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Saturday, April 1, 2023

REVIEW: The Eden Compound, by L. Blaise Hues

Star-student Kathryn Speer has her future all planned out until Shardul comes to the school. Since she’s competing with him for top marks, she can’t decide if she should despise or date him.
When Kathryn’s rich uncle extends an invitation to study genetically modified tigers at his compound, Kathryn sees it as an opportunity to impress Shardul and give her a leg up on college applications.
Then Shardul goes missing, and her GPA suddenly loses its importance as she considers using her skills and the tools at The Eden Compound to find Shardul and bring him home.
But once she’s there, she realizes he’s not the only one in real danger.

Creepy and science fiction. This is a definite win. A bit of romance, but done in a way that isn't either over the top or needlessly intense. It's, well, innocent romance, which we need to see more of in YA lit.

Kathryn (not "Kat," not ever "Kat") is top of her class and focused on staying there. She's likeable, especially for this former AP student who chose academics over other teenage life in school. Shardul comes to town, and she suddenly has not only a rival but someone she is frankly entranced by. The feeling is clearly mutual, but Kathryn is fighting it. Both are incredibly relatable, even for the non-nerdy sort. Other characters weren't as lovely--Kathryn's uncle who is clearly demented. Bryce who I have a love-hate feeling about. 

The story itself is believable. Genetic modification science, remote location, people getting too involved in their own science and damn the consquences. This is a Michael Crichton story for the modern YA reader. 

I only had one moment of confusion or "um..wait..." There's a scene where Kathryn is talking to Shardul and Bryce enters the room. It's written as if she hasn't seen him since arriving on the island. Yet, she's had multiple encounters with him specifically, one just a few pages before. It's an editing glitch. 

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from the author through the BookSirens author/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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