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Children of Eden
by Joey Graceffa
Review by Jarad Johnson
Children of Eden tells the story of Rowan, a second child in a dystopian society where couples can only can have one, due to strict population control. However, instead of aborting her, her parents decided to keep and hide her for her entire life, even though they are high ranking government officials. She is now an outlaw, and if discovered, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or have any typical social interactions. After sixteen years, encouraged by restlessness and desperation, Rowan decides to venture out into the city. However, what starts out as an exotic adventure soon turns to tragedy. Rowan is now an illegal, hunted by the government.
Outside of Eden, the Earth is long dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed and turned into a vast desert wasteland, through a man-made catastrophe. Centuries ago, scientist Aaron Al-Baz saved a pocket of civilization, by creating the Eco-Panopticon, a massive computer program which harvested all of the Earths technology and used it to save a select few members of humanity. Humans will wait thousands of years until the EcoPan heals the world.
This novel by Youtube sensation Joey Graceffa keeps the reader guessing and engaged until the very last page. Through captivating storytelling, the author takes the reader on the fascinating journey of Rowan, an illegal second child. Seeing her experience social interaction and the world outside of her home for the first time was a very interesting read. The people of Eden themselves are fascinating, from the sect that believes that they are actually animals and not humans, and modifies their bodies to reflect this, the inner city elite with their garish and bright clothing, to the outer city citizens who are trapped in poverty and low paying employment. Through it all, we see Rowan fighting for her life and the lives of those like her with a rebel militia with intentions of overthrowing the government. Reminiscent of the Hunger Games and Divergent, but very unique at the same time, Children of Eden is a must read for fans of the dystopian genre.
As enjoyable as the plot of the book itself is, it also bears a strong message behind that about the environment. These people are living in a world where humans have destroyed the environment, and it is probable that the author was speaking on the current and controversial issue of climate change, in that he is giving us his idea of how far our destruction of the Earth will go. He describes a vast wasteland, ravaged by nuclear war and climactic disaster. It is chilling to think that climate change might go so far, but it may be a distinct possibility. The book is both an enjoyable and captivating narrative, and also a cautionary tale, urging us to take better care of our planet.
Jarad attends Middle Tennessee State University, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad is majoring in English. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!