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A Reader of Fictions: Eden - Guster

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eden - Guster

Eden's Root
Eden's Root Trilogy, Book 1

Author: Rachel Fisher
Pages: 346
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Author

Description from Goodreads:
The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.

First Sentence: "Thirteen gaunt faces stared at Fi Kelly with hopeful eyes as they lined up in the dusty farmhouse kitchen, cups in hand."

Review:
Eden's Root is unique amongst my Dystopian August reviews, in that it is the only indie title included in the bunch. I don't review too many independent titles, because of the possibility of author wrath, the often-terrible editing, and the fact that they're a bit more difficult to acquire (assuming you don't get one for review). When Rachel offered me a review copy of Eden's Root, though, I was happy to oblige, since she approached me very politely and with knowledge of me as a reviewer. Plus, it didn't hurt that I'd seen some positive reviews of her book already.

First, I feel the need to address the editing, which is generally my biggest concern when it comes to indie books. Eden's Root obviously received editing. There were occasional problems, but definitely nothing worse than I've seen in some big six titles. Both the writing and the editing passed muster with me. My only issues in that regard were some bizarre time jumps and the awkwardness of the parents being referred to both by their names and by mother and father in the third person narration.

The post-apocalyptic future of Eden's Root depicts a society stricken by famine. All of the genetic modifications to food and pesticides and chemicals have lead to global crop failure, as well as a significant upswing in diseases. Oddly enough, I've been slowly working through The Windup Girl, which has a very similar premise, although in a very different setting and group of characters. Futures like this are frighteningly possible.

Fisher wrote in the third person, following three perspectives: Fi, Sean and Asher. The bulk of the book follows Fi, though, even up to perhaps 75%. Given advance warning of the impending crisis by her scientist father, Fi throws herself into preparing for what comes. She learns to fight, to shoot and to hunt for food, both of the animal and vegetable variety. Fisher manages to convincingly make Fi sound like young teen she is (13 at the outset and 16 by the end), while also selling her as a very powerful, mature force.

Fi steps up to the plate and leads her family on a trek through the wilderness, heading for Eden, a community that supposedly could save them. She faces tough decisions along the way, especially since there's no telling if the community will let her family in. Despite the knowledge that more people could lower their odds of being accepted to Eden, Fi, a caring, family-oriented person, builds up a sizable group, a true Family. Though she planned not to, she just could not abandon the neighboring family, the Skillmans, such close friends to her family. As they travel, they add more people to the group.

Sean Skillman, Fi's best friend since infancy, has a huge crush on her. Enter romantic difficulties. Fi loves him deeply, but she cannot see him as more than a brother, and feels incredibly uncomfortable when he tries to broach the possibility of more. Further down the road, they meet up with Asher, four years her senior, and a love triangle is born, though not one that should make anyone throw their hands up and walk away in frustration. Fi's honesty and love for her Family keeps the situation from straying into melodrama.

However, the ending was so incredibly cheesy. I just need to mention it, even though I can't say why. I thought maybe that was going to happen and then it did. Otherwise, Eden's Root was a strong, people-focused post-apocalyptic story. I recommend it most to younger readers, as Fisher's story is not as dark as most and much less violent.


Favorite Quote: "'Love is like water,' Fi murmured, 'You can't squish it down and make it any smaller. No matter how you squeeze it,' she held Kiara close as her chest tightened. 'It just keeps busting out. So when you lose someone, you don't lose the love. It stays with you just as big in your heart as it always was. We may want the ache to go away, but we can't give up the love. So you live with both.'"

"Cause desperate times
Call for desperate measures
And I am not ashamed
Oh it took me a long time to come to this
And I have chosen my path
"

Remember: Every comment on a post during Dystopian August is an entry to win one of fourteen dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels IF you've filled out the form from this post.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Lilian said...

"I don't review too many independent titles, because of the possibility of author wrath, the often-terrible editing"
Ditto. Even though I am more forgiving with poor editting in indies. On the other hand when I catch basic errors in big six titles I'm like "HAHA! I CAUGHT YOUR POOR EDIT JOB!"
What usually bothers me is the typesetting and how too many words are squished onto one page to save paper or something (plus the tiny margins). Sometimes I feel like I'm reading off a medicine container.
Many of them also have covers that make me wince.

The Eden traveling/gathering people reminded me a bit of The Immortal Rules. Except without the zombies lurking.

"more people could lower their odds of being accepted to Eden"
I don't see the harm, you can just dispose people later on like a jerk, right?

I can't say I am interested in story about walking through wilderness though...I LIKE THE ZOMBIES!

August 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, when I find editing errors in finished copies from big pubs, I want to dance around going neener neener in their faces. I don't though. For a number of reasons.

I was reading a kindle copy, so printing wasn't an issue.

TRUTH. So many of the covers are horrendous. It's definitely worth spending extra money to hire a decent designer for those.

Well, WE could dispose of people later on, but she's nicer than us. Weird, right?

Zombies? There are no zombies. You must be thinking of something else.

August 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

I do...in my imagination. Mostly because they can't punch me in the face for it.

YES! They should hire designers, so future me can get a job...maybe.

What? Nicer than us? IMPOSSIBRU. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST..or the most selfish.

I was just saying that I wanted zombies. It would make a wilderness hike much more fun any day...in a fiction novel.

August 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

YOU DO DESIGN? I did not know this thing.

That's my philosophy. You don't survive by being nice. Though, to be fair, she's all survival of the fittest...except to the people she lets into her Family.

Oh. Well, go read Ashes. Or Tomorrow Land. Or The Other Life.

August 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Rachel E. Fisher said...

You picked my favorite quote from that book. There is one other that a lot of readers (including me) like, but that one is my personal fave. Thanks so much and please forgive the cheese. :P

-Rachel

August 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! I wonder which one that is. This one happened early on and I highlighted, and didn't find any I liked better on my way through. :) It's all good. This was in no way the cheesiest book I've ever read. My tolerance is pretty low.

Thanks for asking me to review!

August 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh the dreaded cheesy ending..i don't understand why editors, authors and pubs feel the need to tie everything up in a bow and package it for the reader..I love open ended endings and sometimes they are far better. This does look like a cool read and I will share your review with my niece.

August 20, 2012 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Alessandra @Out of the Blue said...

Cheesy ending. Eh, what can I say? I don't know anything about this book, but I'd consider it a positive thing that the author tried to wrap things off at the end of Book 1. I'm put off by first books in a series that just abruptly *stop*.

August 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

That really depends on the reader, I guess. Some would take a bow-wrapped ending over a cliffhanger any day. I think I fall more into the cliffhanger group, but I don't know.

Thanks for sharing!

August 21, 2012 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Well, then, this might work for you!

August 21, 2012 at 7:57 AM  

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