It's been a LONG time since I've read this, but I think I'm going to have to re-read it before the sequel comes out. I remember LOVING this book. It's...moreIt's been a LONG time since I've read this, but I think I'm going to have to re-read it before the sequel comes out. I remember LOVING this book. It's so dark and oppressive, and definitely a rival to the Hunger Games for best teen dystopia, in my humble opinion. When I re-read this book, I'll give a more detailed review.(less)
**spoiler alert** I loved this story. I've seen some rather negative reviews of it for lack of world building, character building, the fact that there...more**spoiler alert** I loved this story. I've seen some rather negative reviews of it for lack of world building, character building, the fact that there is polygamy, etc.
There is one character that could have (possibly) used some more building, and that is Gabriel. I have a hard time buying into the idea that she's fallen in love with Gabriel. There are very little scenes that detail any interaction between Rhine and Gabriel. It leaves me with the impression that she maybe could fall in love with him, but only under the circumstance of freedom. And I think that it's a pretty big maybe.
On world building, during this particular book Rhine's world is entirely confined to her life in the mansion. I believe Ms. DeStefano does an impeccable job of making us feel, and even see in our mind's eye what Rhine is seeing and feeling in Vaughn's creepy but beautiful mansion. The horrors of the basement, the terror of the virus, and the conundrum that Rhine finds herself in when she starts having feelings for her sister wives and, eventually, her non-consummated husband. There is little said about the outside world, and I believe that we'll see more world building in the sequel, since she will be in the world outside of the mansion.
"And it only seems fitting that, in this moment of illusion, the words just come out of me. 'I love you too.'" Rhine clearly develops some feelings for Linden (her husband). They are overridden by her conscience in the form of her brother's voice telling her that she's too emotional. They are also overridden by her desire for freedom. No matter what she feels for Linden, her freedom, and finding the only family she has left is more important than anything.
The polygamy is more of a background feature. Rhine ends up fortunate in the fact that IF she had to be stolen and sold as a bride, she ended up with someone as kind and compassionate as Linden Ashby. He is, incidentally, completely oblivious to the reality of Rhine's situation. And even with his lack of knowledge and intuition, he is kind to Rhine, falls in love with her, and does not force her to do anything she does not want to do. Rhine mentions several times that she's more of a sister wife to Cecily and Jenna than she is a wife to Linden.
The Science has some holes in it, and I'm not a very scientific person. But, I don't think it's bad enough to detract from the story. The main scientific scruple I had with the story is the fact that the thing that causes deaths at 20 and 25 is supposed to be a genetic defect, but it's referred to as "the virus". Not detrimental to the story, just a minor oversight on the author's part.
I found this story compelling and could not put it down. I pretty much read it in one day. I found myself talking to the characters as I read the book, hoping they would do this, or not do that. I found myself wishing that Rhine would trust Linden more. I think if she had been careful and wise about it, she could have told Linden that she still has a living brother, and that she misses him. I have no doubt that Linden would have given her anything she wanted - even her brother.
I have much more that I could say about this book, but I'll end with saying that the polygamy aspect nearly deterred me from reading this book, but I took a risk and read it anyway - several times.(less)
Keary Taylor is a new author for me. This book is AMAZING. It does not appear that there will be a sequel, and a sequel is hardly needed. This story w...moreKeary Taylor is a new author for me. This book is AMAZING. It does not appear that there will be a sequel, and a sequel is hardly needed. This story was told in one brilliantly written book.
Eve, the heroine, is a beautiful, protective warrior who battles The Fallen to keep her people (Eden) safe. There's a reason why she's the most capable of protecting Eden. The reason comes to her through a betrayal, but only after meeting a boy (West) who makes her feel things she's never felt before. There are more betrayals to follow, and she is torn by choosing to have a romantic relationship with either West or Avian. They both tell her that she must choose one or the other, and they fight over her constantly.
While the romance is intense and will send flutters through your stomach, it is not the point of the story - which I sincerely appreciated about this book. It is action, tactics, and survival with some romance thrown in for a character who has never, EVER thought about romance in the first person.
There are two main things that kept me reading:
1. The 'how' of Eden continuing to survive and stay together 2. Who the HECK is Eve going to choose? I knew early on who I would have chosen, but she keeps you guessing through the whole book.
Eden is going to make my top three books of 2011.(less)
1. You can tell that this is a new author/debut novel 2. It's pretty difficult to stay interested at first...more~No Spoilers~
I will start with the negatives.
1. You can tell that this is a new author/debut novel 2. It's pretty difficult to stay interested at first, but I found a way around it. More on that later. 3. It's too short 4. It happens over too short of a time period
1. If you begin the book by imagining the narrator's descriptive lines as something straight out of a Tim Burton movie it makes it a little more beautiful, and it helped me keep interest long enough to get to the action. If you don't like Tim Burton, this may not help you.
2. Lots of romance from the "good" guy and the "bad" guy. This girl is desirable and doesn't know it because she's been told the exact opposite her entire life.
3. She has a solid moral compass.
4. I just couldn't put it down. Once it started moving it moved really fast. From a reader's perspective, it's a rookie mistake. From an aspiring author's perspective, it's really hard to set and keep the right pace, so I was a little more forgiving.
5. If you like X-Men or any of those Marvel/DC comics, I think you could enjoy this book. The author is very good with words, and I love the way she describes things. She doesn't spend much time in the super-hero world/mind in this book, but the book is clearly set up for a sequel/trilogy.
For me, this book was beautiful because it was Tim Burton meets X-Men with beautiful, descriptive narrative, and lots of action. Yes, there's romance, but there seems to be a lot of action/war-type violence. It's less about the romance (tho the romance is plenty steamy), and more about self-discovery and coming to terms with and accepting who she is, and that she has a purpose on earth - along with every other human being. (less)
Excellent writing, good story and world building. Good, strong characters. The world they live in is scarier than they ever realized. That's amazing f...moreExcellent writing, good story and world building. Good, strong characters. The world they live in is scarier than they ever realized. That's amazing for me.
Umh...what I didn't like was that Shay's character is a little underdeveloped. Maybe it's supposed to be this way, but it's like their relationship is based purely on chemical attraction. Cal shares that same type of attraction with Ren, but (I feel) Ren is the better choice for her because he has everything else in the world that she needs: parternship/leadership, a mutual long-standing care for the newly formed Haldis pack, and a strength and steadiness that Shay seems to SERIOUSLY lack.
Either way, we know very little about Shay, and what we do know proves him to be rash, and unable to see the bigger picture. I'm hoping she ends up with Ren by the end of the trilogy/series. I'm already in book two, so we'll see ;)
Also...if you don't like steamy romance scenes, this book is NOT for you. (less)