"Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone. Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can't get out. He won't let them. "
Eli's father build the Compound to keep the family alive in the face of a nuclear winter. When the time came, Eli's twin brother was accidentally left outside to die when the door was locked for fifteen years. Six years after the family enters, things aren't as they seem and Eli starts to wonder if there's more to the Compound than he thought.
I had a hard time trying to mentally classify this book. It's not quite dystopian future, since for the most part we don't hear much about the world outside the Compound. Not really sci-fi. Not a mystery, though it has elements of all those. I might call it a thriller, because it really just grabs you and once I was about a fourth of the way in, it felt like I really needed to read it quickly to keep up the pace, and if I put the book down I might miss something.
The plot is simple, really. We're introduced to the characters and their situation and investigate along with Eli, the main character who is discovering that after six years of living underground, there's more going on than any of his family had realized. But don't think that simple is bad--the book is telling a story, and it tells it completely.
Details play a big part. We get a tour of the Compound and learn how it works, how the family lives, and so if the book has any shortcomings, it's in the epilogue where I felt there just weren't enough details. I thought that the book glossed over the family's reaction to the events that occurred and I thought some more explanation was needed about their environment. But overall, a very good book--definitely a library read.