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Mother of Eden

(Dark Eden #2)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,812 ratings  ·  209 reviews
“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power.”
Civilization has come to the alien, sunless planet its inhabitants call Eden.
Just a few generations ago, the planet’s five hundred inhabitants huddled together in the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, afraid to venture out into the cold darkness around them.
Now, humanity has spread across Eden, a
Paperback, 468 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Broadway Books
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Mother of Eden certainly wasn’t a bad book, not bad at all. Still, I have to say it’s a far cry from the first book, which I absolutely adored.

First, it’s important to know that Mother of Eden isn’t exactly a direct follow-up to Dark Eden, taking place roughly five or six generations in the future. Be aware that if you are thinking of reading it as a stand-alone though, you’ll miss out on a lot of the background informatio
Algernon (Darth Anyan)

The sequel to one of my recent favorite SF debuts proved to be mildly entertaining, but failed to recapture the enchantment and the thrill of discovery that attracted me to the setting in the first place. I liked the original idea of writing a "Lord of the Flies" set on a distant planet with an incredibly rich and alien biosphere, adapted in particular to a dark and mostly frozen planet (bioluminescence, heat sinks dropped by plants into the volcanic core, etc). I also liked the extrapolation of
Althea Ann
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This is apparently a sequel to 'Dark Eden,' which I have not read. However, I felt that this book worked perfectly as a stand-alone - I didn't feel I was 'missing' critical information at any point.

'Eden' is a colony world - one founded by a small group who apparently stole their ship - the details are lost to history, and hotly contested by different factions of the inhabitants of 'Eden.'

The original colonists' descendants are severely inbred, and their way of life has reverted to a primitive,
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’d hesitate to call the ending of Chris Beckett’s ‘Dark Eden’ a cliff-hanger, but certainly it’s an ending that leaves you wanting to know what happens next. It was therefore somewhat disconcerting to pick up the follow up ‘Mother Eden’ to find Beckett intent on wrong-footing the reader. Yes, we do find out what happens next, but this novel is set hundreds of years after ‘Dark Eden’. All the original protagonists are dead, and yet the consequences of their actions have reverberated down through ...more
Steven Shaviro
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chris Beckett's forthcoming novel MOTHER OF EDEN is the sequel to DARK EDEN, which won the Arthur C. Clarke prize several years ago, and which I discussed on my blog. In that blog entry, I give a larger discussion and background of Beckett's work than I will provide here.

MOTHER OF EDEN is set in the same world as its predecessor: a "dark" planet, not circling any sun, warmed by geothermal heat from deep inside its core, and with the only light provided by the plants and animals who natively liv
Blodeuedd Finland
What to do when you crash on an alien planet and there is two of you left? You have a few babies, but hey what next? Yes, euww. And then 400? years later there are a lot of people on this planet, and they are all related. There are some major birth defects too, and those without them are treated better. It is a stone age society that in some parts have gone over to the iron age.

And it is a fascinating world. In the last book we saw how John Redlantern wanted to explore more of the world. Now 200
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
hell yea

starlight is my queen, everything she does in this book. HER CHARACTER ARC OMG GENIUS.

