My life has become so hectic lately, the only consistency in it has been the constant stream of books – audio books, digital books, adding books to my to-read lists…. Dark Eden, by Chris Beckett was a book I received from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review. I read this one in a few evenings on my Kindle.
In this story we’re introduced to “the Family” on an alien planet, forced to adapt in order to survive while waiting to be rescued by Earth. In the 5 generations since the first settlers, food sources have been depleted, old traditions have lost their meaning, and inbreeding has resulted in disabilities. What can one dissatisfied youth do about the future of his people? Because the main character, John, was about 15 years old, I kept thinking this was a Young Adult novel, but the content was definitely more mature than what I initially expected it to be.
I gave Dark Eden 3.5 stars out of 5 – I liked this unique story and would read more if there are sequels.
I knew little about this book when I started it, but as soon as I began, my curiosity kept me reading through the story very quickly.
I thought the degeneration of language was clever, had me saying things aloud as I read (“Secret Ree” …secretary, “Any Virsry …anniversary, and so on). The world building was well intertwined into the plot, introducing flora and fauna along with the story-lines, showing us how survival was possible for humans on a sunless world.
I was left with more questions than answers by the time I was done:
- How was it possible that John was the first to question things and want to quest out of the settlement?
- Why did the women who were warned about men and their reach for power do nothing to stop the escalation?
- Will sequels of the book show that the humans, in this alien environment, somehow mutate so that their inbreeding doesn’t render each generation more helpless?
- Would love to read a prequel with explanations from the original settlers.
Questions aren’t bad in this case – the book wasn’t a cliffhanger, but thought-provoking.
I jumped at the chance when I heard about Blogging for Books and will likely choose a new one to read this week. Books are like portable magic – I can’t get enough of them.
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