Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dark Eden: A Book Review


So far from the books I have reviewed for Blogging for Books* I have been striking out. Dark Eden by Chris Beckett had a lot of potential, but for me it fell flat.

The concept of these primitive people living on a planet with no sun, whom were decedents of Earthlings that crashed landed on the planet years and years ago was a cool concept. The initial plot really drew me in, but I was afraid that we were going to find out that these people weren't actually on another planet. I was really glad to find out that didn't happen, but I was still unimpressed with the ending. The book ends with a big question answered, but it leaves you with more questions. I have read that there is going to be a follow-up novel, so that makes sense, but I think I am going to pass on it.

So why didn't this book wow me? It really came down to two things; the characters and the writing style. 

The book was written in multiple perspective, which is something I really like, but at times I had to think, "Wait, who is this again?" We first meet John Redlantern and we are inclined to side with him, but the more I got into the book the more I wanted to punch him in the face. We meet other characters and get their points of view of what is going on in their world, but I literally did not care if any of them lived or died. For me they came across as two dimensional and I just could not relate to them.

So the other thing that bothered me was how this book was written, and I think that is the overall problem I had with this book. The main issue was the fact that they seemed to lose the word "very" in their language, so instead of saying "It was very cold", they would say, "It was cold cold." It wasn't just a few instances, but used throughout the novel, and it made me want to punch punch everything. I understood the experimental linguistic take Beckett was putting into his novel, and I applaud him for trying it out, but I think it alienates the reader and makes them frustrated. I know that this was the biggest annoyance I had with the book, because at times this style would give me a headache.

Overall I think Beckett's concept was pretty cool, but the novel did not impress me. 

*I received this book for free from Blogging For Books for this review. For more information on author Chris Beckett click here.