If only

32. Enclave – Kit Reed

I’m very interested in stories about boarding schools/academies/places kids are going to potentially be killed off. Enclave involves a large amount of rich, ridiculous children whose activities in the real world are akin to those of Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan – general sluttiness, drunkenness, mean girl social hierarchies played out in the press, and there’s the embarrassing royal and the boy who killed a man that was about to molest him – being sent to a former monastery in Crete by their parents because the world is supposedly about to end. They’re sending them there to “save them” and putting them under the control of other people who needed to escape the US because of their own crimes (some worse than others, mostly white collar stuff – malpractice suits, hacking). They seal the academy off from the outside world and of course it goes horribly wrong with some outside influence.

The main issue I have with this book is the use of multiple first-person perspectives to tell the story. I do this in my own writing, however, I stick by the idea that you need to pick a few major characters and stick with them so that the audience doesn’t feel like they’re on the tilt-o-whirl. Enclave has several chapters where the perspective the audience is reading is signposted and several chapters that are labeled with numbers and include multiple jumps between characters. There were many places I had trouble keeping the people straight.

Once the action got going it really got going though, if the reader had just been a little more grounded in the beginning in a few characters, it would have been easier to jump around later on in the action – it would have been more of a “oh, I remember this character from interacting with the other character I was comfortable with” instead of a “which girl is this again? The one with the truffles or the one who was eating the truffles?”

Thaddeus knows I would never send him to an academy of any kind, especially not one with dead monks in the basement.

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