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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Title: The Compound
Author: S.A. Bodeen
ISBN: 9781606407837 (Audio)
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page #: 6 hour audiobook
Released: April 29, 2008
Source: My Public Library

"Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone.
Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can't get out. He won't let them.

Dad asked me if I wanted to see more of the Compound.
I didn't. We would have to wait fifteen years before it would be safe to go outside. Which left more than enough time to see the rest of the Compound. Our new world.

A world I would soon hate."
First Lines:

"Therese dribbled past me, switching hands as I'd taught her. A few months shy of twelve, she'd gotten taller in the last year, but still came only halfway up my chest. With her dark hair in the same braids she always had, the shrimp looked closer to ten."
Page 1

Thinking back on this book as a whole, there is one word that stands out: Distressing. Not in a bad-book kinda way... but in a "omg, can you imagine?!?" kinda way.

Eli's father has always been obsessed with nuclear attacks. He built a massive world for his family underground for just such an occassion. One night, they are forced into their new home - leaving two of their family members behind. Six years later, Eli is now a teen and has started to question the logic of staying underground. While his father tried to plan for everything, there are some things that aren't going according to plan and they are starting to contemplate drastic measures. Eli discovers that his father is hiding more than he thought...

I almost had a physical reaction to parts of this book. Namely, gagging. Seriously, there are some things about this story that are highly disturbing. It's the story about a family pushed to the edge - their food supplies are starting to run low, they're sure that they are the only ones left... just seriously dire circumstances. I actively gagged at the description of their solution to the no-more-meat problem... and their lack-of-milk problem. As I was listening to this book, there were a few parts where I had to stop and get ahold of myself before I could go back to it. whew... so disturbing.

That aside, the concept of being trapped underground with your family for fifteen years is intense. I think it would only work in the way it's described in this book - a gazillionaire builds this fortress that is stocked with everything you could possibly need or want. Otherwise you'd be miserable - and, of course, that's exactly what they were. But it's very interesting to think of the things you'd like to have with you if you know you'll be trapped for that long.

I was a little worried that there wasn't going to be much action in this story. I mean, there's only so much that these characters can do. But once Eli starts to figure out some of the lies his father told, it becomes nonstop drama. I could sort of see where this story was going to go - once one little piece fell into place. And the author did a great job leading up to the massive ending. I thought it was really well done and I was on the edge of my seat until we got there.

I saw that someone described this book as psychological thriller - and I agree 100%. If you love intense stories, I definitely recommend it for you. I'm not sure this story is for everyone, but I think those that try it will love it. I'm now tempted to check out the other stuff by this author. I do see that there is a companion coming for this book in the next year or so - I'll definitely be checking that out. I can only imagine where that will lead!
Other Blog Reviews:

Annette's Book Spot
Librarilly Blonde
Yorktown High School Book Reviews
Ivy's Reading Blog
Abe Blog 2012
Karin's Book Nook

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