zaterdag 30 april 2016

Chris Beckett: Dark Eden

Hi everyone

I just finished Dark Eden by Chris Beckett and I wanted to review it today so I can include it in my Wrap Up for April.
This book won The Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2013.
My copy has 404 pages and I got it from Bol.

 “On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.
The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.
But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.
Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty--rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.”

The world-building in Dark Eden is great. The surroundings feel very real and I could see it right in front of me. Some creatures are similar to species we know but some of them are very different and imaginative. Eden has no sun and light comes from the plants, trees and animals around them.
I really liked the setting in general; it’s very interesting.

I liked the language too. It took some time to get used to the new words and the different spelling but I really enjoyed that element. Not new in any way, but I liked it.

Characterizations was a bit too clichéd. Everyone had one or two defining traits and that’s all there is too them. And Johnny is a self-centered bastard to be honest. There’s only so many times you want to read how much of a dick he is.

The relationships and the importance of sex in the story were making me uncomfortable. Basically, everyone comes from one man and one woman so they are all one big family; but (with a few exceptions) everyone can sleep with whoever they want. I definitely did not like the emphasis on that and I felt very awkward reading about people having sex. The way it was written made me feel very, very uncomfortable.

I felt like the story didn’t really go anywhere. The ending was really obvious and the story itself wasn’t exciting or engrossing. It was boring and repetitive. I finished it because I liked the setting and the way they live is very interesting. Dark Eden is quite enjoyable and it reads very fast but I didn’t find it all that special and it has quite a few things I didn’t like about it too.

And this won The Arthur C. Clarke Award?

2 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena