Author: Anna Carey
Publisher: Harper Collins
”Where do you go when nowhere is safe?
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.”
My opinion: Even though the book has its weaknesses I liked it. At first I felt uncomfortable with the role allocation: The women act passive and seem to be nothing more than birth machines and the men…probably never heard of feminist movement. Joke aside, after I thought about it, the start situation is shown as a situation that’s not right and not the way it should be. After I got over that, I also got over my problems with the heroine, Eve.
At first Eve is an obedient schoolgirl which has no reason to doubt the things that are taught at her school. She doesn’t know anything else. When she runs away from her certain fate as birth machine for the King, she has absolute no knowledge of how to survive in the wilderness. She doesn’t know how to hunt, to fish etc. Given that, she doesn’t do so bad, even when she’s on her own.
Eve is an absolutely non-badass heroine, at least in this first book.
That’s okay for me, because it fitted the inner logic of the plot. If the heroine is a schoolgirl brought up far away from the world outside, how can I possibly expect her to be a kick-ass take no shit girl? After her escape, she develops. She has to accept that almost everything she was thought to believe was a lie and has to accustom herself to the world outside.
I heard some people compare Eve to Twilight but I wasn’t able to see why. Her relationship to Caleb seems to be a far more “normal”, healthier one. Eve is even able to travel on her own and save Caleb when he’s injured.
The world-building and character development was okay, but could have been done more in-depth. I know there will be two more books where we hopefully will learn more about the virus, the City of Sand the King and why Eve’s mother never mentioned her father.
Despite its weaknesses the book was a captivating, entertaining but also thought-provoking read that makes me want to know the rest of the story. Eve is a heroine with potential I would love to see her grow some more in the following books. I also would like to get more insights about Caleb, I liked his character, but he stayed rather plain. A little more insight would be appreciated.
I know it’s always hard for an author to balance how much background information to reveal in the first installment of a series and the opinions on this matter vary, but I would’ve wanted more background/world information in Eve. For me, the lack of it was the biggest minus point.