thats the review
TammyJo Eckhart
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you haven't read "Dark Eden" by Chris Beckett do not buy this novel; you will find yourself a bit lost and you really will not be able to appreciate how the world and the peoples in it have developed. In the first novel the focus was the planet itself -- how it differed from Earth, how is challenged the survivors, and how their situation drove them back into a primitive state. This novel is generations (unknown) in the future and we are focused on how different groups of humans have created v ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
While not as stirring or captivating as its predecessor, Dark Eden, this sequel still manages to be quite a read. I'm a sucker for religious allegories, for novels that map their own distinct personalities, landscapes, concerns and philosophies onto well-known religious figures, archetypes and situations. Starlight Brooking feels a touch underdeveloped, as a protagonist, prior to her narrative arc dovetailing with Greenstone's -- too much a one-note headstrong little sister (Beckett doesn't spen ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Mothers are all good but somehow low status whereas men have an overwhelming tendency to bullying, lying, slavery, mutilation, despoliation of nature, accrual of wealthstatus/armies etc. but it's all because they miss their mothers!!
Oh yes and wherever you go in the universe a jesus/madonna-like figure will arise to cure all ills.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Another absorbing adventure on Eden. At first I thought I knew where the plot was headed but towards the end things started to veer off in a different direction, and the ending isn't what you'd normally expect for this kind of story at all. Which I like a lot.
I've had some suspicions about the true nature of Eden since the first book, so fingers crossed I find out in the final volume.
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Set many, many generations after the first book, humanity has spread out over a much wider area and is not split into two distinct cultures - the followers of David and the followers of John. Both groups have developed along similar lines: developing hierarchical structures, feudal groups and even simplistic forms of currency. From a smaller group - a vestigial group of followers of Jeff - who still practice simpler ways of living - Starlight ends up marrying the future ruler of the one group an ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This sequel to the brilliant Dark Eden is set several generations later. The population on Eden has grown and spread, but is more divided than ever. The book focuses on Starlight, a young woman living in what is effectively a primitive community. But when she meets a remarkable man she ends up in the more developed area New Eden. The people there have metal but in most other ways they are living in pretty much a feudal system, where the majority have nothing and the rulers have everything. Starl ...more
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Dark Eden was one of my favourite reads of it's year of release, so I've been looking forward to Mother of Eden for a while.

It's set generations in the future from Dark Eden, where the descendants of the original inhabitants have split into various groups - some of which still live the simple way of life, with group decisions and little progress. Others have progressed further - mining metal and developing a hierarchical pyramid structure of leadership with set rules to adhere to.

The story focus
(3.75) This sequel to 2012’s Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Dark Eden sees Gela’s descendants splitting into factions and experimenting with different political systems. Starlight Brooking emerges as a Messiah figure, spreading a secret message of equality. Like in Dark Eden, the narrative alternates first-person accounts from all the characters. Earlier sections get bogged down in anthropological descriptions of societies and political systems, but when Starlight sets out on a fraught journ ...more
Johan Haneveld
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
9- It's an almost perfect SF-novel. Luckily by reading reviews on here I was already warned about the jump in time between the first book of the 'Dark Eden' series and this one, so I wasn't disappointed when the old characters didn't show up (expect in stories told by the protagonists). Instead of a small community of survivors banding together in a single valley, the people on Dark Eden have spread out over several large areas, and have even crossed the sea. Two cultures have arisen, one still ...more
Iris Schechter
Sep 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Before anything, note that I read the book in French, so translation quality might have an influence on my opinion.

That said, this is litterary murder. My eyes started bleeding at once, but I trudged on, confident that with such a good note on Goodreads it had to be worth the read, and I probably just needed to get used to it.
Plus the plot seemed truly interesting so I wanted to know.

Reaching the end of the second part took all I had... And being blocked in a train with no backup read. But I jus
Tom H
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mother of Eden wasn't a patch on the first book (Dark Eden), but still had redeeming qualities. The evolution of Eden and those living on it has been the best element of Mother of Eden, and the journey of Starlight as she travels the world to find out that the 'grass isn't always greener' held my interest. The story, unfortunately, tailed off significantly towards the end .. I was kind of left with that 'was that it?' feeling, as I got to the last page.

If you loved Dark Eden, then I'd recommend
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
It's been a while since I read the first volume in this series but that's okay because they are set far apart in time, the events of the first story being just talked about legends in this story.

I thought I could see where this was going in the middle but it surprised me a little, although not really in a good way because it seemed to peter out towards the end with an underwhelming and inconclusive finish that seems to be largely setting up the last volume in the trilogy.

The society formed from
Adrik Kemp
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A messiah story, reminiscent of Frank Herbert's Dune. The world and culture created combined with the voices and obtuse descriptions make this a fascinating series.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
After the interesting Dark Eden , I was looking forward to the sequel, Mother of Eden. I knew beforehand that it wouldn't be easy to live up to the standard set by Dark Eden, but I kept an open mind about the novel in front of me.

