The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, 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 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.
Original Language: English
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Page Count: 320
I've been looking forward to getting my hands on Anna Carey's new YA dystopian, Eve, novel for months. Probably since I first saw it on Goodreads at the start of the year. Since my experience with The Hunger Games last year, I've been craving dystopian fiction. The teaser for Eve got me excited and I bought it as soon as it came out.
Unfortunately, I finished the book a little disappointed. I'm not ready to say I didn't like it, or that it was bad - but for a first novel in a trilogy, it was quite weak. I wanted more from it: more history, more explanation, more characterisation.
To begin with, Eve is a fickle heroine. Coming from an all girls school, who secretly spend twelve years preparing them to become breeding machines (more on that later) while simultaneously teaching them to hate men, she should want to be more self-sufficient and independent. Eve is afraid of men from the get go, but a few friendly smiles and a moment of solitude, changes her mind. Her naivety and fears are justified in a world where she is being hunted and her friends are being murdered, but she's just so inconsistent!
The most interesting characters are the ones that are barely touched on while the ones we focus on - Eve, Lief and Caleb - are quite two dimensional. I want to know more about Arden, about Pip and Ruby, and Margaret and Otis. Who is this politician become King who is the shady antagonist? Tell me more about this plague - and vaccine - that culled the population.
I found a lot of things confusing - something a second read might help. The code, the Trail, Califia and the Schools are all vague concepts that, at this point, fail to create a realistic backdrop for narrative. Why educate these girls - and so thoroughly - for twelve years and waste so many precious breeding years? They may want to encourage voluntary breeding but aren't they making promises they can't keep by talking about the trades Graduates will learn?
Haunting as the breeding factories are, they seem a poorly thought out.
Of course, Eve has an interesting idea. The plague is a great way to explain away a dwindling dystopian society, and the idea of young girl being used as sows is terrifying. I just need more - I need to understand the how and why of New America's history. I need to hope that further books in the trilogy will explain things further.
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