by Victoria Foyt
Release date: January 10, 2012
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 coloring 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.
Well that was…different. Though I’m not quite sure whether that is good or bad.
I really enjoyed the premise of this story. The synopsis is what initially drew me in. Though this story is much different than what I was expecting. For some reason, I was thinking it would be more like Tarzan. But its nothing like that.
In this world, everyone has moved underground because the suns radiation is so bad. “Why” the radiation became so bad is never explained, it just is. Because of this, white people, who are more susceptible to the harmful rays, are now at the bottom of the social structure. Personally, I liked this reversal. However, I know for a fact that I would hate to live there. I’m ridiculously pale so I’d be screwed!!
I also liked the beast. Not only he himself, but the idea of him. Again, I was thinking Tarzan so I was interested to see how he and Eden would interact. This had to be the part I was most interested in. I was both satisfied and dissatisfied when it came to this. Some parts where they were together were pretty steamy, but some were just awkward.
The world building really bugged me at the beginning. The second half she did a great job of describing the jungle, but the part of her imagined world she didn’t execute very well. Yes, I get there are caves and that they live underground but not much else. When it comes to world-building, I’d rather have to many details than to little. In this case, it was the latter.
Also, I thought the entire world went underground. No. While I understand her world, what happened to the rest of the world? Did all of them go underground? Did the rest die off? Or did they survive above ground?
Also, the action scenes lacked direction and detail. I was confused through many action parts, especially when she's actually in the process of leaving for the outside world. That whole part was well…confusing! When I read, I like to see it in my head. Therefore, I need details and direction. This book lacked that leaving me dazed and confused. I had to rely on the dialogue to get me through.
Eden also bugged me. I felt bad for her because of all the prejudice she faced, but there were plenty of times where she acted just plain idiotic. I often wanted to just smack some sense into her!! There were way to many times, especially when it came to the romance, that she would realize something, would almost act on it, then do something stupid, and return to where she was before she came to the realization. So…pretty much her epiphany was pointless. It really really really irritated me! There were plenty of times that she acted selfishly. Though she does redeem herself at the end, but it took waaayyyyy to long.
Another bad thing about the lack of descriptions was the fact that I could not picture what the beast man looked like. I need details!! That may be me, but, again, I like to picture what I read. I like to make a movie in my head! Yes, I love a good story and good characters, but when I don’t understand what they are doing, then I’m just sitting there confused. I don’t like being confused. At first I though he looked like an Egyptian god. Ya know, body of a human and head of a jaguar. But from the descriptions….I don’t know, I just couldn’t picture it. While she described it, I just couldn’t wrap my mind round it.
Overall, while I found the premise interesting, I felt the execution lacking. For me, I was just to confused due to way to few details. Although there is another book, I’m not exactly begging for it. However, I encourage you to give it a try. While this book may not have been for me, if you find the premise interesting and aren’t bothered by lack of details, then you might enjoy it!