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The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

21st August 2008

I’ve always loved a good “survival” story.  When I was younger it was The Boxcar Children, Swiss Family Robinson and My Side of the Mountain.  Later, it was The Postman; Into the Forest; Memory Boy; Tomorrow, When the War Began, and many others.  There’s just something about people defying the odds and thriving in the midst of tragedy and disaster that makes for great reading.  And the minute details about how the characters gathered food/made shelter/found clothes?  I love those parts!

The CompoundI was hoping that The Compound would be another great survival story to add to the list.  Well it did have the minute details about food, shelter and clothing that made me happy.  But the story overall wasn’t great.  In the face of a nuclear attack, Eli and his family are quickly moved underground into a state of the art shelter, prepared by his billionaire father.  After 6 years of living underground, Eli has grown from a scared 9 year old boy to a questioning teenager.  He starts to suspect that his father isn’t telling him the truth about everything, and goes searching for answers.  It’s an interesting premise, but the rest of the story is convoluted and strange.  The ins and outs of why the “bad guys” did what they did just don’t make much sense.