Author: Anna Carey
Publish Date: October 4, 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust... and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
Eve has lived through the worst of the world. With populations dwindling, the world ravaged by disease and discord and the number of orphans on the rise, Eve managed to become one of the lucky ones - or so she thought. She's taught the finer points of 19th century living - the best dances and the best novels are at her disposal, but she's destined for a life of being enslaved to men and for the sole purpose of helping restore the broken world around her. When Eve discovers the truth, she does the only thing she can think of. She escapes. But the world is a scary place, and even with her former rival becoming her friend, Eve has to contend with war, greed and someone who might just find a place in her heart for himself.
I'm a big fan of dystopian books, so I'm going to premise my review with that in an attempt to stay entirely objective. Eve is the first book in a planned trilogy, promising a world that's so desolate that mere children are forced to become the true future of the world, in every sense of the word. Anna Carey has created a fascinating premise for a new series that's equal parts heartwarming, heartbreaking and horrifying. Already a talented novelist, the author lends her skills at world-building to a bleak and dismal future world. With scene setting that's bleak and war-ridden, Eve has every opportunity in the world to find its niche in the dystopian genre with ease.
That's about where the good ends for me with Eve, however. Eve, as a heroine began fairly decent. She seemed a bit brainwashed, but in the society presented in the novel, her status fit. Suddenly though, Eve is more than willing to escape into the wild she's so terrified of, and she's more than willing to break all those rules she was brainwashed to accept. I found it exceptionally difficult to watch her switch from ardently in favour if the new regime to completely against it in a matter of pages without so much of an inkling of doubt before. The transition was jarring and made her character feel false and inaccessible. I also had a huge problem with believing the world Eve was raised in. As an orphan raised to be a breeding machine, she was privvied to the finest education when, in fact, the whole point of Eve was that Eve and her classmates would never get to use it. Then there's my issue with the fact that the King wanted Eve for himself and this bleak country suddenly mustered up an army of unfathomable proportions to capture and detain a single, plain orphan girl that jarred with the whole "there's nothing left of this world" premise. Furthermore, Eve's ridiculous naivete, the overabundance of cliches and the man-saves-girl-on-steed scenario just added to the mess. Honestly, without going into things further, I felt that Eve was merely bits and pieces of other dystopian novels merged into one without fleshing a single thing out, and it was severely disappointing.
Now, I've read some of the author's other books, and I quite enjoyed them, so while Eve didn't work for me, I'm just going to chalk this up to the fact that the genre isn't for everyone. I truly believe one must come up with an entirely new idea or make it into something new and terrifying to make a dystopian work - and that didn't happen with Eve. I give it a 2 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to fans of YA and those who can deal with a dystopian-light book.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.