Review: Enclave by Thomas Locke

Enclave by Thomas Locke
JD's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 bookmarks

I had never come across any books by Thomas Locke before, but when I saw the cover of Enclave and read the back cover copy, I was immediately intrigued. The cover design is fabulous as is the interior layout of the book. The publisher, Revell, has put together a very handsome looking volume here. But none of that really matters if the story doesn't live up to it. So let's get into that.

Enclave is a dystopian thriller set in an America far in the future. The country is a nearly unrecognizable version of our current society save for a few of the place names. Life in this world is full of perils and lawlessness is everywhere. Most citizens have reverted to primitive means of transportation and the barter system is the dominant means of exchanging goods and services. It is right in the middle of this chaotic world that the reader is dropped with the first sentence of this book.

Book synopsis, courtesy of Revell:
Nearly one hundred years have passed since the Great Crash. What was once America is now a collection of enclaves, governed at the local level and only loosely tied together by the farce of a federal government.
Catawba, one of the largest and most affluent enclaves in the southern region, is relatively stable. It maintains successful business relations with nearby enclaves. But when a new vein of gold is discovered beneath the feet of its citizens, it's only a matter of time before trouble finds them.
Now Catawba's fate depends on an untried young trader named Caleb. Could his plan help secure the enclave's future?
Yet Caleb is keenly aware that if his secret were exposed, he would not live to see another dawn.

We begin the story following a deputy sheriff named Kevin who is smuggling refugees into the more densely populated townships. Right away, I liked this character and his strong morals. He is a fascinating character and just as I was trying to wrap my mind around all the challenges of the story world, we get dropped into a rural setting and are introduced to Caleb, who is our main protagonist. Caleb is also an interesting character. He's very different from Kevin in almost every way, yet when the two of them cross paths the resulting story was one that just kept me turning the pages.

There are many different elements in this story that really kept my attention. The plot is quick-moving; there is continual action, and our main characters are seemingly continuously trying to evade capture with danger around every bend. That certainly was a factor that helped keep me glued to the book. But it was also because of a very interesting story element that the author introduced; that of certain characters being blessed (or cursed) with unique powers. Before you start thinking that means weird "woo-woo" magic, it's really not. But I don't want to say anymore so as not to spoil anything. Just rest assured, that there are explanations for these abilities given in the book.

Overall, this book was a real page-turner and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I will certainly be checking out other titles by Thomas Locke. I only docked the rating by a half point because of a couple of odd happenings in the last few chapters that just seemed a little illogical and unbelievable, even for this extraordinary world that the story is set in. Other than that, this is a fabulous book that I highly recommend to lovers of action and adventure. And while dystopian fans will no doubt enjoy Enclave, I don't think you have to be a regular reader of dystopian tales to still find it a great read.

J.D. Sutter is the producer and host of the Bookworm Banquet podcast and editor of the blog. He is the founder of Porchlight Family Media, a network of quality audio programming and review blogs based in Phoenix, AZ.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a free copy of this book for promotional purposes. This post contains affiliate links.

J.D. Sutter

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