Tuesday, July 28, 2009

THE COMPOUND, by S.A. Bodeen


by S.A. Bodeen

AR: Yes

Interest Level: Middle and Upper Grades

I listened to the audio of this one during a trip to San Antonio to go to the dentist. It didn't grab me right away, but at a point about a quarter of the way through, the pace picked up. I got to town early, and was so riveted by the story that I purchased it on my Kindle so I could continue reading after I got out of the car. While parts of the plot are not entirely believable, it was entertaining and it made me think, which is what any great book should do, right?

Fifteen year old Eli is the son of one of the richest men in the world, Rex Yanakakis. On Eli's 9th birthday, his father escorts him, his mom and their two sisters into an underground sanctuary where they are going to "ride out' the fifteen years of a nuclear winter that is occurring above ground. Everything happens so fast the night the war is to start, that his twin brother and his grandmother don't make it into the shelter before the huge silver door closes.

Once safely ensconced in the opulence of the underground compound, Eli tries to come to terms with the fact that he'll never see his twin brother or grandmother again, and he tries to adjust to his new life. When problems with the food supply start to mount, and their survival is threatened, Eli begins to suspect that all is not as it seems with his father...or their predicament. Is there really a nuclear war raging above them? If there isn't a war, then why would his father force them into solitude for fifteen years? Could it all be a lie? And if it is a lie, is Eli the only one who can guarantee the survival of his mother and sisters? I'd answer these questions for you, but then you wouldn't have a reason to read the book, now would you?