Dark Eden by Chris Beckett tells the story of an alien, sunless planet called Eden and the 532 members of the Family who live within the Forest. The only source of light comes from plants and animals that have have evolved to emit heat and light, and beyond the Forest is the Snowy Dark, which no one has ever crossed in fear of its cold and bitter nights. The Family is content to stay within the safety and warmth of the Forest until one young man, John Redlantern changes everything. He and his friends abandon everything they have ever know to venture into the Dark. Dark Eden tells of their journey and how they discover the truth about their past and about their world.
Dark Eden is a strange and compelling novel and it has a lot of neat and unique concepts. One of the reasons I chose to review this book is because many of the reviews I read mentioned the book having unique language and being amazingly imaginative. Both of these facts are true. This novel really is beautifully written with rich language. In fact, there is a lot of vocabulary the reader has to learn along with the customs of this new world. It was actually quite fun to immerse myself in and learn about this new world. However, it was a little strange to me and I found it hard to get past that fact that so much emphasis was put into “slipping” which is the Eden term for sex. The characters in the book have sex whenever they want: young with young, young with old, etc. It was quite disturbing. When I requested to review this novel, I though I was getting a young adult novel, but I would never let a young adult read this book due to all the disturbing sex scenes apparent throughout. However, I would still have to say this book was extremely intriguing, original and imaginative and I would probably read the sequel if published.
Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest review.