Children of Eden has an interesting concept; limitation on how many children a family can have, & that is why it caught my attention… I picked up this book because of my interest in the Chinese rules on children, but also because I do quite like science-fiction. The book has been on my to-read list for a while & although I enjoyed the book I wasn’t addicted to it like I could have been – it was a good story though, with decent characters & interesting world-building, & I will be reading the sequel.
When I first started to get into Children of Eden I worried that the story may become predictable, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by the plot-twists that were thrown my way. Despite me not being addicted to the plot, the book did keep me interested & I did want to keep reading, & I will pick up the sequel at some point.
There were two things that really kept me interested in the book; the characters & the world-building (mainly the world-building though). I immediately liked Rowan; she’s a strong, independent woman that works hard & has generally made the most out of a pretty crappy situation (i.e. being locked away in your house all your life pretending to not exist so that the government doesn’t kill you & all your family). Rowan’s twin, Ash, was also a really likeable character; he was definitely Rowan’s opposite, as can be the case with a lot of twins, & the plot twist that involved him left me open-mouthed for at least 30 seconds. I was, & am still, unsure of how I feel about Lark (her name kinda’ annoyed me too) but I think I fell a little bit in love with Lachlan (although, again, I don’t rate his name). Rowan & Ash’s parents left me with mixed feelings though – I loved their mother, she seemed real & genuine to me, but I’m unsure of their father & whether his actions were believable. I also wanna say that, although there is some same-sex attraction &, in a subtle way, a bit of disability, the casting didn’t seem to be that diverse *shrugs*.
The thing I really liked about this book though, was the world-building. I liked the idea that the people of Eden are locked away in what is supposed to be a utopia whilst they wait for the Earth to repair itself. I also liked that the people in this version of the future worship the Earth & feel regret & guilt about what the human race has done to the Earth & all of it’s wonderful creatures. There was one scene where Rowan’s passion for what the Earth has lost really got to me & there is one scene, where Rowan gets to experience a bit of the past-Earth that made me really happy (I’m trying so hard to write this bit so that other readers know what I’m talking about, but without giving anything away for people who haven’t yet read it). I’m really eager to find out more about the planet that Earth has become in this series & I really hope the sequel takes us outside of Eden. Additionally, I liked that although Eden started out as a pure idea, humans still managed to ruin it with their hunger for power & control – it made the whole thing feel more believable.
The actual plot of the book isn’t wholly original, but it has enough of it’s own qualities that it still left me surprised & on edge. The first part of the book moved a little slowly, but it soon sped up… & sped up & sped up & sped up, until it ran straight into a wall & finished on a huge cliffhanger that has left me ridiculously confused. Up until the end I wasn’t sure if I would read the sequel, but the ending was such a surprise & so interesting that I will absolutely have to pick it up at some point. As I’ve said, I did enjoy Children of Eden, it was a good read that didn’t bore me, but it’s not one of my favourite future-set books.