Eden: Tim Lebbon
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘The Silence’ from Lebbon was my first experience with his writing and boy was it a treat. I still need to read ‘Coldbrook’ and his release with Christopher Golden ‘Blood of the Four,’ but when this was offered up for reviewers, I reached out and was kindly sent a PDF.
Tim’s a really nice guy, nice enough to have even let me interview him for my professional publication about his pursuit of running and Iron Man races. After reading his responses, the passion he has for distance endurance was evident, which makes the story in ‘Eden’ all that sweeter.
What I liked: I absolutely loved this book. We’ve frequently been introduced to post-apocalyptic landscapes or Man-vs-Nature storylines, but Lebbon added his own stamp on this with two particular plot lines. The first is the reclamation of large sections of Earth. The world governments banded together and in order to try and undo some of our destruction, they’ve designated areas that humans are not allowed to live in or enter. These are areas complete with ruthless border patrols and nature re-terraforming the cities. Each chapter was started with a snippet from a diary/journal/book etc talking about how this occurred and what resulted because of it. I would love to read more about these zones in the future.
I really loved the cast of characters Lebbon assembled, which brings me back to the second plotline. The endurance runners trying to set a zone crossing record. I loved that. It showed why this mixed bag of people regrouped time and again and why Dylan, the leader and father of one of the runners, was so focused on the task at hand, even as things began to go south. Returning to what I mentioned earlier about Lebbon’s love of endurance running, this shined through and I found that little nuances that only someone who had spent years training and prepping for this time of competition would think of, like the carrying of supplies etc.
Lastly, Eden itself is spectacular. The scope is massive, impressive and for me reading, absolutely claustrophobic. I’ve always said I’m scared to death of the forest, much like people are with deep water. We can only see so far into the trees, into the darkness of the water – it’s what lurks just beyond what we can see that we need to be worried about. Lebbon delivers some fantastic twists and as Eden unfolds, and begins to show exactly what it has planned for our group of explorers, Tim goes full out with letting his imagination take over. Well done.
What I didn’t like: There was only once aspect to this that I felt a bit unnecessary – the random chapters from Jenn’s mom. Whenever I would end a chapter and then a chapter from Kay started, I personally didn’t find it added much to the story, or much on top of what was already being delivered. Saying that, others may very well like them and they do serve a purpose.
Why you should buy this: There’s a reason this book is on so many “most-anticipated” lists. It bristles with emotion. This is Lebbon doing a better version of a Jon Krakauer survival book. If you followed my progress on Goodreads, you’ll see that it actually took me a long time to read this. That was purely due to my copy being a PDF. I knew what I was getting into when I accepted it, so it took me a bit longer. I know for a fact if I had a mobi review copy, I would have read this in three sittings. This book is just so outstanding and Tim did a marvellous job of creating real characters, an amazing reason for them to be together and a simply stunning way to retell or recreate the “Man-vs-Nature” storyline.
This is a must-read.
From the bestselling author of The Silence comes a brand-new horror eco thriller. In large areas of the planet, nature is no longer humanity’s friend
In a time when Earth’s rising oceans contain enormous islands of refuse, the Amazon rainforest is all-but destroyed, and countless species edge towards extinction, the Virgin Zones were established in an attempt to combat the change. Off-limits to humanity and given back to nature, these thirteen vast areas of land were intended to become the lungs of the world.
Dylan leads a clandestine team of adventurers into Eden, the oldest of the Zones. Attracted by the challenges and dangers posed by the primal lands, extreme competitors seek to cross them with a minimum of equipment, depending only on their raw skills and courage. Not all survive.
Also in Dylan’s team is his daughter Jenn, and she carries a secret – Kat, his wife who abandoned them both years ago, has entered Eden ahead of them. Jenn is determined to find her mother, but neither she nor the rest of their tight-knit team are prepared for what confronts them. Nature has returned to Eden in an elemental, primeval way. And here, nature is no longer humanity’s friend.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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