My name is Eve Hamilton and I live in Compound Eleven.
Here, the hierarchy of the floors is everything. And on my floor, we fight—which is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices.
All because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter.
Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different, maybe even kind…right before he kicks my ass.
He could be my salvation. He could be my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I'm ready to fight for more than my next meal. I'm fighting for my freedom. And this boy might just give me the edge I've been waiting for.
The Eleven trilogy is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 Escaping Eleven
Book #2 Unraveling Eleven
Book #3 Ending Eleven
This violent dystopian series starter by debut author Chisholm has a clear trajectory from the title forward Eve Hamilton, 16, is determined to escape brutal Compound Eleven, an underground city funded by the ultrarich after climate change laid waste to above-ground life on Earth. Faced with pledging service to a leading member of the hierarchical class-based society, Eve, part of the lower class, has resolved to flee and possibly even find her younger brother, cast aboveground years earlier as a violation of the compound's single-child policy. Though Eve was trained by her father to battle fiercely in the Fighter Bowl no-rules hand-to-hand combat for communal entertainment Eve is no match for upper-class Wren; despite the beating he gives her, he and Eve become close, complicating her choice to leave. Intense violence can be startling throughout, including frequent attacks and a "cleanse" of the society's destitute lowest class. Though Chisholm works within well-trod themes and plot points a sealed postapocalyptic society, star-crossed lovers, a strong-willed female lead she offers solid treatments of each through Eve's emotionally pitched voice. Teens who seek out tales with bright characters battling against the status quo won't be disappointed. Ages 14 up.