Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she’ll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she’s cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%?
In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden’s colouring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she’ll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation—her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father’s secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm—and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land.
Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity’s last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson
Unfortunately, I didn’t like Revealing Eden as much as I would have expected. It had an okay beginning and managed to deliver just the right amount of information at all times. It also had a pretty interesting storyline but the main character was extremely disappointing and my inability to like or connect with her affected my overall enjoyment of the book.
In Eden’s post-apocalyptic world, her white skin means she has a much lower resistance to the ‘Heat’. It also means she is less desirable as a mate and if she can’t find a partner soon, she’ll be cut off from all resources as she will no longer be considered to be contributing to humanity. The story focuses on difficult issues such as race relations in such an environment and as well as what people might do in desperation. Overall, it was an extremely interesting concept.
The book was written in the third person POV and possessed a somewhat erratic flow. At one point, there would be a nice flow of action and at the next there was a bombardment of the protagonist’s thoughts, worries, opinions, which significantly slowed down the story.
Furthermore, I did not like Eden. Not in the slightest. While being portrayed as smart, at least in the scientific aspect, she was unbelievably naive and judgemental and her attempts to be ‘brave’ or ‘determined’ came across as being terribly misguided. As the book went on, I constantly felt the need to shake her vigorously in the hopes that she would just open her eyes already. I especially wished that she would stop vacillating between attraction/lust for and an intense loathing/hatred of a certain male character. Quite frankly, it went on for much too long.
A number of other things about Revealing Eden, jumped out at me. Firstly, why are so many parents in young adult novels portrayed as being so formal and stiff, especially with their children? In the book, Eden’s father’s behaviour came of as forced and unrealistic even though their lack of closeness was supposed to be a key part of the story. Next, Eden was a huge hypocrite. She was constantly blaming the Coals for her problems or for looking down at her based on her skin but she did the same, refusing to see any good in any of their deeds and always putting a negative spin on anything they did or said. What’s worst is that she didn’t even realise she was guilty of it until near the end of the book, which was disappointing.
In the end, I’d have to give Revealing Eden 2 out of 5 stars. My inability to like or connect with the protagonist was a major factor in this but as seen, I also had other, smaller issues with the book that just added up.
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Disclaimer: This e-galley was received from the publisher, Bookmasters, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.