Series: Eden's Root #1
Published by: Self Published on April 8, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.
Eden’s Root is a great example of a realistic dystopian book! I’m not a scientist, so I don’t really know how accurate or realistic the science in the book is, but the scary thing is that I can see this happening. I believed it. Eden’s Root is basically about crop deaths—due to food modifications or engineering plants or pesticides, etc.—and those deaths leading to a global food shortage, and eventually global starvation.
This book will make you think, it will make you scared, and it will make you realize that there is a lesson to be learned here and that all actions have consequences.
Eden’s Root also talks a lot about humanity. It was fascinating to see how the world changed during a global crisis. My favourite part was New York City! Basically the city became deserted, leaving only a few gangs. The gang environment was absolutely terrifying! ..but also quite cool to read about. I envisioned like.. a Batman kind of scenario. You know, in Batman Begins when Gotham gets closed off and all the crazy imprisoned people are roaming free and terrorizing the streets at night. But this time, there’s no Batman to protect everybody… Although, there is Asher. And he is sexy and has an awesome sword. But there are some truly devastating and scary scenes that will terrify you or almost make you want to cry. There’s a lot of loss, violence, desperation, and death.
I found the main character, Fi, to be extremely likable! She is truly a kickass girl. She’s only a young teenager but she carries the world on her shoulders and deals with this crisis extremely well. She trains for it, and then leads her family through it, promising them a brighter future. Although she is only 13 in the book (and ages a few years throughout the story), she often seemed much older. It really shows how much children can “grow up” more quickly in times of crisis. There’s not as much time to have a true childhood. People harden and have to adapt to handle the difficulties they face.
I only really had two issues with the book, both of which happen in the first half. I felt like the first half of the book had some awkward pacing. Basically the author would spend ages going over a lot of detail for one small event, then jump forward a few weeks and zoom in again, then jump forward a few months and zoom in again. Sometimes it was just hard to keep track of how much time had actually passed. I actually didn’t mind all the extensive detail (but it seems like that did bother some people), I just found the pacing to be weird.
My second issue is that I felt like we never saw much about the crisis before it happened. We get a lot of details about the starvation period (when Fi and her family are traveling and encountering violence or abandoned cities, etc.), but we never see much about news leading up to the food shortage. I mean surely there had to have been a lot of news announcements leading up to the point before soldiers were deployed to keep everyone in line, but we barely saw any of that. It’s almost like people woke up one morning and the president was like, “We suddenly have no food left.” I would have liked to feel like I saw the events coming from a “news” perspective.
A romance does develop in Eden’s Root and I loved it! It honestly took me a while to warm up to it because there’s kind of a scary age gap (15 and 19). My initial impression was something like, “Eeeehh, this is a bit weird,” and characters actually acknowledge that in the book (which is good — at least they didn’t act like it was normal). But I guess you have to really understand that Fi really ages beyond her years. Really, relationships are about sharing a similar level of maturity, which is why 15 and 19 is kind of weird, but 30 and 34 isn’t. Age is ultimately just a number. I think it’s more important to be in a similar stage of life and/or have a similar level of maturity, and Fi and Asher definitely share that. Fi might be 15 but she acts like a leader and I often found myself imagining her to be closer to 18 based on her behaviour.
My favourite part of the book was definitely the second half. The first half is good, but the second half will completely draw you in and keep you totally hooked. The author Rachel also sets a fabulous stage for the second book! I sense that there are some very exciting things to come!