Welcome to the CSFF Blog tour for The Enclave by Karen Hancock.
I was in the middle of reading another book when I received The Enclave in the mail. A tingle spread over my arms when I opened the Bethany House package. Literally. I was THAT thrilled to read yet another book by Karen Hancock. I have a mental list of my five or so all-time favorites and Arena is in that list. I thought about that story for weeks afterward. Arena impacted my thinking in a big way. At least for a time and then like always, I fell back into my everyday jostle. Blah, blah, blah.
While I can’t say the Enclave had the same impact on me personally, it was still an adventurous ride—love the science. Love the weird stuff. Karen is one of the few Christian authors in the CBA given leeway to write the stuff I love–though more are allowed on the scene every day (think Robin Parrish). Hence, I love Karen and will be a fan of everything she writes.
A nebulous review of The Enclave:
Lacy McHenry gets a new start on life when she accepts a research fellowship at Kendell-Jakes Longevity Institute. And who can blame her? She made a mistake and married the wrong guy who pretty much destroys her dreams until this golden opportunity. Her job at the institute turns out to be working as the “frog girl” wherein she cares for frogs and other yucky creatures (I think) for the real scientists of the institute. But she hopes this is only the grunt work that every new comer must endure, thus proving themselves to the powers that be because whatever complicated science degree they possess isn’t enough.
Lacy does her grunt work alone in the middle off the night – or at least when she’s the only soul around, which of course, begs for trouble. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that. But I admit, my own characters do things I wouldn’t be caught dead doing—hence I have no adventurous conflict in my life—at least nothing like what Lacy faces—a freak of nature human who looks strangely familiar even with frog legs hanging from his mouth. Big trouble happens and Lacy is hurt. But the entire incident is covered-up and Lacy is purported to have suffered a breakdown of the nervous sort. She almost begins to believe it herself. . .until. . . she does her lab work alone AGAIN and faces the scary freak again. I’m thinking Lacy is still making a lot of mistakes in her life. But don’t we all? So I identify easily enough with begging-for-trouble Lacy.
Let’s back up. After her first run in with Frogman, the romantic interest appears on the scene. Dr. Cameron Reinhardt proficiently takes care of an injury on Lacy’s arm then, because of the blood, has a flash back. Dr. Reinhardt suffers from PTSD, though no one should know because his military mission was supposedly erased from the files. Throughout the story, his flashbacks increase and give us more insight into what happened to him in the past—a past that has an important link with the present. The blood, too.
I’ll talk more about Dr. Reinhardt, science geek turned alpha hero, tomorrow.
I was about to hit the PUBLISH POST button but remembered there are two stories that run parallel. How could I so easily have forgotten the poor New Edenites?! Forgive me. It’s been at least three weeks since I’ve read The Enclave, three weeks and three books.
We have Lacy and Reinhardt working at the institute, then the actual people of THE ENCLAVE who live in a dark underground world, a sort of Noah’s ark of the future (so they’re led to believe), because mankind has destroyed the planet making it uninhabitable. They are to reseed the planet at some future date. The people of THE ENCLAVE exist under a very strict religious order, one in which they aren’t allowed to question. In fact, New Edenite Zowan, must watch a close friend die because he questioned the truth. Andros is sent to the Justorium where he’s placed in the Cube of Discipline and punished. At first, I thought the group living underground was from the future, and I wasn’t sure how it all connected. Miss Hancock does a wonderful job of feeding us enough information to make all the connections at just the right time–slowly, so that we might begin to figure things out, but not quite. Not until the end.
In the meantime, you can visit Karen’s website here: www.kmhancock.com/index.htm
The other participants:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Heather R. Hunt
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson