This is a review for Dark Eden by Chris Beckett.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.
Dark Eden is the story of a small group of humans living on an alien world with no sun. There was an accident and two humans were left behind on Eden while their three companions went back to earth for help. The two left behind started a family and told their children to wait by the circle where their space ship had landed. Now it is 160ish years later, the family has grown 532 members and food is getting scarce for them. The oldest members of Family want to continue staying by the circle of stones and wait. John Redlantern is just a teenager but he knows that if food is scarce now, it will only get harder to find the bigger Family gets. John can't stand sitting still and waiting, he wants to make things happen. John dares to do what no one else before him ever has. His actions have consequences far bigger than he ever could have imagined.
The first third of this book moved really slowly. It set up the basis for the story, showcasing how different life on Eden is from the life that the reader knows. It showed how dull and boring it is just to live day to day waiting for something that may never happen and struggling to find food for 532 people every single day. Once the set up was over and things started to happen this book was really good. Chris Beckett did an excellent job portraying human nature. His characters aren't perfect, they have good and bad traits. The impatience of youth is shown really well but not demonized. Beckett did a good job showing that just because something is different doesn't mean it is bad, just because someone has a different way of thinking doesn't mean they are wrong. The world that Beckett created here is fascinating, the creatures that live on this dark planet with no sun, the amazing trees that have flowers that bloom with light. The animals are similar to ours and yet completely alien.
This book takes a long hard look at what would happen if two humans were left alone on an alien world with little technology and had to rebuild from the ground up. What things get left behind and forgotten and what gets carried on? Do you sit and wait for rescue or do you do the best you can with what you have?
I would definitely recommend this book. It is less Star Trek and more primitive humans but very good. It is worth a read. Once I got past the set up for the story I had a hard time putting it down! You can read an excerpt of this book right here on the retailer's website.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.