I found this book in the kids section at the library, of course in the Italian translation. It sounded good, so I picked it up. I'm quite in a dystopian mood, and this book seemed a bit different from most, in that a) the main character is a boy; b) there is no love story or love triangle; and c) it looked like a stand-alone novel. Or at least, the book was originally intended as a stand-alone and works that way, but the ending is fairly open. While checking out the author's stie, I read somewhere that after so many requests from readers, she's now writing a sequel.
After a nuclear catastrophe, Eli's family has been living for 6 years in a luxury compound. Eli's father, a multi-millionaire, had the compound built and provided with everything his family might need for 15 years. When they entered it, Eli had just turned nine. Now he's fifteen, but still misses his gradma and twin brother Eddy, who didn't make it to the compound before it was sealed off.
The compund is like a golden cage for Eli and his sisters,. they have everything they could possibly want, but they cannot go out. Their father dictates the law and they're expected to obey. Eli is particularly bored by the monotonous routine and can't wait to be able to step outside.
However, it seems that food storage wasn't completey sufficient, and now supplies are starting to run out. And one day, a distraction from Eli's father hints at something new and unexpected. The compound, more than a shelter, now seems like a prison. And Eli is determined to find his way out.
I liked the claustrophobic feel of this book. I think it was very well done. And I also liked the ending, which was left open enough for the readers to imagine for themselves what they want to happen. The clash between Eli and his father is strong. It's a battle of minds, more than bodies.
On the other hand, I think that the so-called "Supplies" weren't investigated in full. It's not very clear what they planned to do with them. Or at least, one can imagine, but it's not explicitly stated. I suppose this is intentional; leaving it undefined makes it more horrible and cruel.
I'd recommend this book to lovers of dystopian fiction and a good thriller, without much blood and gore.
Cover attraction: it's dark and slightly creepy. Very fitting, to depict the door of the compound. On the right you can see the Italian cover. I think I like this one better. It focuses on the idea of escaping, even though the compound looks very big.