The Compound

A Novus Octo Novel

Fiction - General
283 Pages
Reviewed on 07/30/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Sean Morrison has known he has wanted to be a writer from a young age. He considers himself a huge nerd with Star Wars, Superhero and Harry Potter expertise. Challenge him to a knowledge duel at any time. You can usually find him on the couch drinking a Chai tea and discussing the results of the latest Yankees game with his soon-to-be wife. Sean currently resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana with his mountain of DVDs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

The Compound: A Novus Octo Novel by Robert Sean Morrison is an exciting read, a combination of sci-fi and thriller that will entertain readers in a huge way. After a grueling Civil War, the country is divided into eight different sections, and into a class system comprising three distinct categories of people. It is in this setting that the story of Ethan Sharp, an exceptionally gifted boy is told. Ethan is a character with a keen sense of justice, and when he notices that Jarek Thorne, who heads the Medical Research Department in Section 7, may not be working within a strict code of ethics, he decides to do something. And what becomes of him from this moment will thrill readers immensely.

I enjoyed how Robert Sean Morrison used the first person narrative, and the voice comes across as clear and strong, absorbing readers from the very first page into the narrator’s viewpoint. The writing is crisp and tightly knit, laced with intelligent dialogue and literary elements that add beauty to the story. The Compound features very compelling and complex characters, and readers will love to follow the conflict between Jarek Thorne and Ethan Sharp. There is nothing predictable in the plot, and I enjoyed the way the author develops the conflict. The writing is suspenseful, designed to make readers guess in anticipation. I was curious when I read the lines from Robert Frost at the opening of this story, but it seems they translate the whole message and theme of the story: the freedom of walking the road less traveled. This is another good book from a skilled author, one I’ll recommend to fans of sci-fi and thrillers.

Deborah Lloyd

A new government, called Novus Octo (New Eight), exists after the United States of America’s Third Civil War. Because nineteen-year-old Ethan Sharp is a high-level scorer, he is assigned to a medical research facility in Compound 13. He reports to Dr. Jarek Thorne, who is a knowledgeable but sadistic researcher. Ethan’s world changes when Dr. Thorne’s latest victim is Ms. Fischer, the woman who raised him. Ethan was a “Labby”, or a lab-baby, meaning he had no biological family, but Ms. Fischer provided a home for him. Being a high-level scorer, versus a mid-level scorer, or a Lost, had some privileges. The assassination of Compound 13’s rational leader – and Ethan’s unplanned meeting of the lovely Claire - leads to a frightening and chaotic journey for Ethan in The Compound: A Novus Octo Novel by Robert Sean Morrison. Who to trust and how to survive become his main goals.

The action is fast-paced, gripping, and intriguing throughout this novel. There are many unexpected moments and nail-biting scenes, and the reader is engaged from the first page to the last. Robert Sean Morrison writes a harrowing, suspenseful tale in The Compound: A Novus Octo Novel. The writing is crisp, and the descriptions are so clear one can imagine life in this incomprehensible new world order. Dialogue between characters is authentic, revealing each character’s values and priorities. The relationship between Ethan and Claire is a central focus, and the reader sees the contradictions in her character and her actions. There are many twists and turns in the plot, and many of the puzzle pieces do not fit into place until the last few pages. An intriguing novel!

Benjamin Ookami

After a third civil war, Novus Octo became the new America. Communications and trade with other countries have stopped. One's living conditions are ceremoniously determined by intelligence tests. No one is allowed to enter or leave the country. Bred in a laboratory, Ethan Sharp lives and works in a Compound in Section 7. He makes a choice one day that comes back to haunt him. Dr. Thorne, a heartless and ambitious scientist who runs the Compound that Ethan has lived in all his life, tortures and maims innocents for the sake of science. One day, when a man chooses to speak out freely in public, he is assassinated. Imprisoned within the Compound is a young woman named Claire. Will Ethan allow Dr. Thorne to harm her?

Robert Sean Morrison's The Compound: A Novus Octo Novel is a dystopian science fiction read. Ethan Sharp has stood idly by as Dr. Thorne performed his heartless crimes against humanity. Never one to back down from a fight and hardly one to miss a target with a gun, Ethan has the type of appearance that muscular men might mistakenly scoff at. Ethan himself does not know the true limits of his fighting capabilities. Ethan might not be the most ideal action hero, but his persona makes him the perfect candidate to thwart the evil Dr. Thorne's plans. Showing readers how a seemingly insignificant action performed by one individual can inspire change on a massive scale, The Compound is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction.

Ruffina Oserio

The Compound by Robert Sean Morrison is a stellar work with a setting that lovers of the dystopian genre will be delighted to revel in. It’s the aftermath of the Third Civil War, and the United States has undergone tremendous changes — economic, political, and social — and the country is divided into eight sections, now renamed. With the breakdown of the country comes the stratification of people based on knowledge.

Ethan Sharp, an orphan, finds himself in a very privileged group, but his instincts don’t want him there. Working close to Dr. Jarek Thorne, his superior, Ethan gets to know prejudice and injustice from close quarters and, restless, he is determined to make change happen. Powerful events involving the loss of his caregiver and falling in love will thrust him into making decisions that will affect the lives of many people, and of the Novus Octo itself. Can he follow through with what he has started?

Robert Sean Morrison has written a very beautiful story around a compelling and interesting character, a story with many lessons for readers. Ethan Sharp is a character that readers will love to follow, the kind of man who stands out, a man with the courage to follow his heart in spite of the policies and common practices in his society. The plot is fast-paced and character-driven, well-imagined and executed with mastery. The writing is excellent, rippled with powerful and engrossing images. The Compound is a gripping tale, an exciting read with a great setting, exciting storyline, endearing themes, and great conflict.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

The world isn’t the perfect world it was supposed to be and, for Ethan, there is much to question about what happens around him. But he will have to fight back against something far greater than himself and far more powerful in order to do it. The experiments are wrong, but when he is handed the opportunity to make a difference and the chance to take on what he’s been waiting for, is he really going to take it? Or will he back down from the fight? The Compound by Robert Sean Morrison is only the start to finding that answer for all of them and for the future of the world.

The Compound is an intriguing book and it’s one that I’m going to be following up with because there are more books to come. It was really well written and the characters were ones you could relate to. Anyone would want to find out more about them and what’s going on, plus this book holds great things for any reader. It has romance, adventure, action, and plenty more throughout. I definitely will be looking for the next one and anyone else who reads it will be too. The Compound by Robert Sean Morrison is something that none of us hopes will happen to our world, but it’s something that we can see being the future of our technological advancements. It’s about a whole lot more than just Ethan or even Dr. Thomas, Claire or Dr. Thorne. It’s about the future of the entire world that they live in.