- Non Fiction
Dark Eden (Paperback) by Chris Beckett
List Price: £8.99
Paperback: 400 Pages.
Published: 2012 by Corvus
Review by Anne
(4 from a possible 5)
An interesting society
Living on Eden is a group of descendants from a crashed space ship. Generations of inbreeding from the two individuals who are the common ancestor of them all have left many of them with physical and mental deformities. Living on a world without light except that which is generated by the vegetation has made for a simple, hunter gatherer society. Memories of their beginning has left them with a mythology based on a rapidly disappearing historical memory and a rigid society. The community is obviously close to an end whilst it hangs on awaiting the return of those who left.
This is a book full of clever ideas. The society that has been created seems believable based on the history and the way that communities work. Eventually, however, someone is going to challenge the norms and mythology and in this story John Redlantern raises together a group of young people who are prepared to travel away from the existing habitation and look to do something new. In doing so, they challenge many ideas of what is acceptable and other factions arise and challenge them.
I thought that the set up was good and I accepted that this is a possible society that could have grown up in the circumstances. I thought that the challenges to the community and what happened made sense. I didn't, however, really like John Redlantern or his ethos. I didn't admire his reasoning or some of the ways that he went about things. I did, whoever, like Tina Spikehair whose story is also part of the plot and I sympathised more with her. The fact that I didn't really like John or the way he worked spoiled my total enjoyment of this story but I will be interested to see where the author takes it next.