I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
Click on cover to visit book’s page over on Goodreads.
On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.
The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.
But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.
Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty–rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.
Of what I read of it at least. I am really surprised I made it a whole 54 pages into this book. It was a struggle to get that far. This book was not for me, but keep in mind this review is only my opinion. If it sounds interesting click on the link about and give the first chapter a go and see if it is something that will work for you. The book synopsis sounded very promising, and I even glossed over some of the review on Goodread before requesting it. I wanted to like the story, but in the end I just couldn’t go on. The name of my blog is ‘Read What I Like’ for a reason. If I don’t like it I’m not going to finish it, and I did not like this book.
I could tell around page 10 that this might be a DNF, but managed to stick it out to page 54 where I got to a scene where an older woman was having sex with a 15 year old boy and then turned over and offered to breast feed him. That’s it. Everybody out of the pool I’m done. Not only was it repulsive to me, but so not something I want to read…or have in my head….ever. It is also wildly inappropriate, I don’t care if they are on a different world or what, I’m not reading about statutory rape. I could overlook all the inbreeding, they are humans marooned on another world, but I’m sorry that was a step too far.
Another aspect of the story that did not work for me was the super super annoying use of constantly constantly repeating a word in the text. It may have been how language had changed for these humans, but it did nothing but interrupt my reading flow. The characters also used a juvenile form of swearing where they would say a name and then either dick or tits. It came of childish. I am actually surprised the book is an adult title, a lot of the text was pretty simplistic and came of as JF or maybe YA. I was looking for an adult sci-fi book and this just didn’t come across to me as one.
In the short amount that I read there was really only one chapter that I found interesting. It was the one where one of the elder’s that remember’s stories from Earth was sharing them. It was interesting to read about what he thought of things he had never seen or experienced. If more of the book was like the writing in this chapter I would have stuck it out longer or perhaps even finished it.
From what I’ve read of the reviews the book does get better, but I just couldn’t stick it out and wait for that to happen. I can handle sex in a story, and I can get used to strange language/terminology, but it was just too much. The characters didn’t keep me interested enough to overlook all that I found either inappropriate or annoying.
Have you read this? Did I give up too early, should I pick it up and give it another try (not that I will, but you can try and convince me)?