Kim's Reviews > Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden by Kate Cowan
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really liked it
bookshelves: arc, read-in-2013, young-adult, reviewed

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I love discovering amazing new authors. It is one of my favorite things about book blogging and blog tours. I never know just when something I'm reviewing is going to knock my socks off. That's exactly what this book did to me. The concept was unique. The characters were interesting. The writing was excellent. I'm so pleased I had a chance to read and review this one -- and then recommend it to each of you.
"As far as I was concerned, the worst nightmares were not dreams at all, but memories, things horrible enough to have once been living nightmares. And that was exactly what this dream was - an awful memory of the day everything in my life went wrong. I had dreamed of the day the Catchers came."

"No one was really sure who the Catchers were, but I did know this: when they came - and they always did - they took children, and they killed anyone who got in their way. And once they came, your children were as good as dead."

Eden is haunted by memories of the day that the mysterious and deadly Catchers came after her family. She had broken the rules and left the house when they arrived. She met Will that day. He saved her life as the Catchers killed her brothers and sisters. Her parents lived and locked her and Will in a tower for their own protection. They've been there for four years. Her parents give them just enough food to keep them alive. They're left to their own devices in the tower day in and day out. Her parents leave for days at a time and it's then that Eden and Will sneak out into the world. But they always come back, even though Eden has the urge to run away. She wants more than this strange existence she's currently in.
"Nevertheless, as the years dragged by, something inside of me grew, replacing what had once been there. Like fingers of ice creeping over glass, the little warmth left inside of me was freezing away. I hated my parents for locking us here. I hated myself for staying. I hated the past for what it was. I hated the life I would never have. I hated this attic. I hated everything I had become, and the weakness in myself that I did not know how to overcome."

"That," he said, "was your first glimpse of what is to come. Everything is falling into place, right here, right now. This is where it begins, Eden. The ring is yours to keep. She will be your protector, one of your only companions in the difficult times that are coming."

One day when she and Will are out of the tower, the Catchers show up again. They can't escape. The Catchers take them to a strange island. The island is inhabited by other children about their age. From the adults in charge to the uniforms they're expected to wear to the schedules they keep, the book gives a hint of a dystopian society. Add to that some of the truly disturbing things they learn about what's happening on the island and I was completely hooked on the story. In addition to the horrifying things, there are also many magical things about this world. I was enraptured with it. The detail and world-building of this strange island were fantastic. The author did a fantastic job setting the stage in a relatively short book.
"But Will, where did he fit into the picture now? He had removed himself, or so it felt like. I missed him, the hollow ache in my chest reminding me of that with every breath I took. After so long together, I had always assumed Will and I needed each other. But here I was, without him."

As they begin to settle into their new lives and schedules on the island, Eden and Will start to grow apart. Eden feels abandoned by him and she doesn't understand why he's distancing himself from her, from their friendship. He's been the only person in her life for so long. She's hurt. I think she also begins to realize that her feelings for him are deeper than what she originally thought. To add further to her confusion, she starts spending a lot of time with a guy on the island, Tom. They have some chemistry and she seems interested in him, but the thought of Will is always there.
"The last thing in the wold I wanted was for Will to look at me as if I were insane, something broken that needed to be fixed. I wasn't sure I could handle that."

I loved the characters in this story. Eden and Will were obviously quick favorites. Eden is a great heroine for a series like this. I love a strong female lead character. There's a lot more to Will than meets the eye. I can't wait to learn more about his story, especially after several of the puzzling conversations in this book. Of course, it goes without saying that I need to know more about Tom and his connection to Eden and Will. Liddon reminded me quite a bit of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Despite a rocky start, Adriane and Dana have the potential to be good friends to Eden.
"For all of its flaws, for all that it was, undoubtedly, a prison... maybe this island had been my savior."

Confession time: I didn't realize this book was the first in a series. As more and more mysteries were presented, I kept looking at the percentage left on my Kindle app and realized there was no way everything was going to wrap up at the end of this book. Then I realized it was part of a series. The ending was pretty abrupt. I won't say that there was a huge cliffhanger, because that's not the case. I was just so wrapped-up in the story and the characters that I was shocked when it ended. But I think this novel was the perfect way to set up what I think might become one of my new favorite series. I'm looking forward to getting some answers in the next book in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 13, 2013 – Shelved
October 13, 2013 – Shelved as: arc
October 13, 2013 – Shelved as: read-in-2013
October 13, 2013 – Shelved as: young-adult
October 13, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed
October 13, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Alison Can you please post this review on Amazon? :)

message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Oops. I thought I had earlier. Done now. :)

Alison Thank you!! :D Wooh! I'm helping her get it all organized since it went live on Amazon.

Kate Cowan Hello! Since you enjoyed this book, I would be happy to send you copies of the next two books in the series free of charge in exchange for reviews. Please email me at if you're interested!!

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