Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Age: JUV/YA 13+
In this sequel to The Compound, the Yanakakis family has gotten out of the underground dungeon their father Rex had them trapped in for six years after a fake nuclear attack. The Compound was destroyed after their release and their father along with it, or so they thought…
The whole family including Gram , Eddy & Eli the twins, Terese, Lexie, Lucas, Cara, Quinn, Finn the newest addition to the family, Els the nanny & housekeeper, Clea their mother, & Cocoa & Clementine the beloved family pets are all reunited at a new house on Mercer Island to escape the press. They are trying to return to normal, whatever that means now.
Phil the family & company accountant & Rex’s right hand man was supposed to take over the company, but shortly after their meeting with the lawyers he disappears & no one is sure what happened to him or where he could be. So in the meantime Clea has taken over & the twins are helping out & learning more about the business. Eddy doesn’t have much interest in the company, but Eli wants to learn more about their charitable causes. He’s especially interested in their continued investment in the Progeria Institute.
Progeria is an extremely rare genetic condition that causes rapid age progression from early in life. Most children with the disease live to be teenagers before they die from old age problems like strokes & heart attacks. The Institute is a place where patients can get treatment & be a part of the research for a cure. Eli isn’t sure why is father or the company would invest money in something so non related to their general field of software, so he goes to visit to find out more.
When Eli is at the Progeria Institute he speaks with the Director Dr. James Barkley. Barkley shows him around & tells him about some of their research that was unfortunately destroyed in a fire about 7 years ago & they have had to start over. This process wouldn’t be taking place if YK Industries weren’t funding their project. While there Eli meets a girl named Verity whose little brother is suffering from the disease & they become friends, Eli’s first friend since leaving The Compound.
So when the kids aren’t lounging around the house their mother has agreed to let them & their trusty bodyguard/driver Lee take them out on excursions in the real world. They go to places like a local aquarium, Costco, & a baseball game. The family tries to be as covert as possible but there is news all over the internet about people seeing them & it makes them a little nervous. While in the outside world they meet a teenager named Tony. Eli is suspicious of the boy, but Eddy & Lexie quickly befriend him & he accompanies them on several of their trips. One of these trips is a mini vacation to the families Colorado house before it gets sold.
However they don’t make it to Colorado…
They end up on a remote island near Hawaii & see someone they thought was dead, their father Rex.
It turns out that Tony is actually Phil. Rex has made that possible with his latest endeavor to save mankind. The fire at the Progeria Institute wasn’t an accident & before all was lost Phil stole the research for Rex and his new Compound on this island. Rex has used the research to develop a process to deage people making the younger, the Fountain of Youth. The plan was to get Lexie, Eddy, & Eli to the island then have Clea bring everyone else with her, or they would never be seen or heard from again.
The kids however have a different plan…
The kids however have a different plan…
After finding out about what their father is doing with the research they don’t think it’s a good idea to hang around for too long. Especially after Eli finds out what his father is hiding behind a big silver door with a keypad in his lab. The deaging process works on most people using a gene gun, the scientist & help at the new Compound are all people Rex has deaged & given a new life to. But when the process goes wrong, or the person’s body doesn’t take the therapy correctly they turn into shriveled little grey blobs sort of resembling babies. The “babies” are kept behind the special door in cribs & hooked up to machines to stay alive.
Eli & his siblings are thankfully not alone in their plan to escape from their father once again, Tony has decided that he’s done being Rex’s con man & he wants to save himself. He can drive the jet that took them all there if the kids can get on it without their father following them. So Eli sneaks into the lab to get the remote control that will blow up the island, much like the Compound. But Rex is waiting for him & in order to stop him Eli has to use the gene gun on him & deage his father. The process doesn’t go very well however & his father is turned into one of the grey baby things.
In a roaring ball of fire Eli barely makes it on the plane with the rest of them. Back home they tell their tale & Tony is kept on the company payroll so they can keep an eye on him. Eli gives the research back to Dr. Barkley along with the gene gun used on Rex & hopes he can use it to find a real cure before it’s too late. Then Eli & Verity finally get to go on the date they’ve been planning since their first meeting & the world is normal again.
Likes: S.A. Bodeen doesn’t disappoint as usual. This book however wasn’t as exciting as the first one, but still a good story with a happy ending.
Dislikes: Much like the yellow room & the Supplementals in The Compound, the room of creepy grey babies in cribs is freaky & quite unsettling.