Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age: JUV/YA 13+
This is actually the first book written by this author even though it’s the 6th one I’ve read by her. As usual she never disappoints and leaves you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
In this first book in a duology we are introduced to the Yanakakis family. Rex is the hard working, billionaire father, Clea his wife is the half Chinese, half Hawaiian musician devoted to charitable causes. They have four kids Eddy & Eli who are twins, Lexie the oldest adopted one, & Therese the youngest.
When the story opens they are all scrambling down the hatch into the Compound. Unfortunately the whole family doesn’t make it. Eddy & Gram, Clea’s mother, don’t make it in with them. They are running away from a “supposed” nuclear attack on their town, Seattle. From there we continue to story six years later…
The family has been inside the Compound for the past six years, Eli was 9 when they went in. They are supposed to remain down there for 15 years until it is safe to return to the normal world. The door will magically open when the time is right, or when the special code is entered. The only person who knows it is Rex.
The family has everything they could ever want. Awesome bedrooms, a movie theater, hair salon, gym, pool, state of the art infirmary, etc. They’re only problem…they are running out of food. They even grow vegetables in a hydroponic lab but that’s not enough. So Rex comes up with a plan to save them, it’s called the Supplementals.
The Supplementals are three kids, the oldest being 5, that Rex & Clea conceived as an emergency source of food. Everyone is against the idea including Clea, but what can they do with Rex running everything?
That is until one night Eli makes a discovery that will change everything…
He’s able to use his once useless laptop to get online! But how is that possible? They are three stories underground and surrounded by concrete & steel. Plus the world they knew was destroyed wasn’t it?
Eli is able to IM with his twin brother Eddy who tells them that everything is fine, he & Gram are safe at home & they thought the rest of the family died in a fire. Eddy also promises he’s going to help find them & get them out of the Compound. It isn’t long after that when Eli tells everyone else & they agree to confront Rex. Especially with their mother due to give birth to supplemental child #4 very soon. When confronted things don’t go as planned. Rex admits there was no nuclear attack and he did all this as an experiment. Naturally his family thinks he’s crazy!
As is turns out he’s not just crazy, he’s suffering from ergotism,a poison that is derived from ingesting bad grain like the rotten flour used to make the bread he loves so much & couldn’t give up. But good news is they have the cure in their fancy infirmary.
After making a shockingly quick recovery Rex starts trying to stop Eli from opening the hatch to the outside world but he doesn’t succeed. Turns out Phil the family’s accountant that also helps with Rex’s business knows about the whole plan! Escaping safely the family, including the supplemental children make it to the outside to see the stars again. Rex has a plan if the Compound becomes compromised, but does it include him living?
Likes: As always I love every book this author has ever written & this one was no exception.
It was a very fast & exciting read, I finished it in less than 2 days!
Dislikes: It’s a little weird…crazy father, possible cannibalism & incest…