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The Enclave (NewCon Press Novellas Set 1) by…
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The Enclave (NewCon Press Novellas Set 1) (original 2017; edition 2017)

by Anne Charnock (Author)

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2511607,452 (3.3)7
Member:Jaylia3
Title:The Enclave (NewCon Press Novellas Set 1)
Authors:Anne Charnock (Author)
Info:NewCon Press (2017), 72 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Enclave by Anne Charnock (2017)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2977240.html

A very nicely done, sad story about migration, exploitation and growing up in a flawed near future England. A story for our times. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 11, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“The Enclave” by Anne Charnock
As young adult dystopic fiction goes, “The Enclave” is standard. We have two points of view through which the novella is focalised and their lingual space does justice to the writer’s abilities: the adult thinks like an adult, in complete sentences and the child thinks like a child in fragmented sentences. We are introduced to a world in which ecology is relegated to roof tops, industry grimes the streets below and the un-modified people inhabit these outskirt slum towns while the elite modified people inhabit the cities. There is a very clear juxtaposition between the privilege of the city people who are at the same time trapped by their enhanced biology and the struggle of the slum people who are trapped in a cycle of survival, but who can exercise radical freedom. Despite these challenging underpinnings, the novella is lack-lustre, it felt too short, even for an instalment in a series. On finishing my copy, I considered that I had received a teaser, but I have since come to realise that this seemingly unfinished work is the story in its entirety.
Despite having access to the point of view of the protagonist, Caleb, it never seemed that his motivation was established, which is why I previously referred to radical freedom. In the context of radical freedom his actions make sense, instead of feeling like the narrative was rushing to a conclusion without reference to the development or history of the character. Likewise, Ma Lexie, the second focaliser, is inconsistent: is she neurotic, vulnerable or a villain? Perhaps the author is attempting to undermine narrative authority and introduce a level of distrust, which later feeds into the interaction between Caleb and his erstwhile fellow-fugitive, Odette. Again, this trust/distrust dichotomy is inconsistent. I wanted to like this novella but found myself having to re-read sections that did not make sense, though some were later explained. It was impossible for me to believe the characters and the narrative dragged. There is a vague feeling that the author is attempting a young adult homage to Margaret Atwood’s “Maddaddam” trilogy, but it did not hit the mark. ( )
  literary.elitist | Jun 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
4.5/5 stars

The Enclave by Anne Charnock is an excellent short story (Too short! I wanted more). Charnock builds a highly detailed picture of a not-too-distant future world which intersects advances in bioengineering and technology (eg neural implants) with human complexity (refugees, poverty, human trafficking, refusal to assimilate, etc). It's a not too rosy picture of the future, and entirely plausible. The characters are well-developed and you can't help liking them, or at least sympathizing with their lack of choices. I found myself caring for the characters and the story stayed with me long after I finished it.

Summary: Highly recommended to readers of dystopian fiction (eg Wind Up Girl by Bacigalupi).

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book via LibraryThing in exchange for a fair review. ( )
  SukiSu | May 7, 2017 |
Strange and dangerous though its world might be, I was fascinated to be back in the technologically advanced, genetically enhanced, climate challenged future Manchester that Anne Charnock first explored in A Calculated Life. In that book the main character is Jayna, a simulant or lab created human who has been completely bio-engineered to have beyond genius level intelligence so she can process huge amounts of data for her employer, but in this novella we get a look at lives on the far other end of the human spectrum.

Caleb and Lexie have both been deemed unworthy for the cognitive implants that most natural born people receive to enhance their abilities. They eke out a living in the Enclave, a violent, gritty slum community far from Manchester’s hub. With a nod to current events, Caleb is a young illegal immigrant who had to flee Spain when climate change rendered his home virtually unlivable. Caleb and Lexie work together, but though they have a stronger bond than normally found in subordinate-boss relationships, the nature of their reality makes it hard for them to trust anyone.

Charnock writes what I think of as science fiction for grownups, stories in which realistic (if often futuristic) characters and thought-filled themes are as important as her high tension plots. While The Enclave isn’t exactly a sequel to A Calculated Life, those who’ve read the first book will recognize Jayna and her coworker Dave in a brief encounter they have with the characters in this novella. Even Dave’s bees make an appearance.

One thing left to explore in this world is the lives of the elite--the natural born (not lab created) humans who have been equipped with cognitive implants. They have best jobs and the nicest homes, but I wonder how life in this tenuous world would feel to one of them.

I received a complimentary copy of The Enclave from the author, with no obligation to write a review. Review opinions are mine. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Apr 13, 2017 |
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