"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R Martin

05 October 2012

Review: Eden by Keary Taylor

Eve knew the stories of the Fall, of a time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. She's seen the aftermath of the technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter, able to grow new organs and limbs, how it evolved out of control. The machine took over and the soul vanished. A world quickly losing its humanity isn't just a story to her though. At eighteen, this world is Eve's reality.

In their Fallen world, love feels like a selfish luxury, but not understanding what it is makes it difficult to choose between West, who makes her feel alive but keeps too many secrets, and Avian, who has always been there for her, but is seven years her senior.

The technology wants to spread and it won't stop until there is no new flesh to assimilate. With only two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction. While fighting to keep Eden alive, Eve will discover that being human is about what you will do for those you love, not what your insides may be made of. And even if it gets you killed, love is always what separates them from the Fallen.

My review of Eden (4.5/5 stars):

Eden is a compelling tale of survival in the face of destruction and also a tale of hope, humanity and love in an empty, hollow world. Intriguing, thought provoking and completely captivating, Eden is an exciting read that deals with humanity, hope, destruction . Biblical references are also evident within the novel; the title, the name of the protagonist, the fall of humanity and the blossoming garden of hope tended by the survivors of Eden. I personally found these aspects of the novel fascinating and intriguing and I loved how the author intertwined such biblical references with science fiction and apocalyptic images. Well written, realistic and frightening, Eden is a dystopian novel that had me hooked and I read every page desperate to know what awaited Eve and the survivors next.

Eden was not only an excitable read, fast paced and full of anticipation, it is also a thought provoking read as it deals with the destructive nature of humanity in their thirst for knowledge, power and control. The rise of the Fallen and the struggle of the remaining human beings signifies the downfall of humanity as we know it, as their sinful actions leads to the creation of destructive cybernetics eager to wipe clean the surface of the Earth and leave no trace of human kind. The garden of Eden in this novel, is not only a source of food but is also a symbol of hope, survival and rebirth; of society and of the human race. Humanity is paying for the sins of humanity and as a consequence of their greed the surviving members of Eden are faced with suffering and destruction. The story made me stop and think and wonder what the future of the world and humanity holds. It is frighteningly realistic.

A slow burner, the story took a while to get going but after a few chapters I was completely gripped. Taylor’s writing is so realistic that I felt as if I was suffering and struggling to survive with Eve, Avian and the rest of the survivors of Eden. As I turned each page I followed Eve and the group on their journey towards surviving the Fall and attempting to destroy the evil Fallen. As the Fallen get closer to Eden and the threat of extinction lingers in the air, the story becomes more fast-paced, making Eden an exhilarating, exciting and nail-biting book to read.

One of the things that was slightly frustrating at times was the love triangle, an almost old and tired cliché found in countless novels that is more annoying than endearing. Yes, the love triangle in this book in particular had me frowning in exasperation at times as in an apocalyptic world filled with deadly Fallen, Eve is worrying about something as trivial and selfish as relationships and love. On the other hand I also found the use of a love triangle in the novel an understandable plot device as the story is based around the survival of humanity in the face of extinction and emotions are sure to be all over the place in such a situation. I believe that the quotation from the novel, “If love dies, that's when we've all truly died” completely emphasises the story in general and the struggle of the inhabitants of Eden against the Fallen. Emotions are part of being human, it makes up who we are and without love and feelings we are hollow just like the Fallen, the emotionless cybernetics in the novel. The Fallen are sterile and empty, unlike the surviving human beings of Eden who are full of feelings and emotions with the possibility of rebirth, revival and procreation. All in all, despite the frustrating aspect of the whole Eve, West and Avian saga, I found the use of a love triangle a clever plot device that helped the whole story come together. Also, to say I was pleased with the outcome of the love triangle in the end is a bit of an understatement, as I was just so happy when the story concluded and the relationships came together like I had hoped.

Eve is strong-willed and tough, a true survivor who has adapted to her surroundings despite being so young. I empathised with Eve’s feelings throughout the novel especially her confusion. She is only young and finally learning about relationships and love and she feels completely confused about both West and Avian. Not only does she have to deal with them she is also confused regarding life in general; her forgotten past, her uncertain sure and her existence. I enjoyed the evolution of her character throughout the novel as she slowly became to learn about her past and find her true self. Her journey of self discovery was both emotional and inspirational. I thoroughly enjoyed Eve as the main protagonist of the novel.

The two individuals caught up in the confusing love triangle portrayed throughout the novel is West, a friendly stranger who is instantly interested in Eve and Avian, the quiet and protective medic of Eden. West, despite being untrustworthy, is friendly and compassionate with a cheeky attitude. There is an aura of mystery that surrounds West’s character; his past is unknown to us and he is extremely secretive. Instantly attracted to Eve, he brings out her passionate side and makes her feel alive during a time of suffering. This liberation of emotions and passions evidently emphasises West as symbolising freedom; from herself, her emotions and her confusing past. I enjoyed West’s character and he helped us see the soft, passionate side of Eve instead of her tough side. Then we have Avian. Avian is one of my favourite characters in the novel. A heroic member of Eden he constantly stays strong despite suffering heartache and sacrifices his freedom (what is left of it in a Fallen world) for the greater good of Eden and the survival of humanity as a whole. Throughout the novel it is just so obvious how he feels about Eve, and I just loved how caring and protective he was in regards to Eve.

The Fallen were believable and terrifying killing machines who terrorise Earth and its inhabitants who will stop at nothing to devour everything in their path. Hollow, emotionless killing machines devoid of a soul, the Fallen are cybernetics hungry to create more Fallen and destroy the human race. What was scarier than the Fallen themselves was the values they embodied; the values that humanity embodied before the Fall such as greed, dominance, corruption etc. They also represent the bleak future of humanity and the complete extinction of the good of humanity; love, family, friendship.

Eden is a bleak novel that is also full of hope. An emotional read it takes you on an amazing journey of self discovery, danger and anticipation. Clever, intriguing and exciting, Eden is a dystopian novel full of action, suspense and danger that I would highly recommend. Anyone who loves dystopian YA will devour this book with pleasure and it is a nail biting read with realistic characters who you will come to love and care for, in the face of destruction and extinction. It is a must read! 


  1. Sounds like an awesome book becca!

  2. the blog looks good and yep, very long review! lol


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