Note: I can’t believe I wasn’t impressed with Enclave when I first started this series! If I loved Outpost then I’ve LOVED Horde. I just read it in a few hours because I couldn’t put it down. Completely addictive. Now I’ll shut up and get to it.
When Outpost ended, Elder Bigwater had sent Deuce, Fade, Stalker, and Tegan to fetch help in the face of the mass of Freaks/Muties that had come to destroy Salvation. They were traveling to the nearest town, Soldier’s Pond, to beg for enough help to attempt to evacuate what townsfolk they could. Their leader, the colonel, grants them forty men and they hurry back to Salvation. The city is mostly lost, but they manage to save about fifty of the citizens by using the secret tunnel. It is a hard road back to Soldier’s Pond, what with the many wounded, a small force, and the innumerable enemy seeking them. Deuce and Fade are part of a rearguard designed to attract attention away from the townsfolk, among their comrades are Morrow, Spence, Tully, and Thornton, whom we will see again. They do manage to reach Soldier’s Pond, but not without losses. Once there, they tend the wounded and must integrate into society; however, Deuce is considered too young to join the militia and Fade will not join without her. Instead, they are influenced, through the threat of danger to their family, that they must travel to nearby Winterville for the colonel. Tired of being used, Deuce bargains that she will get to ask the colonel’s men to join her army to fight the Muties, among other things, if they do this task. It is the start of a new campaign, one to end the bloodshed and horror of the Muties and join together those who have a common enemy. It is not an easy road, as Deuce knows, but the added burden of leadership necessitates a new kind of self-sacrifice. Their whole world is at stake and Deuce has many battles to fight, one of which is romantically with Fade’s abuse at the hands of the Freaks. Will she succeed or will the maddened horde win out?
Dystopian fans, there’s a great read here! I was blown away by just how fantastic the ending to this series was. I definitely will be buying them all! I loved the shift in Deuce from being aware of ensuring her own survival to Fade’s, then to her small band, then to her new family, and finally to her company of soldiers. She grows up a lot over this series. I believe teens will identify with her identity struggles, her fierce fight response, and the protectiveness she has over the people she has come to love. The process of healing Fade is a lesson teens can appreciate too, as it takes patience and love to build relationships and heal the sick or wounded.
Readers should note that there is still much violence and a bit more sexuality in this book than the last two, but hopefully that will not deter any interested readers!