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Eden at the Edge of Midnight

(The Vara Volumes #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  95 reviews
There exists a secret realm outside our own, the original Garden of Eden, sealed from the rest of the world and populated with the fittest of men and women. A paradise that became ravaged by smog that choked out the skies.

Now the realm exists in darkness and its people need a champion, a chosen one to save them from the poison that cloaks the land and threatens to smother
Paperback, 348 pages
Published October 19th 2012 by EATEOM Publishing Ltd
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  182 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Robin (Bridge Four)
Buddy read with Athena, Alexa,Kat Stark, Annette and Anasylvia

2.5 stars

High point: Best Animal sidekick
Low point: Most awkward and least wanted H/h kiss ever!

I had a fun time buddy reading this with some of my favorite goodreads ladies. This book had so much potential for me and I’m pretty sure the author will figure out some stuff for his next book, which I will happily read because of Louis.

Louis the dinosaur/chicken looking animal friend with ears that do sign language and carries the Golden
Besides having a clueless, inexperiened, somewhat whiny brat of a hero in the form of 16 year old girl Sammy Ellis who has complexity issues, and who for almost all the length of the book doesn't do anything active herself but is more than ready to take the credit for the work done by others to help her fulfill the aim in the book, this book was actually quite fun to read!

The world building of the parallel realm of Perseopia (Eden) with its giant mushrooms, magis, sorcerers, warriors, crabmen a
Athena Shardbearer
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Group Read.

Robin's Review, Kat's Review, Anasylvia's Review, Alexa's Review

Review: Actual Stars-2.5

Man, this books started off pretty good. It had SOOOOO much potential, the world building was unique and different and the MC, at times, had such a great sense of humor, but the last 25% of the book I just didn't care anymore about her snide remarks and wanting her to resolve her daddy issues.

The history of the world they were in, and how it came to be was great.

Janelle Dazzlepants
Usually when I receive a book for review through Goodreads, there is a certain level of amateurishness (totally a word now) to the writing. While I'm able to see past it and appreciate the story, there's no doubting that the writing is not quite as polished as a bestseller that you'd pick up up at a major bookstore. I can 100% truthfully say that that is not the case with Eden at the Edge of Midnight. The writing is incredibly slick and polished, the universe so rich, vibrant and complex, the st ...more
Eden at the Edge of Midnight, is a fascinating fantasy about a girl named Sammy who finds herself transported to another realm...the original Garden of Eden, but this is unlike the Garden of Eden we have heard before; it is filled with evil, and dangers no one, let alone Sammy, could expect. To make matters worse, the realm needs the chosen one to banish the evil, but Sammy accidentally shut her out when she traveled there. The story follows Sammy's journey navigating this new realm, the evils w ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
While reading it, I was explaining this book to one of my friends, and I believe her reply sums up my feelings about it completely:

"sucks when the mc is ruining what sounds like a great fantasy"

Sucks indeed.

If I could describe this book in one word it would be "potential." This book had lots and lots of potential.

The world building is amazing. We get a complete new world, the Garden of Eden, separated from our world ages ago to keep it perfect. A sealed paradise.

But since nothing can be
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it

John Kerry has created an all new universe filled with lush and rich descriptions. – Abooktopia

John Kerry uses strong descriptive adjectives as he describes a magical vibrant world, so unlike our very own. A world filed with strange creatures and wonders. The Vara of Yima, the original Garden of Eden, is a secret paradise sealed off from the rest of the world, populated with the fittest men and women. A secret paradise that 150 years ago became ravaged by smog
Cora Tea Party Princess
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's fair to say that this book has a very mixed bunch of reviews.

But I definitely enjoyed it!

Right from the first page, I was sucked into the story. And by the end I was wishing there was more.

This was quite a fast paced story, with a very... Weird cast of characters. But then again, the world was pretty crazy.

The tension built and built and I thought the ending was incredible.
~ Rose ~ ☯Desert Rose❀
My Review
5 Roses

What if you found a way into a fantasy world you couldn't have ever imagined? Well, for Sammy Ellis, that's exactly what happened.

Thrust into a world stuck in twilight, constantly battling dark and evil creatures, Sammy finds she's supposed to be a champion the Vara of Yima has been expecting since before she was born, and bring light to the darkness.

Desperate to find a way back home, even though home isn't exactly great, Sammy finds unexpected help, in the most unlikely form imaginable. Cross
I loved this book!

