I knew what had happened that night. We had been prepared. Other kids got bedtime stories about fairies and dogs. We fell asleep with visions of Weapons of Mass Destruction dancing in our heads. . . Dad gripped my shoulders and pulled me away from the silver door, twisting me around to follow the rest of my family. What was left of it. I clung to my father's hand. He rushed ahead of me, his hand dropping mine. I lifted my hand to my face. It reeked of fuel. The corridor ended. We paraded through an archway strung with twinkling white lights, then entered an enormous circular room. The place reminded me of a yurt we'd built in school, but about 80 times bigger. The curved walls were made of log beams; the same type which criss-crossed over our heads in an intricate pattern. The roundness of the room was odd yet comforting . . . Dad flicked a switch. A plasma television dropped down from the ceiling, blank monitor glowing. "I figured we'd be in here a lot." The blue from the television tinted Dad's face and blonde hair in a garish way. He startled me when he threw his arms out to the side. "Cozy, yes? What do you think?" "It's not what I expected." Mom's voice was shaky. Dad rubbed his jaw. "What did you expect?" Excerpted from The Compound by S. A. Bodeen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Publishers Weekly Review
|Bodeen, acclaimed as the writer of such picture books as Elizabeti's Doll, turns out a high-wire act of a first novel, a thriller that exerts an ever-tighter grip on readers. Eli, the 15-year-old son of a billionaire techno-preneur, has spent the last six years with his family in the massive underground shelter his father has built, knowing that nuclear war has destroyed the world he knows--and killed his grandmother and his twin brother, who couldn't reach the compound in time. With nine years to go before the air outside will be safe to breathe again, the food supply shows signs of running out, but Eli's father has a solution--provided they jettison all morals and ethics. Repulsed and already suspicious, Eli begins investigating his father's claims, and sets up a family death match against a man who grows increasingly irrational and sinister but no less powerful. As far-fetched as the premise may be, Bodeen keeps Eli's actions true to life and uses clues planted fairly and in plain sight. The audience will feel the pressure closing in on them as they, like the characters, race through hairpin turns in the plot toward a breathless climax. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved|
School Library Journal Review
|Gr 7 Up-In a burst of panic about a nuclear attack, nine-year-old Eli, his sisters, and his parents move into an underground bunker built by Eli's billionaire father. It's an enormous complex, with rooms similar to those in the family's Seattle mansion. Only his grandmother and twin brother don't make it in. The first six years of the planned 15 have been fairly routine, but now some food has spoiled, and certain things just don't seem right, or even possible. Eli is starting to have doubts about his father's motives, explanations, and sanity. Readers might find the first third of the novel to be slow as a lot of time is spent developing Eli's character as a spoiled, self-centered child. There is considerable foreshadowing, and astute readers will likely figure out the ending. As the years pass, Eli is full of teen angst and anger that develops into a realization of what he must do in order to help his family survive. The novel becomes full of tension and suspense and turns into a true edge-of-the-seat thriller. There are numerous social issues addressed that could lead to great classroom discussions.-Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.|