Rating: 8 out of 10
Summary: At eight o’clock in the evening, 24 December 2007, Pinewood Military Installation exploded. The blast ripped apart acres of forest and devastated the remote highland valley where the base was located. No official cause was given for the incident. Inside Pinewood were 185 male and female personnel–a mixture of scientists and soldiers. There were also seven teenagers. This is the story of their last day . . . (from book jacket).
Commentary: More evidence of my increasing laziness as the summer goes on–I finished this book and started the draft for this review on June 2nd, about a month ago. Goodness. Let’s see if I can remember anything about this story…
My first thought is that it was a fast-paced, high energy read. Had me hooked every step of the way, and not just with action and adventure, but very intelligent twists and turns. It’s meant for the Young Adult audience, and reads a bit like it too–I guess the dialogue’s just simpler, characters not as developed, and the romance is very tween-ish. Not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, but it was just something very obvious that was there throughout the whole novel.
However the Young Adult factor didn’t take away anything from the plot and action. It starts with the end: the destruction and assumed death of all the main characters (super intelligent genius kids held in a military installation), which can make you kind of think “Well, what’s the point of reading this novel if I already know what’s going to happen to all the characters?” However, Henderson’s unorthodox beginning merely draws you in, and makes you want to know how the characters ended up in their seemingly deadly predicament.
I can’t say anything else about the plot without giving away the whole story, but I would definitely recommend this. The author kept surprising me throughout the book–very well thought-out, and a good, fast read.