Kerry has created a lush, rich and amazing universe that rivals all the likes; Oz, Wonderland, Labyrinth, etc. It was both beautiful and scary and had that touch of humor to the world, that silliness that provides the perfect blend to attract both adults and a younger audience, myself being the former.

I honestly, honestly loved it.

Guillermo de Toro should make this into a film - I'm serious, the world was just so lovely.

Sammy was your typical magically introduced character, but
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Before I start talking about this book, I want to just mention how great it is to get a review request from someone who has actually read my blog. And not just my how I review section but actually read my reviews, know my style and my voice and still want a review.

Like a lot of people I know, self-published books are always going to bring their own stigma and clichés. I guess they’re just like other genres in that sense (OK, maybe ‘genre’ is the wrong word…). With paranormal romance the heroines
Jeff Briel
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 13 above readers
Recommended to Jeff Briel by: MYSELF
Eden at the Edge of Midnight

In exchange for the free copy, I'll write an honest review about it. Shoutout to Mr. John Kerry for giving me a signed copy of the book. :)

First, it wasn't the story's fault that I couldn't get into reading it. It was my fault because it turns out it wasn't book szn so I couldn't read a single darn. The book was fantastic. The writing, setting, plot, mythology, the creatures- everything! I love how descriptive it was! You can perfectly imagine The Vara of Yima cle

As the cover shows, Eden at the Edge of Midnight describes a fantastic and vibrant world, so different than our own, filled with strange creatures and other wonders, and I really loved how rich the descriptions were. The setting was creative, beautiful and scary even, and it made for a very exciting reading experience. I could picture it all in my head and I loved that feeling - discovering this world step by step, with the good and the bad, with what makes it unique and fascinating.

The stor
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm always catious, when it comes to receiving books for review. Definitely not because of the stories, but because of the writing style.
In this case, however, the writing style was simply amazing! But I will come to that later on.

Eden at the Edge of Midnight contains a world full of imagination. The whole fantasy aspect was elaborate and very intriguing. It was obvious that John Kerry put a lot of effort in creating this world and that is always something I appreciate!

'''You aren't the chosen
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was so entertaining! When I was done I ran straight to Amazon looking for a sequel. Imagine my sorrow to find there wasn't one (yet?). I wouldn't have torn through the first one so fast, had a I known. But it was just so good! Please let there be more of these great characters and this amazing world forthcoming, Mr Kerry.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
I'm giving this five stars the second time around. I think last time it was four. I really enjoyed re-reading, because I apparently didn't remember as much as I thought! The author has put out a revised edition where he has cleaned up some dialogue and toned down Sammy's "immaturity" a bit. I commented in my first review that I didn't find her annoying, but apparently some people did. I liked her a lot in my re-read. I was also a bit clearer on how old the two main men were, which made things ma ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*I recieved this book through a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads and I thank John Kerry for having a giveaway for this book*
What first caught my eye was the cover of this book. Beautifully drawn, with looming mushrooms and lurking crabmen. What originally came to mind looking at the cover was "Alice in Wonderland" because of the large mushrooms and strange creatures on the cover. Well let's just say that even after reading the description and finding out it was roughly about a ruined version o
Tracy Mcallister
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Eden at the Edge of Midnight is really well written. The atmosphere of Perseopia is beautifully described by the author as he leads the reader through mushroom forests, lavish palaces, stark cities of smog, as well as dozens of other interesting places. The characters are well written and he keeps you guessing on who's side you want to cheer for. I like a book like that. My only complaint is the end. John Kerry, you better write a sequel because I feel this needs it. That's all I will say becaus ...more
Alyssa Greatbanks
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It took me a bit to get into this book, maybe a few chapters, but after you start getting used to all the new things this world has, it becomes such a great, epic book. I was told that this book is the first in an upcoming series. So, saying that, I will DEFINITELY be reading future books in this series.

Overall, this was very well written, the characters were interesting and easy to identify with. The world this book took place in was very fleshed out, and you could really picture what was going
Caz (littlebookowl)
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it
3 1/2 Stars :)
Rosemary K
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Samantha has a stalker who isn’t who she seems. When the old lady gives her a bracket to keep safe, she sets in motion Sammy’s amazing adventure. She travels to another world. Where they say she’s the chosen one. As Sammy struggles to survive, she has two rescuers. They are - Mehrak and Hami. Can she trust them? Samantha is a strong character. She’s wise beyond her 16 years. How she adjusted to her strange new world made for exciting reading. I enjoyed learning about Perseopia. The people, the p ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll get this right off the bat Louis is the best sidekicked/animal friend/whatever you want to call him. I love the idea that he communicates through sign language, and I kind of want to live in a golden egg on his back. I love the world Kerry creates in this novel in that it is different from what I have read in other novels. I was really drawn into the story from the beginning, but the more it progressed, I began to get bored with it. It felt like it started to take a while to get to where it ...more
Apr 08, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Ay yi yi.

