Books, General

Eve of Man | Review

Title: Eve of Man

Author: Giovanna & Tom Fletcher

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 18 Jun 18 – 21 Jun 18

Publication date: 31 May 2018

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Genre(s): Dystopian, YA

Description:

Eve is like any other teenage girl . . .

Except that the fate of the entire world lies on her shoulders.

She’s the first girl born in fifty years.

She’s the answer to their prayers.

She’s the final hope.

Which means she has one function alone . . .

At sixteen, Eve must face her destiny and make a choice.

She will choose a man, one out of three carefully selected suitors.

But what about Bram?

The future of the planet hangs on Eve making the right choice.

Will she?

COULD YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN LOVE, AND THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN RACE?

I like dystopian novels. I like YA books. I like Gi and Tom Fletcher. What could possibly go wrong? Was there ever a chance that this signed story would ever disappoint? Probably not. I really liked it. I liked the premise. I liked the mixed view points. I like the way that Gi and Tom have written. I didn’t ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT but it was a solid 4.5/5 and I gave it the benefit of the doubt and pushed it up not down.

The story centres around Eve, the only girl born in 50 years and the literal future of the human race. She is appropriately naïve in a world that idolises her and is hoping that she will produce lots of female heirs. We see a fair amount of the stories through her ahd experience the world as she sees it. I really like the world in which she lives and the contrast between how idyllic it is at the start, vs the prison like nature of it towards the end. Of course she feels cared for and pampered. The true reality of life as the only woman capable of reproducing shows that the caring natures of the ‘mothers’ who fuss over her are really there to make sure that she progresses exactly right, the nuturing environment is a prison designed to keep her body in tip top condition, and her medical care nothing more than scientific experiments to ensure she reproduces.

Gi and Tom have brilliantly encapsulated Eve’s eyes opening to the world. We quickly realise that she isn’t quite the little girl that everyone thinks she is, but also just how sheltered her life has been. She has no real concept of her life outside her dome, her interactions with the people she is allowed to speak to, and even though she knows her friend Holly is actually AI, she doesn’t really care and bonds closely with her favourite.

Of course there has to be a male point of view to this story, and this is YA so it quickly becomes inevitable that Eve’s favourite version of her AI friend is Bram, the male protagonist. The thing about this obvious trope though is that it’s done well. We see such a sheltered and influenced view on this dystopian world through Eve’s eyes, so it’s fascinating and harrowing to see such a dyer view through his eyes as one of the many young men born. He definitely bonds closer than he should do, he definitely benefits from being an incredibly intelligent, talented, and priviledged member of the heavily male society, and he definitely gets away with stuff that anyone else in a similar position wouldn’t, and this is one of the things that stopped me ranking this as the best read of the year.

We only really see Bram and Eve interact as Holly and Eve until the story starts to end. Yes, they know who each other are quite early on, but they don’t properly meet until very late when the story starts to shift from being dome centric to the world outside the dome. I found the dynamics amongst the young and old, the men and women, and between Bram and Eve really engaging, and I am hoping that this is one of the things that Gi and Tom investigate further as they progress with this series.

The side characters in this book are particularly strong. We aren’t allowed to see too much into anyone’s lives, and this gives us such a small insight into each character’s story and motivations. The crippling hurt and the cruelty, as well as unwavering love and hope is unveiled in a fairly spectacular way, we feel the trust and betrayal as we are afford a bigger glimpse into the adults within the book. The naïvity that is portrayed adds to this and is something that Gi and Tom have done brilliantly. It could have fallen or detracted from the story, but instead they have managed to weave this into the novel and incorporate it within the character growth of the protagonists.

Where the characters motivations, feelings, and actions are plentiful and rich, the science is a little bare and lacking to start with. I like how the nature of doctors appointments, nourishment, and mental fragility is explored and develops, but the science behind the scenes is somewhat closeted and we don’t really see much until the end. There is a wealth of technological advancement within this dystopian world that is not really explored and is just there, and while I often like the show not tell approach some authors favour, I feel like there is a big leap between the technology of today and Eve’s world, and that there isn’t quite enough explanation to support this advancement.

And then there is the genetic and fertility advancements, or lack there of, that barely feature. I absolutely adore the premise that she is the last woman that will be able to have children, that she is the only female born within 50 years, but I can’t help wonder how this has happened in a world that has seen colossal technological advancement.I am thankful that the glaring plot-hole that was preimplantation sex selection was addressed because I was ready to knock a whole star off the rating if they had never tried to, or implied they would try to, influence the sex of the baby(ies) that Eve would conceive. The reveal of this laboratory, the practices within to try and manufacture the required female foetuses, and the shock of this is the best example of just how sheltered Eve really is, but it also indicates that Gi and Tom have thought about this story in more depth than I initially feared.

I really did like this book. It was modern YA dystopian done in a new way, and it transcended what has recently become a saturated and in some cases boring market. I’m so glad I bought a signed edition and I look forward to reading the next instalment. Get writing guys…

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