Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Compound

The Compound
S. A. Bodeen

My goodness, what a book! It’s one I’ve been eager to read since I encountered several blog reviews of it. It was a one-day-don’t-put-it-down read.

The worst has happened. Eli is wakened by his father one night and told that nuclear weapons had been fired on the United States. Fortunately, Eli’s father is a billionaire and has prepared for a nuclear event. He has had a shelter prepared for his family and he frantically ushers them into The Compound where they can safely live for the next fifteen years. In all the confusion, however, Eli’s twin brother and his grandmother have been left behind and there’s no opening the door to rescue them.

Fast-forward six years. Eli and his family have lived in relative comfort but know nothing about what is going on above ground – how much, if any, of the world is left. Although Eli’s father had seemingly thought about everything they would need, there have been some failures and it looks as though their food supply will not last the required fifteen years. His father has made some contingency plans for emergencies but nobody wants to even consider falling back on these plans.

Eli was the self-described evil twin before he entered the Compound and he’s so traumatized from losing his brother that he withdraws from the family. He cannot stand skin-to-skin contact with others and he sticks to a steady routine that helps him maintain his distance from them. He does worry about the dwindling food supply and is not happy about the contingency plans. When he discovers that the internet still works, he begins to question his father’s motives. As things become worse, Eli races to save his family before the unthinkable happens.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Revelations: A Blue Blood Novel
Melissa De La Cruz

Revelations is the third book in the Blue Bloods series. In order to review the first two books, let me quote from my review of Blue Bloods (the first novel):

When we think of the term "Blue Bloods" we think of those who are fabulously rich and can trace their wealth back generations. That is what the term means in this book, but it also means so much more. Blue Bloods are vampires -- have been vampires since they were expelled from the Kingdom of Heaven. They want atonement -- to be accepted back into Heaven. Until then they live their lives (or cycles as they are called) using their wealth to bring culture to and do good for others. The Metropolitan Museum of Art? Founded by Blue Bloods. You get the idea. Although there is a theme of reincarnation, the vampires are born human and when they are fifteen, they start changing. Schuyler has just discovered that she is a vampire, not an easy thing for her to accept at first. But worse things are happening. Vampires are supposed to be immortal, but somehow the young teenage vampires are dying and the older vampires seem to be in denial about what's going on. Schuyler is in danger and so she and a couple of her friends set out to figure out who is causing the vampire deaths.

In Revelations, it is painfully obvious who the evil ones are – Silver Bloods. Silver Bloods are vampires who prey on other vampires. Unlike Blue Bloods, Silver Bloods care nothing for atonement – they just want to win the ages-long war they have had with the Blue Bloods. What isn’t obvious is exactly who all the Silver Bloods are and it is that revelation at the end of the book that is shocking and leads one to count the days until the next book is released. From the beginning Schuyler is in danger, but while some of her enemies are obvious (she is, after all, in love with a man who is quite taken), others are (to use a cliché) hiding in plain sight. The climax takes place in Rio de Janeiro and is certainly shocking.

Overall, Revelations is a decent book. It moves quickly and I never guessed the ending. I would say it suffers from being a middle book in a series. It moves the series along, but there’s not a good resolution to any of the plot lines because there are more books to come. I read somewhere that Melissa De La Cruz is planning ten books in the series – I’m not sure her fans will be willing to wait seven more years to a conclusion.