Where to begin?

I received my copy of this book via Goodreads giveaway which has no influence on my review.

This is a YA fantasy, first in a series (currently a duology). I love portal fantasies (where the protagonist is transported to a world other than our own) as a general rule, but this one proved to be an exception.

While I saw potential (the author has a good imagination) in the story, the way it was told doomed it for me. Also, the main character (I had to look up her name because I
Like other reviews have stated, I liked and disliked Eden at the Edge of Midnight. I do like the premise of an evil Garden of Eden. I did enjoy the vivid beautiful descriptions of everything. It's lovely really. The plot is intriguing and entertaining. On the other hand, I disliked the main character. I don't think a child was the right choice for this role. Maturity would have been better. She's not believable. I wanted to know more about the other characters too. So, it's good and bad, but ove ...more
Awesome Indies Book Awards
Awesome Indies Book Awards is pleased to include EDEN AT THE EDGE OF MIDNIGHT (The Vara Volumes: Book 1) by JOHN KERRY in the library of Awesome Indies' Badge of Approval recipients at

Original Awesome Indies' Assessment (4 stars):

If one were to take the Chronicles of Narnia (take your pick which one), Alice in Wonderland, and then add in a dash of Stephen King, and put the whole thing in a blender, you'd come close to having Eden At the Edge of Midnight, the first bo
Lauren Stoolfire
I received a free copy of Eden at the Edge of Midnight from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rounded up from 2.5 stars.

The original Garden of Eden, the Vara, was sealed from the rest of the world and populated with the best of the best. Unfortunately, 150 years ago it became ravaged by smog that blocks the sun. Now it's stuck in a permanent state of darkness and the people need a champion to save the realm from the deadly smog. But they end up with Sammy instead. She's decidedly not
Lisa Ann
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Adult, Fantasy Fans
Recommended to Lisa Ann by: Goodreads, First Reads
Eden at the Edge of Midnight is a surprisingly well developed work of fantasy the likes of which I have not encountered for some time. John Kerry has crafted an entirely new world and peopled it with wonderfully complex characters that closely rivals the works of Tolkein, Lewis, and as a more contemporary reference, J.K. Rowling.

Sammy Ellis, our lead protagonist, is like most young teenagers in our time. Her parents are divorced, she feels invisible most of the time, and doesn't seem to fit in
I've won this book on a giveaway. Thanks to John Kerry for sending the book.

Eden at the Edge of Midnight is a very innovative fantasy novel. I'm sure that it would deserve a 5-star rating if it were not for some usual paths of fantasy present on it.

Sammy Ellis is a teenage girl that doesn't seem to fit in. She starts to notice a strange old woman is following her. One day, she decides to find out what she wants. The old woman gives her a bracelet with a big green emerald and a dial. The woman, n
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing

‘Eden At The Edge of Midnight’ by John Kerry, is a well-written story full of adventure, action, and deceit. This book had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. There are many twists and turns. Just when you think you have it figured out, something changes. There is no second guessing when reading this book.

The characters are strong and well thought out. The main character, Sammy Ellis, continually tries to prove herself. She carries a lot of baggage within her, making her a
Gotherella BioVenom
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this and looking forward to the next book.

This is a fantasy book and it was a great read.
Easy to follow, the characters were interesting and makes you eager to learn more about them and their motivations.
I liked the absence of a romantic relationship, not that I hate that part of a storyline, but it's refreshing to have a plot that doesn't rely on love or lust.
In terms of character development there isn't a whole lot, but seeing as the characters were already well written and stro
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Read Eden at the Edge of Midnight Online

John Kerry is – to the untrained eye – an average, out-of-shape white dude, but depending on which day you observe him, in his head he could be taking down a cartel of drug dealers with his bare hands. On another day he might be force pushing a truck away from colliding with a baby stroller. Or, on yet another, he might be getting ready to dive into a teleph

Other books in the series

The Vara Volumes (2 books)
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