In a post-apocalyptic world where resistance to solar heat defines class and beauty, Eden Newman’s white skin brands her as an ugly, oppressed Pearl. Doomed unless mated by her 18th birthday, Eden dreams a Coal from the dark ruling class will save her. But when she unwittingly compromises her father’s top-secret experiment, perhaps mankind’s only hope, she is thrust into the arms of a beastly man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. To survive, Eden must change, but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty—and true love.
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press, Inc.
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Single Title/Series: REVEALING EDEN (SAVE THE PEARLS PART ONE)
Cover Thoughts: An enticing cover that captures the basic essence of the story. A+
Origin: VampFanGirl received an advance release copy of REVEALING EDEN from the author.
Jennifer Donohue's Review:
Eden Newman has spent her entire existence underground, avoiding the intense, damaging rays of the super-charged sun in a post-apocalyptic world. Society is now harshly divided along racial lines—the darker your skin, the higher your status due to a greater ability to withstand radiation from the sun. The most prominent group is the Coals who now rule the world due to their genetic superiority. Social ranking filters down the line as skin shades lighter to the fairest of the fair—the white Pearls with skin so sensitive they have little resistance to the damaging rays of light above-ground. Eden hates her white skin and hopes she can attract a Coal to pull her out of the lowest class and give her the chance to mate...and to live. If she isn’t selected as a mate by her 18th birthday, a date quickly approaching, she will be cut off from basic life resources as supplies are scarce and cannot be wasted on someone who can’t contribute to the survival of the species. In other words, the powers that be will stop providing her with food and she will be left to die.
Eden’s father, a brilliant scientist who’s acquired a high level research position in spite of his white skin, may have just discovered a means to improve human resistance to the sun, and indirectly a way to help Pearls everywhere. But has Eden unwittingly revealed too much about her father’s research and risked the entire project and her own future?
A militant group of Coals committed to the status quo wants to take control of the technology, sending Eden on the run with her father and a man she cannot trust but equally cannot resist. She must fight the elements, the disorientation from being ripped from her predictable world, and her maddening attraction to a man she feels has neither morals nor interest in a meager Pearl.
I can’t decide whether or not I like Eden Newman, but she certainly isn’t boring. The evolution of her character and how she reacts to events is actually very well done. I might not personally like her impulsivity or antagonism—she certainly doesn’t seem like someone who’d have many friends—but her behavior is utterly believable, and it makes perfect sense based on her background and upbringing. She’s 100% teenager and it’s refreshing to see a character in a young adult novel act her age. In the next book of the series, I’d love to see her mature a little. She doesn’t have to be—and certainly shouldn’t be—a mini-adult, but I’d like her emotions to run a little deeper and her thoughts to be a bit more involved.
Finally, a young adult love interest that exudes sexual energy. Before reading this book, I never noticed how often we’re told by authors that the leading man is sexy and beguiling, but the boy revealed through the narrative falls short of lust-worthy and is more kitten than panther. The hero in REVEALING EDEN is strong, intelligent, and powerful. He’s not perfect, and we often doubt his motives, but his allure is undeniable. The dynamic between him and Eden crackles with tension and by the time they get around to that first kiss you’re longing for it.
And why, oh why, you might wonder, do I not mention his name? Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil one of the surprising twists, now would I?
Jennifer's Final Thoughts:
The action is exciting and the romance alluring. REVEALING EDEN read more like a romance novel than your average young adult action/fantasy, and I enjoyed that it wasn’t just an adventure with romance thrown in as an afterthought.
Why 4 stars and not 5? There were quite a few rough spots at the beginning where I had to backtrack and try to figure out what I’d just read. The flow is a little choppy, and this pops up now and again during the book. A little distracting, but not to the point where I’d put down the book.
REVEALING EDEN is an easy, fun read. I read it in two days, which really should be the basis of my reviews instead of stars. It took about two months for me to finally get through it a certain other book I read recently. REVEALING EDEN kept me turning pages—I really couldn’t wait to discover what would happen next.
About Jennifer Donohue: Traversing Corporate America by day, I write young adult paranormal novels by night. What better way to escape than by slipping into an alternate world and playing there for a while? Although for me it’s not just escape--the paranormal is my normal. Whether it’s falling into a ghost hunting group or finding myself living in a haunted house (thankfully past, not present), somehow the mystical world always finds me and lures me back into the fold. I live the paranormal, why not write there? You can friend Jennifer Donohue at Facebook.