One of the best recent young adult science fiction books out now
If you’re browsing for a light but alluring read during classes or a study break, “Children of Eden” is a fun choice for a number of reasons.
It is not only imaginative and personable but it is short enough that you can finish it in several days to three weeks, depending on your schedule.
Its chapters also tend to be fast-paced and short to the point where the story captivates you and when you set the book down, you remember where you left off.
It is the first book in a trilogy that Joey Graceffa, a glorified YouTube star, wrote. He has poured out his soul into a couple of comedic biographies, including “In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World” in which he announces that he is gay.
“Children of Eden” is set in Earth’s futuristic time period where most animals have gone extinct because of manmade disasters and it is illegal to have more than one child in a family. In the case of Rowan, the main character, she has a twin brother Ash. Their father is of prominent standing as a politician which also adds to the suspense but is not quite clear on what he does. When she was born, a bot attempted to remove her and in the process of saving herself, she injured Ash who since then had a deficit. He also struggles with asthma attacks and because he is a son, the father is overprotective of him but despises Rowan.
Because Graceffa has overcome his own personal insecurities, I believe that’s why Rowan resonates to the readers so well. I’ve come to believe that every person is sheltered in their own way, including social groups but Rowan is closed off from the world. While she has peeked over the wall at the city nearby, she wants to experience it and one night she has decided she has had enough. She runs into Ash’s friend with purple hair, Lark, who changes her life forever in more ways than one.
That night also changes her life. Suspicion creeps into the city that a second child exists and bots are alerted, as well as investigative teams sent to find Rowan and from what I understood, kill her.
The book ends with a staggering but ironic cliffhanger in which Ash has been sentenced to death because of a mistake realized that she is the firstborn, not Ash. Rowan, along with her new friends in a system called the Underground which rescues second children like her, conjures a scheme to save him. In the process, Rowan is captured and has ended up in a treatment center with some of the people she tried to run from.
“Children of Eden” also places its readers in their memories of when they’ve experienced fight-or-flight responses. The book is all about adapting to new circumstances and situations and discovering who you are in the middle of all that chaos. It challenges your beliefs and whether or not you will fight for them, including those who matter to you. While it had its moments where it dragged and some of the plot’s elements seem hazy, “Children of Eden” is one of the best most recent young adult science fiction and fantasy books out there.