I’m all about celebrating Speculative Fiction written by Australian authors. What better way to that, to support and promote their excellent books, than to review them?
Here’s my first book, EVE OF ERIDU by Alanah Andrews. But first, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Alanah’s from New Zealand. But like Phar Lap, the Pavlova and Russell Crowe, we’ll have to claim her as our own, this book was that good!
EVE OF ERIDU is about a girl called Eve, who lives in Eridu. Eve has lived her whole life committed to suppressing her emotions, just like everyone else in her community. She’s been the perfect student, constantly at the top of the leaderboard, everything is as going as well as it can in her post-apocalyptic world.
That is, of course, until her brother – like her an exceptional student at the top of his leaderboard – fails the harvest. Instead of being assigned a role in the new world, he is culled. And Eve has to be content with that. To be content is to be free, says the Book of Eridu, which all citizens do their utmost to follow. After all it has been proven that emotions – love, greed, jealousy, anger and hate – had caused the wars of history and resulted in the destruction of the world. The scant thousands who lived underground in Eridu were all that was left of humanity, and they could not allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
Eve struggles to be content with the sudden and unexpected loss of her brother, and to make things worse, there’s a new kid at school that won’t leaver her alone. Struggling to keep her monitor a calm blue, and with it her place on the leaderboard, Eve’s emotions threaten to overwhelm her, threaten her chances of surviving the upcoming harvest. But not only does she have to pass the tests, she needs to uncover the secrets behind Sam’s mysterious appearance, and confront the chilling truths of the world the founders of Eridu created.
Andrews has crafted this dystopian post-apocalyptic society superbly, and it is sure to send chills down your spine. One of the remarkable components of this story is the Grid, a digital afterlife, where the essences of Eridu’s citizens are transferred to when they are culled or die. Eve is a compelling character, confronted with a staggering challenge and a mystery that might shake her to the core. The one criticism that I have is that it was too short, I would have enjoyed more exploration of the changing relationships Eve had with Sam, her colleagues, guardians and the overseers of Eridu. But I say that about almost every book I read – I always want more! Ultimately it’s an excellent story about a teen struggling to fit in, struggling to be the person everyone expects her to be.
Keep tuned for more news and more reviews!
- Originally published January 2019