: Feiwel & Friends (September 4, 2012)
Description: Deuce’s whole world has changed. 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.
My Thoughts: When this story begins, Deuce is a fish out of water. She should be safe in the community she and her friends came to above ground. But things are so different there. From being an adult and a Huntress in her former home, she is back to being a child here. She resents her new role and the attempts of her foster mother to make her more like a girl. She has no interest in the domestic arts.
At the same time the community is pulling her friends apart. Tegan is fitting in with the other girls, Fade won't talk to her, and Stalker is still hanging around her but she is starting to think that he is seeing a different future for her than what she wants. All of the kids are adjusting in their own ways to the settlement called Salvation.
Deuce doesn't let the small minded people in the community force her to be something she is not. When a chance comes up to leave the community for the summer to guard the fields where the community grows their crops, Deuce knows this is the job for her. Fade and Stalker also go along to help guard. Deuce and Fade resolve their differences and start dating. She even manages to convince Stalker that she only wants to be friends with him.
When Fade is stolen away by the Freaks that they are guarding against, Deuce and Stalker take off to rescue him. Along the way the learn some new information about the Freaks that could mean the end for the community. And the time spent as a captive of the Freaks has changed Fade in a way that Deuce doesn't know how to deal with.
I am eager to read the next book in this series to find out if Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan can find help for their community before it is overrun by the Freaks. This story was filled with adventure and harrowing episodes. It was also a chance for Deuce to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the different communities she has known from the underground community where she was born, to the wolves that were Stalker's community, and now to the civilized community of Salvation. All the different communities that exist after the apocalypse can provide fruitful discussion among thoughtful readers.
Down below, we'd called everyone the same--with the exception of the Huntress title -- regardless of what private parts they had. I wondered whether that made us more open-minded or less attentive to detail. Knowing she didn't like what she termed sass, I seamed my lips and waited for the admonishment that would follow.I got this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.