From the blurb we know that the story picks up several generations after the events in the first novel. Humankind has spread across Eden, divided into factions according to who had lead them after the breakup of the Family, so now we have Johnfolk, Davidfolk, Tinafo
Alicia Thompson
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ashley Tomlinson
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
First I would like to say that I did not read Dark Eden so because of that I tried not to judge this book so harshly. Even without reading the first book in the first series, I still really enjoyed this book. I didn't find myself too confused with anything that was going on other than remembering the very odd names.

Starlight meets a hot guy named Greenstone. He is in line to be the headman of his land across the worldpool. He choses Starlight to be his housewoman, naming her Mother of Eden. She
Sarah Heilman
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have grown to appreciate this series more and more as time has passed, and I think I enjoyed this second book slightly more than the first. The way that language has evolved in this world is so interesting, it really disguises how this series dives into the most basic tendencies of humanity in a thoughtful way. It finds a way to describe emotions in the most simple way possible while still conveying the meaning in a relatable way.

I loved seeing how the humans on Eden have tried to implement Ea
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
"Mother of Eden" continues the story of the planet of Eden, created in the novel "Dark Eden" by Chris Beckett. Reading these two books back-to-back adds interesting dimensions to the world-building and depth to the characters' back-stories.
"Mother of Eden" takes up the story several generations later when a number of family bands have dispersed across various habitats, using available resources and developing their civilizations in unique ways. These ancestors of a stranded couple originally fr
Rodrigo Acuna
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The present is always the present but the past is always changing.
Three generations later the story of humans in Eden continues with new protagonist and very different aims from the world we first encountered, some of them have discovered metals and some are big traders, with a form of money to make easy exchange for different technologies or goods, slavery and divisions of social casts are prevalent in some tribes, others try to hold on to their first aims but this world is changing fast fast.
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
This was an odd little duck. There were a few things that were just plain weird but it was all tied nicely into the world building. So it actually felt authentic, so I can't fault it for that. But really, these elements were just weird, the kind that made me grimace a little.

I also didn't like most of the characters for a variety of reasons. Mostly, it was that they didn't evolve. Even if I don't like them, if they move forward and change or learn, I feel some satisfaction. But there was none o
Anthony Bolton
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I did not even bother finishing this .It Felt preachy and deliberately and self consciously sociological in it`s plot and character development ; devoid of any well drawn or likeable individuals to identify with or even interesting scenarios to engage with in a gripping manner. And the background of Eden itself almost recedes into banality. The interesting language development -originated in the first book is sprinkled throughout but sadly underdeveloped and at times almost abandon
Donald McEwing
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Superb world creation. The alien world of Eden is extremely well done, and the great use of language makes this book well worth the read. Unfortunately, the book relies on constantly switching the first person narrative in order to develop the plot in different locations. While the various narratives enrich the world creation and one main character, they often prove flat. Most of the minor characters remain undeveloped. They seem to be there in order to move along the story of the main narrator. ...more
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A continuation of Beckett’s examination of the perils of ambitious leadership, but where Dark Eden grips with sensawunda setting and character self-deceptions, Mother of Eden manipulates with a plot about the bad bad guys versus the good good guys. Fueled by provocative feminist and Marxist themes, it’s enough to cause fist-clenching and teeth-gritting, but, counter-intuitively, the inordinately self-aware nature of the characters fosters a lack of narrative maturity from the first page (making ...more
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Chris Beckett is a British social worker, university lecturer, and science fiction author.

Beckett was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford and Bryanston School in Dorset, England. He holds a BSc (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Bristol (1977), a CQSW from the University of Wales (1981), a Diploma in Advanced Social Work from Goldsmiths College, University of London (1977), and an

Other books in the series

Dark Eden (3 books)
  • Dark Eden (Dark Eden, #1)
  • Daughter of Eden (Dark Eden, #3)

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Ashley Poston made her name with Once Upon a Con, a contemporary series set in the world of fandom, and her two-part space opera, Heart of...
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“The way I figure it, here in New Earth, men's power has won out over women's power, just like it's done on Mainground. But men still fear women's power. No one ever forgets their mother's power to give them nourishment or withhold it. And men specially don't forget it, because they never grow into women themselves, and never lose a child's craving for the comfort of women's bodies.” 2 likes
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