The Compound vs Escape from Memory
Have what you’ve always known to be true really true? That is a common theme in The Compound and Escape from Memory. The main characters in both stories are forced to analyze what they know and have been told from the reality that seems to be presenting itself.
Both books jump right into the plot and drama of the stories. However, The Compound is more dynamic in its presentation. Nuclear war has been feared by many people over several decades and generations. So, it is understandable that families have designed survival plans…some being more extreme than others. Escape from Memory takes the silly ritual of hypnotizing one another at a sleepover and immediately uses the uncovered memories to establish outlandish fact seeking missions.
Both books establish an element of intrigue by presenting objects early in the story that a reader knows will be influential later in the plot. The Compound has “supplements” and the yellow door. Escape from Memory has a safe deposit box key and the absence of any modern technology within the home.
The question is how do you compare two books of a similar genre with equal twists and turns in the plot? While one novel maintains the element of surprise throughout the entire book, in the other, salvageable moments in the last third of the book make it an equal competitor.
In the end, we chose The Compound to move onto the next round. The conclusion of the book ties up loose ends in a dramatic fashion and leaves room for a respectable sequel. The reader ends the book thinking, but satisfied. Escape from Memory abruptly concludes the plot and leaves the reader with lingering questions. There isn’t enough to form the plot for a follow-up novel, but enough remaining to be disclosed that the reader isn’t nearly as satisfied at the completion of the novel.